(Originally posted July 28, 2011)
My Granny Sula was a trip, to be sure! It was always so funny to hear her chatting away on the phone with any of her friends, the closest of which were Reba and Lola Mae. She loved getting together with them for regular lunches out and what not. However, Granny was a busy lady, and there were times when even the best of friends had to take a back burner, what with preparing food for neighbors and church brethren who had lost a loved one (“cooking for the dead folks” as Granny would say) or putting up a bushel or two of peas or beans (“Keep shellin’…you’ll be glad you did when the snow is on the ground this winter! And besides, folks will be dying in January and I’ll have to be ready with a dish!”). Like anyone, there are some days when even time spent with the best of friends just isn’t the activity of choice….
One particular incident of this nature has become one of my all time favorite Granny stories.
Barry: “Hey Gran-maw! What’ve you been up to today?
Granny: “Hello there, Grandson! Well, its been a busy one! Just after breakfast, the phone rang, and LORD if it wasn’t Lola Mae. She had some round steak she wanted me to fix for her, and I knew what that meant…if she got over here, she would have spent the day! Now, sometimes I can take her for a day, but this day wasn’t it! Just no way could I handle her coming over and spending the day, so I begged off, but then I had to find something to DO!! So, I called up the funeral home to see if I knew anybody that had died.”
“I called over to the Hanceville Funeral Home, and they hadn’t had anybody brought in yet, but said check back in a few hours. I didn’t have a few hours to sit around and wait on a body to be brought in, –in case Lola Mae drove by and found me home, you know… So, I called up to the funeral home in Cullman, and they had a lady –who if I remember correctly, her daughter went to school with your Mother.”
Barry: “Granny, did you know this lady??”
Granny: “Well, no, but I knew OF her…she lived out in River Bend, not too far from Miss Rachel Whaley. I pass her house on the way to get butter from Miss Rachel, don’t you know. She had been in the community for most of her life I do believe.”
“So, anyway, the funeral was late morning and I had just enough time to get up there before the viewing of the body ended. I put on my good beads, and made it with time to spare!”
Barry: “Well, when you saw the lady at the viewing did she look familiar??”
Granny: “No..not exactly, but I saw some other folks from River Bend at the service. And I would end up sitting next to the grumpiest old lady during the service! She kept griping and complaining about how long the preacher was going on and on… I told her he could preach all day if he wanted, I didn’t have another thing to do! That shut her up, yes it did!”
Then after the service, I got wind that they didn’t have enough hands to help dish up the food for the family after the graveside, so I just went on over to the house and helped dish up the food.”
Barry: “Granny, you did not know this lady –or these people, I’m guessing!”
Granny: “Well, I did when I left!”
Classic Granny! If she wasn’t “cooking food for the dead folks” she was “dishing it up” at the home after the funeral!