In loving memory of Sadie Marie Herald McCoy
08/26/16 - 08/27/95
I remember Mother and the awful time she had with her teeth. Our family couldn't afford dental care and pulled our own teeth. Once, she tied a piece of twine to a loose tooth and tied the other end to the old (handle-less) lawn mower. Her aim was to throw the mower off the porch and yank the tooth out. I always told it on her that she threw the mower off and jumped off after it. I didn't realize then what pain she must have endured due to the pyorrhea.
I remember Mother and the way she rolled her stockings to just below the knee and put the knot inside. Daddy usually shopped for the family shoes and didn't know to go by the width as well as the length; therefore, those of us with wide feet suffered for it. I've seen Mother wear shoes that she had cut in an effort to make them fit better. She would even cut slits in her everyday shoes to allow for the bunions.
I remember Mother and the coy way she laughed when she told what she thought was a "naughty" joke. The one about the Butterball turkey was so bad it was good.
I remember Mother and the fun we all had when we played, "Cow," "Got An Old Hen Ta Sell Ya," and "Poor Old Puss."
I remember Mother as making the absolute best fried corn in all the world and nobody could make short ribs and noodles the way Mother could.
I remember Mother and the way she could make one chicken feed us all. It seemed like she fried everything but the head, tail and feet. Reese liked the back and Cheryl always got the neck. (Cheryl told me recently that the reason she wanted the neck is because nobody else would eat it and she could always be assured of a piece of chicken.)
I remember Mother and gritted bread.
I remember Mother and the way she taught all us girls to sew. I learned a lot from Mother that I still use to this day. I loved that old treadle sewing machine and I now have one of my own, thanks to Luke.
I remember Mother and Delousing Day. Every Saturday, rain or shine, she would take the girls - one after the other in the wash house - and comb and pick until she got every last louse and nit. By Monday evening, we'd be full of them again and she would repeat the process again on Saturday. Years later, she and I were talking about it and wondering why the boys never got lice. We decided it was because of the Brilliantine (hair tonic) they wore. Luke told me the boys in his family wore hair tonic and they never caught lice either - but his sisters did! Mother used DDT on us until it was banned by law.
I remember Mother and the fruit, nuts and candy that "Santa" always brought us. No matter how hard times got, we always had a wonderful Christmas, thanks to Mother and Daddy.
I remember Mother and that blackberry cake she made with the white, fluffy icing. I wish I had the recipe but I don't think she even used one. I can still almost taste that cake.
I remember Mother and those horrible pancakes that we couldn't get enough of! I also remember that, on cold nights, Mother would make Jell-O in a half-gallon jar and leave it on the back porch for breakfast the next morning. It tasted so good with a little canned milk and a sprinkle of sugar.
I remember Mother and the hamburgers with the small, thin patties. They were so good. So were the potted meat sandwiches and Kool-Aid. (Since I found out what's in potted meat, I haven't been able to eat a bite of it.)
I remember Mother when she bought a car and was determined to drive it…and did! She wouldn't get a license because she said she knew more about driving a car than anybody. And besides, she could "drive" the riding mower, couldn't she?
I remember Mother and the panties we always bought each other for Christmas. The last time I saw her, I slipped her a twenty-dollar bill and told her to buy some red panties with lace on them.
I remember Mother riding with Daddy on the lawn tractor.
I remember Mother and the coffee breaks we took. Even though I didn't (and still don't) drink coffee, it was good to sit and talk with her while she sipped and crocheted.
I remember Mother picking those little wild strawberries in the hot air for hours on end and making jam out of them.
I remember Mother and moving day. Mother was the most disorganized mover I've ever seen and helping them move was a big hassle, but worth it. It seemed like it was only a day or two before she had everything in its place.
I remember Mother and the way she stood at the end of the driveway, with tears in her eyes, and waved good-bye the last time I saw her. That's the way I still remember her today and the way I want to always remember her.
Kathleen McCoy Eldridge©
March 14, 2009
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