Sunday, April 28, 2013

Granny tells Gordie how politics should be like baking cake

"Granny, are you liberal or conservative?  You are always talking about taking care of folks and the Good Book, but what about your politics?"  I shook my head, cause lots of folks don't know bout cake and politics.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Granny welcomes 'foreigners' to Cloutierville, as history in a quilt

Delia is so angry, and I tries to get her to calm down, but she just shakes her fist while we is putting the quilt together for the church raffle on Sunday.  "Them foreigners.  They is the ones making the trouble and why we can't get jobs as much, and then they is always taking from the rest of us, so we got to keep them out."

I looked at Delia and smiled, just a little, since smiling too much just makes her angrier.  "We was all foreigners in America,"  I told her.  "Your family came from France and settled here in Cloutierville.  My folks did too, and so did Aunt Sue's folks.  And then there are folks who came from England and other parts like that.  Some came when they got no choice, cause people put them in chains and dragged them here.  Only your neighbor, Chief Daniel, has folks that's always been from these parts.  But even he told me his people long, long ago came from somewhere else."

I gets worried so much talk these days about foreigners, not just in Cloutierville, but everywhere it seems, people worried about outsiders taking over.

"I don't like them," Delia said.  "They is moving into my neighborhood and taking over the school.  Then they gets pushy at the grocery store, thinking they're better."

I lifted up my end of the quilt I been working on and said to Delia, "See this quilt here.  Not one patch is like the other.  I got these patches, some from your little dress years ago, and I kept a little of it for later.  Then there is Bea's blouse she was giving away, but I got it at the rummage sale and there's a big part of it in this quilt.  That's like Cloutierville is, like folks is everywhere.  We are like this quilt.  Some of those patches look like they won't fit with another one, but turns out when we're done with the quilt, it's always prettier than the last.  It takes all these patches, different sizes and shapes and colors, and our hands with our stitching, loving each piece, to make a quilt that folks think is beautiful.  And the Good Book tells us, " 'She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands' so folks been doing this a long, long time, and maybe we is told all that so we understand how we is all like that quilt, in the way we can fit together. 

God makes us folks just like we make quilts." I sees Delia smile a little, looking up from her needlework, so I knows she heard me.

Sunday comes after church, and I sees Delia in the big room where we is having the raffle.  She is buying that quilt we all made together, and I hear her say.  "I need that quilt to give to my new neighbor, who just moved here from Guatemala cause it's a kind of welcome to Cloutierville, where all of us were strangers once and now we all is friends."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Granny speaks about Dzhokhar, her grandchild after all

Bombing at the Boston marathon, 2013, wikimedia commons
Byron rushed in after running down the street, into the house here asking, "Granny, I am so mad at Dzhokhar.  Bet you don't like him either.  He isn't one of us, is he?"

Sometimes Granny has to think a minute cause this is an important question.  After all, Byron is only 13 years old and asks a lot of questions.  And he also likes to talk a lot and tells everybody what he thinks.  When he gets mad, sometimes he uses his fists at school, and his teachers send me a note.  But he is asking about something really bad about Dzhokhar.

"Granny hurts right now.  Yes Dzhokhar is my grandchild too, and so he is in this family.  And he will get his scoldings and people are mad.  They should be mad, cause killing people and bombing and hurting them so bad is the worst thing you can do.  I am angry he did bad things, but he still is someone Granny loves regardless, even though it gets real hard when somebody does something so bad, it keeps me up at night.  It keeps me worrying about those people hurting.  And it keeps me up wondering why Dzhokhar would want to hurt people in a place where he was living and a place that gave him a life to live free also.  But sometimes we don't know why people do the bad things that we do.  Remember lots of your friends said he was a good boy, so we don't know now what happened that made Dzhokhar do such bad things."

"Well, I wish he was right here in front of me, right now.  Byron was really angry and shaking his fist.  "I would get my BB gun and shoot him in the face.  I would get my friends at school to hit him hard too, he deserves to get what he did to other people."

