Bits and Pieces
This old 'bucket' is actually a wooden ice cream churn base. Grandaddy (paternal) brought it to me when Amie and Samuel were little. He was a bit of a barterer and loved flea markets, auctions, and such. He'd have really enjoyed the current Peaches to Beaches yard sale. He brought Samuel a red rocking chair when he was a year old that I'm saving for when he has his first child. *and four years later I will add that Samuel now has a little boy who loves sitting in his rocker.
Originally this was a working ice cream churn and we used it. I had an annual Fourth of July cookout and friends knew that ice cream was always on the menu. The churn was electric and once upon a time it was more blue than it is now. The last time we used this churn it quit mid churning on what proved to be a fairly rotten July 4th. We had a guest who tagged along with others who were actually invited and she was the sort of guest you just dislike intensely by the time they are headed home. She complained about the lack of fireworks at Andersonville Prison (it was a very dry summer so no fireworks allowed), complained about the food, the noise the kids made, the heat, and flung a fit (which means she forgot to mind her manners!) when the ice cream churn stopped churning.
I couldn't bear to put the old churn away so we've used it for a wastebasket ever since. This past year the wire bands that hold it together (the boards are tongue and groove) loosened. I showed it to John and told him how sad I'd be to have to get rid of it after all this time. One afternoon he sat down with it and fixed it for me.
It was the last thing that Grandaddy gave me. He died of lung cancer when Samuel was 18 months old...
Grandaddy was born in the area where he died, though he lived in many other places in between those years of living. He had three sisters and three (?) brothers...I'm not up on my family history on that side at the moment. The family were all good humored, fun loving folks. Grandaddy did enjoy pulling your leg and he'd do so with a perfectly straight face right up until he 'gotcha'.
When he was a young man he went to work with the CCC and ended up working on a project in Six Mile, South Caroline which is where he met my grandmother. She was a young girl, quite young, but they married and he took her home where they shared a house with first a brother and sister in law and later with his sister and brother in law.
Grandaddy was a busy sort of person, but not in a hurried sort of way. He retired from the civil service and yet he worked right on, keeping a fruit stand on I-75 most summers during peach season and in winter he managed to stay busy enough. I could tell you all sorts of things about him but the most important to me was that Grandaddy shared family history. It was through him I heard about our family roots, all the way back to Ireland.
He also loved older things and was always bringing home a ragged old piece of furniture which he'd refinish. And he bartered and traded as I said earlier and he farmed keeping cows and chickens and gardening.
Another thing he dearly loved was to get out and ride the back roads (taking the long cut I call it). I have to say, I got that habit from him...
For various reasons we didn't get to see a whole lot of Grandaddy and Grandmama but we never doubted his pure affection for us. He always had quarters in his pocket for us. I remember when we had to break it to him that a quarter would no longer buy us a coke and candy bar. Next time he came to the house he had TWO quarters for each of us, lol. One day he showed up at the house with a huge carton that contained boxes and boxes of assorted Little Debbie cakes. We had a Little Debbie cake every day after school for what seemed like months. Another time he brought us gopher turtles which he'd put in a big box of dirt. We kept them on the screened in back porch until he told us it was time to let them go so they could hibernate for the winter. Most all of our dogs came via him or his brothers. Our family was most definitely a dog family and Grandaddy felt a house without a dog just wasn't a home.
I remember the day we were riding to pick up barbecue, just me and grandaddy, which was a rare thing. I think I must have gone up to visit my grandparents with just the kids that day. For the most part he preferred male company with him unless all the women were going along, too. He told me then that he had a funny sort of pain in his ribs and pointed to the spot. He said he had a feeling he'd put off going to the doctor too long and he was right. He had. It was cancer and had pretty much taken over. The doctor's didn't recommend operating.
He was buried at the same church where his brothers and sisters were buried, out in the country, with pretty stone walls surrounding the graveyard. There was a man plowing a field across the road and I was watching the spume of soil flow from behind the tractor. When he swung back around to plow the next swath, he saw the graveyard was full of people and stopped his tractor, removed his hat and waited until the service was over before going on with his work. I thought how much grandaddy would have enjoyed just standing there on the hill looking out over that field in all it's seasons. It was a fit resting place I think.