Saturday, January 21, 2012

Granny explains how miracles come like ribbons

Ben called this morning all excited.    “Granny, I don’t know what happened.  It was some kind of miracle, me with no money and all for the holidays, and then suddenly something came in the mail; and now I’m okay. “  But Granny she knows what happened, cause these are things we can’t explain  in ways with words alone.

The feller has been working hard to find a job.  He was out at the plant down the road, but there were no jobs there at all.  Ben told me many weeks ago how he worried whether he could carry on.  The future looked so bleak. 

“I talked to the Man Upstairs, just like you said I ought to do,” Ben said,  “And nothing happened for so long that I was losing faith.  Then came the letter telling me I got the job in Natchitoches, and little Beverly will have the dress I promised her.  And I can visit you in Cloutierville on Sunday, just like I promised, cause now I can get the old car fixed and make it to your house.”

 I listened, smiled, and said, “Life can be like the tale told about those scarlet ribbons. A child was sick, and her daddy wanted to bring her pretty ribbons. He done looked and looked and couldnl't find them. He went to the stores everywhere, then came home and found his baby prayin'. In the morning when he went to look at his baby, there on her bed were those scarlet ribbons.

 The things we can’t explain, we just have faith and one day something happens, those miracles of life that teach us there are things we cannot see, we do not understand, that come like scarlet ribbons in answers to our prayers.  When we are like children believing in ourselves and having faith, those ribbons are the miracles that come in many ways just when we need them most.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stand for something so you don’t fall down and get hurt

Butch, that boy he really likes his buddies; but yesterday they was up in the trees, when it was foggy,  throwing rocks at  Mr. Choctawbush, and Granny knows if Butch don’t stand up now, he’ll  fall right on his head.

“Oh, granny, “ I was just havin’ fun like everybody else,” says Butch.  “My friends they say the feller smells real bad and isn’t like the rest of folks in Cloutierville at all.  So why not have a little fun?”

That Butch, he sure thinks he's smart, but this old Granny worries that he might fall down and get hurt if he stays in those trees where the boys think no one sees what they is doing.  But Granny she’s got eyes right in the back of this old head and knows the Man Upstairs has got them even more and sees in all directions all the time.  And when we want to really stand up high, we need to get up on those Great Shoulders so we can see what’s comin’ next and not get hurt ourselves.  We can also help other folks know which way to go as well, and that means things like throwin' rocks at folks that we don't know.

I explains this all to Butch, but he just shakes his head and says to Granny, “You don’t understand.  The world is changin’, and you got to catch up.”  Granny knows that some change, well that’s good for sure, but when it knocks you over then it’s time to just stand up. Just like that old cowboy song, it says  like this, what Granny does, "If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Granny says relief from grief can be found in the fields of gold

Dieter called me the other day, and there was such a sadness in his life. His wife is leavin’ him a little at a time with something he says is Huntington’s Disease And Granny reminded him that he will see his wife again, just as other folks will see their lost ones, in their dreams or that forever place, those shining fields of gold.

You see when folks get old, well some of them complain. But complainin’ isn’t what they need to do. The tears they cry, they need them, and then they can offer them up to the Man Upstairs, or that place within their hearts, where love is born and where our souls can live forever as our memories still offer joy from those shining Fields of Gold, like they are in Cloutierville.

We change, for sure, as we grow old. Our bodies, they can fail. And so can the talents we once had, those measures of our lives we treasured in our youth. But from our miracles, some bits and pieces of those treasures can appear, especially when we need them most, in times like this as they sometimes do for me and all of you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Granny tells how to make gumbo

"It's getting cold here in Chicago, " Bertha tells me.  "And Al, he says he has to have his gumbo, but I don't know how to make it.  So he says to me to call Granny, and that you would tell me how.  So here's what I explained to that Yankee gal today.