"I know you feel that way, " I said to Byron, knowing how hard it is to understand and think about how bad things make people get angry, so angry they want to hurt back.  But often that hurt goes on and on and on, and there's no stopping it.  One side does something bad, and people want to get even.  Then the other side starts throwing rocks and saying bad things back, and it keeps going on and on.  Besides, Granny knows people want the answers right away and sometimes I don't have them and mostly people don't know either, sometimes for awhile.  We need to wait awhile.  But you getting so angry and stayin' that way isn't good for you, cause when folks stay angry, most times they can't think straight."

"How can you love someone like that?"  Byron said.  And Granny wonders too sometimes, cause loving someone who does awful things is really very hard.  But Granny learned from the Good Book that loving and forgiving is what makes us what we need to be, if we are to do what the Man Upstairs told everybody else we have to do, the hardest thing of all.

"When someone is different in the way they act, or look, and when they don't seem to be like everybody we know that's trying to do good, well then it's hard to love them.  It's hard for Granny too.  But the Man Upstairs is the one I listen to in my heart, cause Granny is supposed to be for everyone and to love just like He told.    It's the hardest thing to do, but it's Rule #1 that really makes us strong and living like we supposed to live, like we try to do in Cloutierville."  I'm watching Byron, knowing he's wondering about that and whether it makes sense to him, and know it might not now, but one day it might be what he really needs inside.  Cause the world has lots of crazy things, and things that hurt a long, long time, but growing up means listening to that little voice inside, the Man Upstairs put there for us, to remind us of The Rule..

I watch my grandchild Byron scowl and leave the house, shaking his head and thinking bout what Granny said today.  Granny has to think about it too, cause she needs reminding like everyone else and sometimes feels alone when folks get angry hearing what she says about these things like that.  But that's what the Man Upstairs once said would really be hard to do, and so Granny just keeps trying to keep the family to be still awhile and listen to that little voice that everybody has, cause that's the voice that really makes us like we need to be.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Laugh a lot and cry when you need to, says Granny

"What happened to you, Dennis?" I asked my big tall grandson, whose all growed up and got his own babies.  But he isn't going to get away with hiding something from me.

"Nothing much," he said.  "But I could see his face was all screwed up and red and his eyes were wet and his hands kept moving around.

"Just had a little operation, some gall bladder stuff, but nothing to worry about.  I can handle.  I'm not the kind to complain."  Dennis looked away, and I could see he was hiding something.

"You is hurting, aren't you?"  He nodded his head no, but I can always tell when my Dennis trying to act like a man but isn't doing it smart or right.

"Well, a little, okay a lot, you know I can't lie to you, Granny.  But don't tell Mable Sue, my wife, cause she will get all worried and stuff, and I'm the man of the house, you know."  Dennis used to say that all the time when he was little and cried when he fell down or got hurt somewhere, so he ain't fooling me.   And Mable Sue, she knows too."

So I tells him, "You know you should laugh as much as you can.  And cry when you need to.  That's how I got old, and that's how you'l live a long time too..  When you hurting, say so and don't be afraid to say something, and even cry.  Go ahead.  You can right here, cause you know I is a safe place, but there's lots of people who knows what pain is and if you want to be a really big man you can let your men friends know what you been feeling and maybe they'll talk about their hurtin' too.  Cause you fellers don't, and that's the trouble.  We lose too many good men just because they don't cry when they need to and laugh as much as they can."

Dennis smiled, just a little, then leaned over and gave me a hug, "Sure Granny, but you know me.  It's tough to do all that."  And I know he's tough, but he'll be a lot stronger if he does what I just said.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Why do bad things happen to good people, Granny answers

A rat can be a bad thing, but sometimes it does good
"Granny, granny, are you watching television?"  I put down my knitting and looked up, and there was little Teddy with tears running down his face, scared looking.  Something told me this was important cause my Teddy doesn't come running like that and with that way of looking that said to me something bad had happened.

"You turn it on, my child, "I said to him, "You know where the buttons are, and sometimes these old eyes don't work so good."  But my heart was working, knowing that thing that's bad was probably making lots of people worry.

Then I saw those pictures and took Teddy on my lap.  He's only six and not too big to sit on my lap, but he sometimes says he is.  But today, he's just that little child again, with his head on my shoulder and the tears just running down his cheeks.

It was a bomb, the television said.  Things happen sometimes a surprise, but these babies they don't understand, and even us grownups don't either.  So I knows that even Teddy's mama is trying to figure out how to explain to Teddy why bad things happen to his friends and to good people.

