Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Memories of Mama and Aunt Bass

Every summer about this time...bean picking time...I think about mama. I don't think anybody in this world loved green beans any more than my Mother.

I just came in from picking the beans in the teeny tiny garden. Sure hope there is enough for a canner full. We have finished every jar of canned beans in the pantry...




It was hot in the garden but mama was totally on my mind. Could not help but smile, thinking of her and the things she used to say. You have surely heard this from me before, but always when picking beans with mama, she would say, "watch out for old snakes. You know Shirley was picking beans one time and reached under a bean vine and there lay an old Copperhead". Another of mama's little bean quotes was, "try not to tear the bean vines all to pieces. I'd like to be able to pick another mess".  Now there is another word I have heard all my life, especially from mama's side of the family. Picking a mess of something. Seems like the women were always fixing to pick a mess of butter beans, or a mess of okra, or a mess of creasy greens. Wonder what was considered a mess. I suppose it would depend on how many would be eating. 

Sorry to keep posting the same picture but it is the only one I have to show you mama's sisters when I talk about them. Aunt Bass is seated in front on the far right. My dear sweet Aunt Berlie is standing, third from the left in the back. And again, my sweet Mother is seated second from the left in front...



It took a big mess of butter beans and vegetables back when Aunt Bass put dinner on the table. I was there at the table a few times when the men folks would come in from the field in the middle of the day to eat dinner. I will never forget the size of the dinner table or the big bowls of vegetables. The homemade biscuits and freshly churned butter. The men folks coming in the door after washing up, and sitting down at the table. And I will never forget Aunt Bass with a gallon jar of fresh cold milk, filling each tall glass on the dinner table. Oh, and the thick layer of sweet cream that rose to the top of each jar of milk. 

Aunt Bass milked the cows that gave this delicious milk and she churned the butter. I remember seeing her walking to the house from the barn carrying a pail of fresh milk in each hand. I remember the churn sitting in the kitchen with a cloth covering the top. She gathered the vegetables that were cooked for dinner every day. These folks ate like this every day and you know what, there was not one fat person in the family. By the way, Aunt Bass had a beautiful name..."Ella Vastie".

What wonderful memories. I could go on and on but it is time for the painters to arrive. By this time tomorrow, the log cabin should be red! Yikes!  Have we gone crazy?! Yesterday they pressure washed the house.

Hope to be back soon!

Love,
Henny


"A man may work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done".



11 comments:

  1. I've heard that (pick a mess of) all my life too- I thought it was a southern term. When I was growing up, we would come home to Arkansas during the summer. My sister and I always helped shell purple hull peas..it was a given that we would wear purple thumbs our entire visit. My grandma made peas and cornbread for lunch every single day of her life. Southern staples.

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  2. We say a mess of something up here too. Green Beans already...have you tried them grilled? I saw them done that way the other day...they looked good. Wow red will be a change. The last time we did our logs we went darker...seems like we are never done with it. Every summer we do a side or two to keep up. I am anxious to see the result and I hope you like it.:)

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    1. No, I have never had grilled green beans. I would probably love them. I am still worried sick about the color.

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    2. Never tried grilled beans, but it sounds good. I am still worried sick about the color.

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  3. It's always fun to have a change in the decor. Sometimes I just move furniture around and it's enough to make my life exciting!
    I love your stories about your family.

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    1. I always loved moving the furniture around too. Haven't done that in a while. :)

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  4. You have beans already! We won't have a "mess" of beans until late July. August was bean picking time in the Willamette Valley of Oregon where I grew up. I hated picking them, all day long in the hot, itchy bean vines. At least we didn't have to watch out for snakes!!!
    I love your reminiscing.

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    1. Thank you! I would hate picking beans all day long! I hate the way the vines stick to your clothes.

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  5. Henny, how I love reading your blog. So many sweet memories and I have many just like yours. Keep writing. I look at your blog everyday and love it. Joanie

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    1. Joanie, thank you. What a nice compliment!

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