Sunday, September 7, 2014

My Grandparents: Oscar Wakefield and Sallie Maud (Minton) Beaman

For a little girl full of energy, with two younger siblings, Mom and Pop's house was my haven. I could, and did, run clothes through the wringer washer, take blankets and sheets outside and make huge "Arabian" tents over the clotheslines, frequently cause volcanoes to erupt in the kitchen, and play with snakes in the yard. They put up with it all, with kindness and patience.

Their house had a wrap-around porch lined with pots of flowers and a swing. I liked nothing better than to set on the swing in the midst of a thunderstorm. Mom would be calling out the window, "Judi Ann, get in this house before you get struck by lightening," or some such. I still love thunderstorms.

Poppy made gravy every morning from bacon grease, canned milk, flour, and coffee. To this day it is by far the best gravy I have ever eaten, and I despair of ever making it myself. On Saturday morning he made silver dollar pancakes, and the contest was to see how many I could eat. I often had "coffee' with my breakfast. It was the most "au lait" coffee ever, and full of sugar. Delicious!

I still remember going grocery shopping with them on Friday. They shopped at the B & B on Fifth Avenue (in Huntington, West Virginia). I know I was very young because I was riding in the seat of the grocery cart. The first row was bread, and at the end of the aisle were boxes of animal crackers. I always had one to eat as I rode around the store. It was a special treat to go shopping downtown on Saturdays. Mom did not leave the house until she was perfectly dressed, always with hat, shoes, and pocketbook to match her outfit, which were stores in the huge chiffarobe in their bedroom.

I have so many wonderful memories of them, although I was not around them for most of my childhood. I had no idea how special they were until I had children of my own. The love they gave me, the patience they had for a busy tom-boy was boundless. Every child should have wonderful grandparents like them.

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