So I says to Teddy, what I want all my babies to know right now and as long as they are living, cause bad things do happen.  That's the way life is.  And they happen sometimes as a surprise, and we don't understand.  Even Granny, she don't always understand, but it's the time to give a hug to someone, just to remind us that there are good things too that make us smile, even as bad things make us cry.

"Sometimes there is things we don't understand and sometimes we won't ever.  Cause people they is different.  They can do things that hurt themselves or other people.  Maybe they is angry.  Maybe they been hurt too much, but it don't excuse them either.  What we can do is know that sometimes after something bad happens, something good can come along.  We learn from one another, and sometimes it's the hurting that also helps us grow, even though we can't know it right now. "

Teddy looks at me with wide eyes.  He doesn't understand a bombing in Boston anymore than he understands the death of a bird outside that falls to the ground after flying high.  And even a rat can be good or bad, so people do bad things and may do good things too.  And others just do mostly bad.  So I says to him, "That question you ask is something lots of people wonder about.  Asking the question helps us look for answers to pain and hurt and things like that.  Even getting hurt, falling down and scratching your knee, well that is pain, and you would think it's just bad.  But if you didn't feel that pain, maybe you would jump off the roof of your house and really hurt yourself.  You don't cause you learn it could really be bad."

And that question,  it helps us take care of people better, just the asking, and taking care of ourselves better too.  So you keep asking cause maybe one day you will be the one who stops the hurting of lots of people by doing something good."

I don't know what Teddy really understands, but children they look for answers when they has questions.  Granny hopes he always asks the question, so he grows up and finds the answers for himself.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Granny advises what to do when you see someone getting hurt

"Granny, I saw her hittin' and kickin' this little tiny girl she was with at the park.  I think she was the girl's mama, so I didn't say or do anything.  But it made me unhappy.  I didn't know if I did the right thing. "

Poor Susan.  She's only seven years old.  But Granny wants her to know the right thing, cause when she grows up, she'll remember.

"My precious Susan," I know you feelin' bad right now.  Actually Susan was crying when she told me what had happened.  "Next time you see something like that, when you are little yourself, tell some adult nearby about it.  Ask them to tell one of the people in charge."

Susan said, "But Granny, some people I hear say stuff like that is none of my business."

Well Granny knows that some folks say they is too busy, or they don't pay attention, or they got better things to do, or they don't want to get hurt or have to do something that might make someone else angry, but Susan, she is little.  It's been going on for a long time, even people watching from their windows seeing someone getting killed and not doing nothing about it.

I want Susan to know that Cloutierville and La Grande and little towns like that, where people know each other, can be easier for everybody.  Still even then it happens everywhere, people---grown ups and children---getting hurt somewhere; and some folks watching and not doing anything.  But that don't make it right.

"When you stand and watch someone getting hurt and don't tell anyone who can do something about it and just walk away and don't care, well that can make you as bad as the person doing the hurting.  Sometimes it will be hard to do, but like I told you, sweet Susan, God is watching you all the time and watching what happens to others.  He protects folks Himself, but He sometimes needs our help."

Susan smiled, just a little, then came over and gave me a hug.  "Granny, I needed some hugging now cause I was feeling so bad, but now I know what to do next time.  And I know who I'll be helping."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Granny tells President Obama: Get your hands off my money!

"You're in trouble with me, Barry.  I wantmy money back you getting your hands on now, that's what me and a lot of people gave the government; and now we is going to be in big trouble.  But you gonna have trouble with me first.

If you think you got trouble, now, just wait until I get my hands on you.  No, Barry you ain't better than any other of my grandkids, even though you is the President.  Yes I still love you, but I want you to know that I is your Granny; and that's pretty important, like everybody knows.  So you better listen.

See that woodshed out there.  You know where that is.  It's for folks who don't listen to Granny and just keep on doing something I don't like.  And taking money that don't belong to the government when all those rich folks still driving their fancy cars and living in their fancy houses, that riles me up, and we is poor and getting poorer, now that ain't fair.  You said you tried to fix all that?  Well, try harder, cause there's lots of places to get money so you don't have to take mine and my friends money, especially when your people said there was enough to go around for us old folks for a long time.  For a lot of us that's all we got.