"You have to start by making a roux.  No Bertha, that's not what you use on cheeks.  We got our names for things you gotta learn cause we were folks who started all of this.  Put a lot of water in a pan, cause boys they got big appetites, and girls they play pretend but they like gumbo too.  That's gonna be about a half gallon and maybe another quart or so. Depends on how many babies you got in your house today, cause Granny has a lot in Cloutierville.

Take your time and put in some flour, about half a cup or a little more, but don't get it real think.  You ain't making cake, you know.  Now let that simmer on the stove a little while, until it gets all brown lookin' and just a little thick.  Then add some vegetables and spices.  Now I'll say these slow and careful cause that's what makes gumbo good.  Put in some salt and pepper.  You probably have that.  But then it gets a little harder, and that's what makes us Southern folks know better what to do.  You put in some onions all chopped up.  I figure I need to say something about that cause we don't want you droppin' in some vegetables just like you picked them out.  Put in some garlic, green peppers and okra, and those spices like thyme, basil, bay leaf and cayenne pepper to spice it up a bit.  When that's done put in cooked tomatoes and add some broth from some chicken you done cooked.  And most of us we have our sausage too..

You don't know how to cook that chicken?  Or the sausage?  Well, you'll have to look up how to do all that cause making gumbo takes one real smart cook, and you gotta learn how to make those meats real good before you make the gumbo, or it just won't turn out right.

Then add the file powder just before the family gets to eat.  You gonna have to shop around for that.  The family likes to eat it over rice, but not so much you can't taste that gumbo really good."

And for you Yankee folks, you better have a glass of water close cause when you get a taste of gumbo all fired up like that, you'll know what gets us Southerns able to stand the heat in the kitchen after y'all done gone.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Swearing words according to Granny

Alligator in Granny's yard
Well, there he goes again and right in my backyard.  Old Skeeter keeps sayin' that word f#####k over and over, as if we ain't heard it before.  Trouble is he done wore it out and me as well as everybody else, I suspects, just like on TV and the movies, it's makin' me real tired.  Besides it isn't very creative after all.

So I went out back and says to Skeeter, "Can you come up with something else when you is mad like that?"  And he says to me, "I got freedom of speech in Cloutierville and I say what I want.  If you don't like it, you get back in your house and keep your windows closed."

Well, tarnation, that just riled me up, 'cause I reached those limits, and so I sure did set that feller straight right then about that "F word" and what cursing really means by letting loose that 'gator in my yard.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Granny's reminder, "We're all in the same boat."

Swamp in Cloutierville 
 Granny's so proud of the Metoyer family, especially Bert and his boys.  They were out in the swamp fishing last week, when the Boudreaux fellers were out there in their boats too and could have been eaten by alligators.  But they remembered what Granny told them, "We're all in the same boat."

I heard tell on the news some other fellers in the military did the same good thing way over near Iran, brave boys who went and rescued other fellers they might not even like.  But when you is part of Granny's family, you know about that boat, the one the Man Upstairs done made for all of us, for everyone, not just in Cloutierville.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Politicians speeches aren't the "Sermon on the Mount"

Sermon on the Mount by I.Makarov

"Granny, you gonna vote for me, right?" Bert asks me, telling me, "You know the minister down the road told his congregation Sunday that I'm the better man."  And Granny has to wonder what this world is coming to when folks want her to take sides, even in a church.

"Me, I like to go to church in Cloutierville for lots of real good things" I says to Bert.   "I sees my friends around and know they's there to feel the Man Upstairs inside.  But having a politician make those speeches and then saying a minister is telling me how to vote?  Well land a-goshin' I just can't figure out what this old world is comin' to these days."

"You see this Granny has this family that has lots of ideas about who they like and don't.  And Granny loves them all, cause that's what a a really good Sermon I read a lot tells me I should do.  I'm just here to let those whippersnappers not get out of line, the bunch of them, just like I did when they was babies.  But now they all grown up, I just let them know when they get out line from those Good Words that everyone should care about, more than what some politician thinks they ought to be.  Those whipper snappers don't remember the snap of the whip they need."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Obama told he's ignoring his Granny

Guest house for the Obamas in Cloutierville, Louisiana near Poke Salad Granny
I said,  "Put Barry on the phone. Yes, he knows who I am; and if he can't remember, well that's what this is all about.  It's about that visit to Hawaii he made for vacation, ignoring his folks in Cloutiervile, Louisiana and his poor old Granny here.  Yes, I knows he's President; but he's still got business with me."

