~ Grandma's Bibs ~

As a child, winter time was another world. A new frontier just waiting to happen.

White substance that had no limitations. Only endurance and imagination were needed.

The year was 1958, the place; my uncles farm.

My parents, grandparents, brothers/sister, aunt/uncle, cousin and acres of hills beyond the pastures just calling to us. Come play!

The snow seemed to hover, giving one the illusion of entrapment. Such beautiful color, marshmallow white and ever so puffy. And how it did sparkle with sunlight peeking around the clouds to add the brush stroke of color.

So excited, bustin at the seams we were. Can't wait, hurry up ~ get the tractor started , hook up the wagon!

My grandmother, bless her heart, decided for the first time ever to go along with us. She had no outside clothes needed for such an adventure, for grandma was raised English proper and never ever wore pants! So, the plan being, find some clothes and get grandma outfitted.

My uncle raced into the house, grabbed some bib overalls, extra boots, socks and we all proceeded to dress grandma.

Laugh, did we ever. Being young and never seeing ones grandmother in pants, let alone bib overalls, what else could we do.

Laughter in my family was a given. Grandpa always telling the same jokes and laughing harder at himself each time. Riddles by the dozen. One I remember exactly.

I can still see grandpa sitting in his chair, me with crossed legs at his feet, his eyes filled with delight. Ahhhh an audience they seemed to say.

"Now Linda , if you had a goose, a fox , an ear of corn and could only take two of them with you across the lake, the final destination, how would you do it? MMMMMM~ my thoughts went into action then I would verbally work it out while grandpa listened ever so patient.

Patient was a key word, for he always was. It seemed like months, upon each visit , grandpa would ask me the same question and I tried my hardest to get it right the first time. Through my logic of youth, being a country gal, I should know the answer. But he never made me feel inadequate, for it was a learning experience that I carried into adulthood, never quit until you have accomplished the goal, the right answer, regardless of how long it takes, you will succeed. What we are to pass onto the next generation.

Thoughts, memories that surfaced while trying to get grandma outfitted for warmth. Years of sharing, even as young as I was, knew this day would last forever, memories that will always bring a fond smile of, what once was, a family that worked together and played together.

Finally we all yelled , grandma's ready.

What a vision she was. Even in bibs , grandma still maintained. Her head tilted ever so upward, which for those that didn't know, she might have appeared to be a'bit of a snob, but for us, the touch of and always~ English heritage at its finest ~dignity with a capital "D".

Regardless of what clothes she wore, a lady to the very end.

Now one does not just grab sleds and run, additional equipment was needed, for we were not just any other family, we were unique in planning and experiencing.

Things to pack in the wagon to stay warm and hunger free. Hot coca, hot tea for grandma, hot dogs/buns, grandmas home made cookies , 50 gal empty barrel to start a fire for cooking and to keep warm.

What a bumpy ride it was, but loved every min of it, for it brought us closer to the "HILL".

It wasn't just a hill, it looked like Mt Everest to us! HUGE, steep and long. Every kids dream of the perfect sled ridin' hill.

Quickly we throw the sleds over the side of the wagon, jumped down and off we went a running ~ except for grandma, we found out rather quickly thereafter.

"What about me", we hear her yell in the not at all amused tone!

It was kinda funny, looking back, all of us turned around at the same time to see grandma still in the wagon with this look on her face, y'all know the look! Oooooops! We forgot grandma!

Run back to the wagon and she is talking up a storm, "Now," she exclaims, "you want me to come along, in the cold you place me, dress me in these "bibs" and you go off and leave me"! Ahhh grandma, we are sorry ~ but gigglin softly with hands over our mouths.

My uncle and daddy then gently ease her out of the wagon, position a chair by the barrel and commence to making the fire.

Okay, they say, "you alright now, anything you need? Then you see it again in motion~ the upward tilt of head, ever so slight ~ followed by the straightening of , shoulders back dignity ~ "Yes," she pauses in speech ~ I am fine now, thank you."

WHEW, off we went again...running as fast as we could in boots that always seemed too big and snowpants that within two minutes of snow exposure, weighed a ton.

Echoes of ~ children's voices , "bet my sled is faster than yours ~ naaahuh, bet it ain't"!

Running ~ panted breathe, jump on the sled~ ~ ~ swaaaaaaaaassssssssssssh!

writing copyrighted@Linda Elaine Calhoun 2000

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