Us old folks and people who don't get around well and little children are the ones getting hurt.  You know that?  And those rich folks they ain't been helpin'.  No, charity does not begin at home either, cause lots of old folks can't get help from their children cause some don't have any and lots of their children  are gettin' too poor too.

You're too busy to talk to me?  Listen Mr. President Barack Obama, you ain't never too busy for me, you hear me?  Korea is bad, and I told Kim Jung-Un he's in big trouble with me.  That's no excuse for you not listening either.

That money, Social Security, well I don't get much, my being a pecan nut picker most all my life; and that's what I got to live on like lots of other folks.  And you ain't gonna get those Republicans to go along with anything more, so why are you still trying?  Remember I told you to stand up for what you believe.  You always worrying about being liked when you got business to do.  Yes, I know you want people to like you, but what's going to happen when you have to set out in that woodshed or get eaten up by that alligator in the yard?  Then you be no good to anybody."

Barry, he keeps butting in; but it's time for him to just sit back and listen and understand this Granny, cause the next time I ain't just talking.  He'll be in that woodshed until I'm pushing up daisies.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Granny's advice on post-partum depression and times of feeling sad

"Granny, I've been feeling so sad, I just can't stop crying sometimes.  My Bill keeps saying, "We have such a sweet baby, and I just don't understand what's got into you?"  And I gave her this advice.

I told Ginny Faye , "You see most new mamas go through this feelin' sad.  After all, you had a baby, and babies change things.  Remember you got bigger and felt different.  That's what happens with us women when we is having babies.  Then afterward we feel tired a lot, cause there's a lot more to do when those babies come along.  And then inside, things are different too.  I don't understand all the big words those doctors use, but I do know those things happen."

"But how am I going to get through all this?  I get so tired and cranky and Bill says he can't take it. "

Poor Ginny Faye, this is her first little one.  She is just a baby herself, not even 17 years old.  Then the feller she's living with lost his job last week.  Oh mercy me, it troubles this old heart to see how these young'uns get into a fix like this, cause back in my day, the whole family was around to help out.    Then there's those changes goin' on inside her, she don't understand.  I didn't understand either, but after a couple of babies, then you find out why you feel different like that."

So I tells her.  "First you got to eat right, cause I know sometimes you running around and forget to eat when you should.  Happens to old people too, and they gets sad like that.  So eat your vegetables, and don't eat all that fried meat and all, even though it takes real good, this isn't the time for that.  And have your breakfast, and all your meals.  Don't skip them."

Get outside and start moving around a little.  Get yourself some sunshine, even just a little, cause that can help too.  It will make you feel better, like when I went back picking pecans a little bit after that first baby I had.

And that Bill, if he ain't working, he ought to be helping you.  Ask him, and then talk to his folks a bit.  I know his mother Mary would want the two of you to be okay and she's happy about her grandbaby too.

Then come over and talk to me, cause talkin's gonna help.  Granny will give you a hug too, and you know how good you said you felt the last time Granny gave you one."

I hear Sally on the other end of the phone and she says, "Granny, can I bring the baby over just a little while, to get a little rest and talk a bit?  I already feel much better."

That's what Grannys they is for, those things that happen every day and those things that happen in the world that Granny has to do, but taking care of my babies with those hugs and love right here is the best thing this old woman can do to keep on going too.  Cause all the creatures of the earth, including the birds,  need love, especially when they're little or feeling sad sometimes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Granny speaks of guns and The Rules

"Where do you live now, Granny?"  People they is always wondering.  Cloutierville, Louisiana a is where I growed up and learned my lessons and where my babies everywhere got to visit and get their loving.  But I live everywhere folks need me, since God watches me like he sees you; and I'm just doing what I been told.   Folks ask me if I don't need protection and whether I take a gun; so here's what I want you to know about that.

I got my eyes going and my ears popping since there is so much going on in the world, it gets hard to be everyplace at once, but that's why mamas have eyes in the backs of their heads and seem to know what's going on. I know people they is talking about having their guns to keep them safe, with all kinds of stuff going on.