Getting through to that young-un, Barry,  I swear, gets harder every day.  But his going to Hawaii when Cloutierville is a paradise right here, well, that just will not do.  Besides the last time he called, he told me there was important business with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and there still is..  Well that other feller, he's gonna hear from his Granny too.

"If my Barry is too busy to talk with his Granny right now, I wants you to tell him it's a whole lot cheaper to get here than some fancy place like Hawaii.  And I hear tell he been thinkin' bout Hawaii or Chicago for his Presidential library.  That feller he sure done got a big head on his shoulders if he didn't think that library ought to be in the town where him and all his friends grew up.  Now there is friends and family in Cloutierville and a bed at Granny's house.  He could even bunk at the house down the street, my neighbor says; but that's a lot more expensive than stayin' with Granny.  And if he's as good as these other grandbabies around this town, or even some of them up in Natchitoches, and other parts where folks are tryin', he just might get a cupcake."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Learning how to love from children

Interracial couple in Portland, Oregon
"She's going to marry him," she says, Betty is all upset about her daughter Bonnie marrying Boudreaux down the road.  "He ain't like us.  He's Cajun,  and what about the children?"  And I wonder how that liberal gal who says she loves everyone and believes they all is equal can't see what's right in front of her for what it really is.

"Betty, we got this Good Book on the shelf; and sometimes Granny worries that it often isn't read." I tells her cause Betty needs to know what lies ahead.    "That's why I took that book down and read to my grandbabies all around the world every night as they was growing up cause there are problems all the time that happen in our lives.  How we learn to solve them can come from that Good Book.  But you can get some answers too if you just think about how special is all life and how life itself grows even when we think it don't, as our children move right past like their parents they could not.  They is doing it here and even in Oregon where Granny has family too."

"You see those young ones, they don't care like many of the rest of people do.  They see someone they love, and they don't look at colors and those other differences of people in making up their minds.  They make mistakes like their moms and dads, oh Lord, I watched that too.  Still they is growing up in ways that many folks did not.  Remember that Good Book says we all should love like little children do and grow up with that kind of love inside."

"I worry about those children, and I hope you're right, dear Granny," Betty said as she got ready to go back to New York home today.  And Granny knows that somewhere in that time ahead for Betty, those grandbabies she might have will be a way of light for her, as mine have been for this old Granny here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stealing Granny’s name

Zuber Buhler Fritz - The Cherry Thieves

“You can’t cash my check here?  I been shopping here for years,” I told the clerk at Wal-Mart but she tells me somebody may be using my name, and she just has to make sure, since I don’t have the proper identification.

“What’s proper?” I asks her, “Well, something with your picture on it. “ she says, but everyone knows Granny in these parts around Cloutierville and all around the world.  This is silly business, but if folks are stealing my name and using it wrong, well then I just gotta be careful.  But what’s a body to do when she don’t drive and this check business needs my picture.

So Bert he comes right around the corner and says, “You know I’ll vouch for this lady, and here’s my picture and driver’s license too. “  The clerk grumbles, and the manager comes along, some feller from my church who knows his Granny, and he nods and grins as he’s taking care of business.  But that business of using Granny’s name, well that’s a different thing, and I hear tell it happens lots of times.   It’s stealing, that’s what it is.  Stealing from Granny is really being bad.   I hear tell it happens to us old folks quite a bit. 

There’s only one Poke Salad Granny, no matter how many folks might tell you they is me.  You’ll always know me by that pretty dress I’m wearing, but most of all those aprons from my kitchen that remind the world it’s cupcake time again.