My roots grow strong…and deep

My children often tell me that the reason I love vintage so much is because I AM vintage….but it’s more than that really. I have roots that I happily embrace. Roots that take me back to simpler days…farmland days…sitting and visiting days…tromping through the woods days. No wonder, then, that I embrace things such as…

Old typewriters – like this one that I first learned how to type on and my love of the written word…

Sunset walks through forest woods…

Farm plows, and remembrances of my grandfather smoking his cigar as he walked behind his –

And enamelware washtubs and washboards….for practical use, and for music!

Walk back in time with me to my youth…sometime around age 8. The day is sunny….the wind whistles through the trees…the moss is soft beneath my feet as we tumble from the car barefoot and make our way to her front porch. And there she stands to greet us…the plump woman smelling of warm, baked bread and fried okra…but it was the shoes and rolled down stockings that I think I loved best. As I recall, her ankles were swollen from hot days on hard floors, baking in her kitchen. And oh – the apron. She always wore the apron, and I think she was likely always in the kitchen…baking those amazing apple pies that cooled in her kitchen window. Except maybe on Sundays. This picture was likely taken on that day.

She had a water pump off the back porch where we were allowed to take a sip or wash our hands after playing in the dirt around her home. Don’t misunderstand me…running water had come to her home by the time I was old enough to visit, but the pump remained…as did the ladel for dipping the coolness from the well. No wonder as an adult I wanted this reminder in my own yard….sweetness of days gone by.

My great-grandfather was as slim as my great-grandmother was round. He was, as I recall him, always in what we now call a “wife-beater” undershirt. His was usually wet with sweat, as he had been out on the farmland doing some odd job or another. Always overalls, but on Sunday they were clean and he wore them with a starched white shirt. But truth be told, I remember the twinkle in his eyes the most. My grandfather wore the same twinkle in his…

So those were my great-grandparents on my mom’s side of the family. Sadly, I don’t have memories of my great-grands on my dad’s side of the family. I’m not sure I ever knew them honestly. Best I can remember, they died before I was born.

Now skip forward with me to my grandparents. Growing up as a child of parents who were both “only children”, my grandparents were more like playmates to me. I didn’t have cousins, but we spent every weekend with one or both sets of grandparents. And from both sets, I learned a lot about love, loyalty, laughter and heritage.

This was my Nanny, Dad’s mom. Not until recently did I discover this photo! She was “a looker”…. gorgeous legs, beautiful skin, and always doning the loveliest of shoes! She married my Papaw, a handsome man himself! Papaw spent his career days working for Belk Store Services.

Nanny and Papaw were, to me growing up, the “serious” grandparents. Oh sure, I remember having fun with them….Old Maid card games with Nanny and shoveling mulch in the yard with her as well, gardening with Papaw and being hoisted to his shoulders when we went into the Belk Warehouse after hours to check out the displays that were created that day. But they both had a silly side to them that I didn’t see until after they were gone and I discovered the pictures left behind…

Their love for each other, and for God, was strong. I’m thankful for those roots.

And now for Mom’s parents…Papaw had a dog as a child, served in the Army as a young man, then worked his career around selling commercial kitchen equipment. Nanny worked in the shell factory during WWII, was a fabulous hairdresser as well as an amazing homemaker and golfer in her latter years, not to mention artist! From her I learned my love of crafts and art. They enjoyed the NC mountains with her parents (something I didn’t learn until these pics surfaced!), and they taught me much about laughter, bearing through heartaching situations and about forgiveness.

Roots. We all have them. Some of us don’t get a chance to learn about them. Parents pre-decease us, or adopt us or otherwise neglect to help us know our foundation. Others of us may not appreciate the support those roots have given us. But sooner or later, we all realize that roots are necessary. Think about it. When a tree is uprooted, it falls, and dies. When a plant is uprooted, it does the same. What does that say to me? We need to stay rooted! I have chosen the Root that gives me growth and life….Jesus Christ. If I am not rooted in Him, I die. Literally.

May I be so bold as to ask you to search your heart and discover the roots in your life? The search will be worth the findings and I dare say you will discover something about yourself in the process.

~Blessings,

Connie

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