Friday, July 1, 2011

B10. Grandma's Childhood Memories

(first in a series of my grandma's memoirs)

Written in the precious memory of my grandma, born on the 4th of July, 1914
Ellie Irene Nance Vestal     July 4,1914 – Dec. 15, 1999

When I was 6 weeks old my mother returned to work, and I began to stay with my grandma every day . . . “so you have always been ‘partly’ mine,” Grandma wrote to me in 1986, and she was right.  I am still “partly hers.”
In 1986, when Grandma was 72 and I was 24 I gave her a birthday gift that I thought might help her fill her days.  It was a 35-page memories book filled with prompts for her to write about her life.  She had lived alone since Grandpa’s death in 1977, and she enjoyed writing.  I forgot about the gift, but months later she gave me a far greater gift, which has become one of my most treasured possessions, the same book, completely filled in with her memories. 
In her honor, and to share this precious gift with others who love her, I begin here a blog series of her own memoirs in her own words: 

My childhood home:  I lived on a farm in an old house..  It had six rooms with a stone chimney in each end and a big fireplace in both ends.  There was a well in the front yard, lots of trees, and the yard was sandy where we played hide and go seek, tag, hopscotch, croquet, catch, most anything we thought about.  I lived there from age six until my marriage at nineteen.
My brothers and sisters:  Earl R. Nance, Luther M. Nance, Jerry C. Nance, Thurman A. Nance, Mattie J. Nance, Vernice Nance who died when she was six years old
My pets:  Several cats and one special dog which I called “Lindy.”  She was born the year of Lindbergh’s famous flight.
My days at school:  I loved school.  My favorite subjects were reading, spelling and biology, and I studied hard to stay at the top of my class in my grades.
My special place:  I suppose my special place was an orchard on the farm.  There I found spring blooms and bird nests, and in the summer and fall, apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, even one quince* tree.  Many trees were easy to climb to reach the very choice fruits.  Here my daydreams could really soar.

My best friend: A girl named Angie. We always got along so well. We never were mad at each other.
The things I liked to do: Attend church, school, play with my nephews, nieces and friends, reading, singing, storytelling, and daydreaming of my future
Responsibilities I had: Feeding my pets, Washing dishes, Bringing the cows from the pasture, Taking the milk products to the springhouse down below the orchard I have mentioned, Help care for nieces and nephews

*Note: The quince is an ancient yellow fruit similar to pears and apples.

To read the rest of the series in order, just click "newer post" at the bottom of the page.


claire said...

I never knew your grandmother. Her journal, however, makes me wonder what I would write under the same headings.
Thank you for sharing her diary.

Deborah said...

So many things I didn't know and so many things I did - Grandma and I have so much in common. Thank God!