In Cloutierville, I used to wait with my mama when them fellers came home after hunting to get us food for the winter.  Papa would bring home a pile of meat, and we would put it in the freezer and with the fresh vegetables my own mama and grandma canned and put in the pantry for winter, we never had much shopping to do.  They used guns to get that meat, then locked those guns away in a closet us kids couldn't get into.

And my Daddy didn't call his hunting a sport.  He just called it hunting, like he called fishing just fishing.  Guess he knew the difference between baseball and killing animals, and he took his chances with his friends, and my uncles, and didn't have guns with lots of bullets in them to shoot all at once.  Still every year those men got their deer, and every year we ate that food.

For Granny, food is one thing and babies are something else.  I guess some people just do what they want to do, and I ain't one to make their rules, cause there's good ones already made.  But I brought my babies up to love each other, and this old woman can't figure out why anyone would want to kill somebody, since we ain't eating people.  And when I go everywhere folks need me, and even at home, I got folks getting paid for helping me be safe.  Besides even though my Daddy taught me how to shoot, if I was sleeping someplace I don't think I could shoot as fast as someone wide awake looking at me first.

Granny's job is just to love and help her babies be safe.  Sometimes that means some scolding, and sometimes just a hug.  And what I believe  is hugging more and shooting less will makes us all more happy, just like in those small towns where I grew up.   Cause the rules made in the Good Book are the ones I think are best.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bad boy Kim Jong-Un of North Korea gets Granny riled

나 한테 물건을 가리 키지, 김정일을 취소하면 젊은 위퍼 스 내퍼! 당신은 문을 유지하고거기서 종료, 나는 전화전화를 유지. 당신은보다 농구 선수, 데니스로드 만을 볼 수없는 경우 당신은 좀 더 나를 위해 문을 엽니 다. 당신은, 작은 아저씨 말 듣고. 이건 장난이 아니야 없습니다. 당신은 다른 아이들좋은 행동 할 수 없어,하지만 난 그들이 whup 당신이 좋은 의 원인, 당신은 그들과 다른 문제에 휘말리고 싶지 않아요. 당신의 뒤편 먼저 모를까. 그럼 당신이 수정 나가고 싶다면 네가 들어 오기 정말 알고 있기 때문에 내가 영어로 말할하게  

 Don't point that stuff at me, Kim Jong-un, you young whipper snapper!  You been keeping your door shut over there, and I keep calling and calling.  If you can see some basketball player, Dennis Rodaman, than you better open the door for me.  You hear me, little mister.  This is no joke.  You never were able to behave nice with the other kids, but I don't want you to get in trouble with them, cause they could whup you good.  Unless I get your backside first.

I remember your daddy, he was always misbehaving too.  Threatening like you doing now and making people upset.  What's the matter with your family anyway?  I told you when you was little, walking past the house, sticking out your tongue, pointing fingers and telling everybody you was going to throw rocks, that sticks and stones might break those bones, but those silly words ain't gonna hurt anybody.  But then you better not throw any big rocks, cause some of your friends around you, or some you been threatenin, got boulders.

No, I am too tired to listen to you argue with me either.  And stop throwin' tantrums.    I just don't know what you're thinking.

Do you? Think that is.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Granny reminds Charlene be careful what you say and write cause it can hurt you later

Charlene, my poor grandbaby.  There she goes again.  That word "fuck" is in every sentence, and I just read what she said about her new boyfriend.  I told her when she was young girl not to say or do anything she wouldn't want to see on the front page of a newspaper, but her and a bunch more of my grandbabies keep doing things I worry about will hurt them later on..

I see people putting up people putting up videos on that Net place,  showing women's private parts or them all tied up and naked, young people talking about making love and writing everything about it all over the place.  Then I sees this one picture with a woman looking real mean and holding an assault rifle pointed so it looked like it was coming right at me, and then words that said everyone should do what they want and have freedom. I see and hear all sorts of things like that.   And I worry cause when you write something down it's gonna stick.  And even when you just say stuff, it can come back and hurt you later.

This old granny loves all her babies and is proud of them all, so I just like seeing them do things that make this old heart smile.  Like sing and paint and write and love and be happy.   And remember if it ain't making me and a whole lot of other people smile, then maybe what you do just do it for yourself cause the rest of us want to remember that good we like in you.