Every summer starting when I was little until I was 16 our family visited my grandma Maggie. She was a stout woman who always wore a homemade bonnet. She always made one for my sister and I too...we were thrilled.
She raised 8 children in rural Alabama on a coal miners pay. Added to that was a man who loved to visit the local watering hole after work. She had every reason to stay stressed, but despite all her hardships she kept an amazing sense of humor and fun.
When I was around twelve I was shelling peas outside on the front porch with her and she started telling me a story. It was hot outside and the flies were buzzing around my face so I was not really in the mood for stories but that didn't deter her.
Maggie starts "It was during the cold war that I was in Japan to buy a special kimono. Imagine how scared I was when my own country dropped the fat man on us. Everyone ran for cover and I ended up in a bunker full of liver sausage and two smelly old ladies who were arguing back and forth about who makes the best meat pies. I told them to shut up about their pies, we were in danger! They kept fighting and acting as if I wasn't there. That made me angry so I got up and threw some liver sausage at them. The looks on their faces were hilarious. Then they got up and started throwing back. We threw that meat for fifteen minutes. All of a sudden a child walked in and said everything is ok. I got on a bus back to the U.S.A really quick."
Now I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed but I knew quite a few facts about her story were untrue. But I just smiled at her and walked in to get her a sweet tea.
We were there all weekend and I discovered her fabricated stories were actually creative and funny.
The next day we were shucking corn and I was kind of looking forward to another of grandma's stories. I asked her if she had any more and she said she did. She proceeded to tell me another one.
Maggie "I'll tell you about the time me and my sister hitched a ride on the milk truck (the milkman did not know) and rode to the carnival in town. We didn't have any money to get in so we just scampered under the back fence. We stumbled into a tent that held a lady with a beard. We just stared since we didn't know any ladies with beards. She asked us what was wrong and then she told us she put a hair curse on our faces so by morning we would have beards. That sure scared us, we didn't want beards! We ran from her to a tent with a lion. He was pacing back and forth and growling. The trainer wasn't there so I decided to calm him down. I yelled at him to sit and he sat!! It sure shocked me! The trainer came in and asked what we were doing in there and I told him I trained him to sit. That trainer sure looked surprised. We found out that the carnival didn't open until tomorrow which made us sad but we did want to ride the ferris wheel. We went over there and told the man we would give him half a biscuit for a ride and he said that was a good deal and let us ride. We had fun but it was getting late and the milkman was nowhere around. We saw two motorcycles so we "borrowed" them to get home. We raced each other and was laughing so hard that we didn't see the four cows standing in the road. I hit one and flipped the bike and actually landed right side up. My sister ran over, and said it scared her to death watching me flip over that cow. We decided to leave the bikes and walk home."
Now that story was complete fabrication but it made me laugh. We left the next day and I was kind of sad I couldn't hear another story. But every summer after that she would tell me a story and every story got more outrageous and funny.
I will finish my story with some highlights from hers. The older she got the more her memories were getting mixed up.
She mentioned the one time they had a huge fire from a chicken kicking over the oil lantern and they had to escape the house in their bloomers. Then all the town people built them a house so big she took all day to clean it. Side note: she lived in her cabin until the day she went in the nursing home.
Once she was in the nursing home she called me and told me I had to come get her because they were trying to poison her. She just didn't like the food because she didn't cook it.
OH! Can't end this story without the time she met the aliens at a church picnic. It was a pretty Sunday in May and everyone was down by the lake either talking or fishing because they had just finished a fantastic lunch. Grandma decided to go searching for berries to make some jam. She walked about ten minutes when she heard a beep-beep sound. She went to investigate and saw two green men digging in the dirt. Well, grandma just loved people so she went to see what they were doing. She told them they were having a picnic if they were hungry. They said most people were scared of them so they declined. But they showed her the worms they found and asked her if she wanted to ride on their spaceship and she said it sounded like fun. So, for the next half hour she rode around with them and she said it was the most fun. But when she got back to the picnic, people told her they had been looking for her because she was gone five hours! They did not believe her story.
She went to her heavenly home when she was 99 years old. Her stories grew funnier and maybe their will be a Maggie story two.