My Memaw knew a lot. She wasn’t particularly book-smart—I think she completed 8th grade—but she knew little, important things. How to keep my ballet recital costume from unravelling. How to french braid and how to do a french twist. How to make awesome fried chicken, and tuna croquettes, and dozens of other wonderful foods. How to grow an avocado plant from a pit. How to grow plants in general.
About plants: Memaw definitely had a green thumb. Not in that Jerry Baker sort of way, though; he knows all sorts of bizarre tips and tricks for keeping your plants and lawn green and healthy, like spraying it with a solution of dish soap and beer and ammonia and some other household chemicals. Memaw had the other kind of green thumb, the kind where she had only to stick a plant in soil (or in water first, to root it), then water it (from the bottom, always), and poof. Big, healthy plants. Or so I remember, anyway… I was still kind of young when Memaw’s plant collection was in its heyday.
(Funny, isn’t it, how we never seem to take pictures of everyday things, like our living room… but, years later, we find ourselves trying to remember details that we once thought we’d never forget. Like how many plants sat in our windowsill in Apartment A-13 when I was 7 years old.)
Anyway, I wish I’d been able to ask her about more of the little, important things. As I got older, and as she got older, I did write her letters and ask her about some of the little things. How to make tuna croquettes (which I still haven’t attempted). How many different jobs she held, and where she worked (which I wish I’d written down, but I was in the car on the way to BG). And my Mom gave me the recipe for meatballs that Memaw had gotten from the Italian girl that worked with her at Bix’s Restaurant.
How to grow plants, though… if she had a secret, I wish I could have learned it. I do well enough, and I certainly *have* enough, but sometimes I wonder. I think I managed to inherit some of that green thumb, but… you know.
Sometimes I miss her.
Next Friday, I’ll be participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Bowling Green. If you’d care to sponsor me, you can donate online all next week, until the event. Donations are, of course, tax-deductible, and will forward the fight against cancer.
Someday, I hope someone else gets more time to ask their own Memaw the questions I didn’t.