One of the most amusing things about becoming an "adult" is discovering what you DIDN'T know about those older relatives in your life. Today I was working on a Christmas project for my aunt in the nursing home, which included photos of her mother, whom I called Grandma, so as not to be confused with the one on the maternal side - Memaw. This photo is from my wedding: Memaw [who believed in the same style of house cleaning worshiped by Susan, Radge and myself] is on the left, Grandma is on the right. I always thought of her as the woman who wore men's shirts. When I asked why, she'd say they were more comfortable and she didn't really care about fashion. And yet she made me and my sister the most beautiful, stylish clothes each year for Christmas, right up to high school graduation.
When I was about fourteen, I still had long straight hair, down to my waist. Grandma, a big believer in perms, was always insisting I cut my hair shorter. Or at least curl it some, she would sigh. I remember some lecture about no self respecting young lady wearing her hair that way at my age. Interesting. I remember the day I found this photo...that would be Grandma on the left. I asked her age in the photo. She firmly suggested I go set the table for dinner. I did, but not before I saw a twinkle in her eye at being caught. I now know she was 17, but I'm not sure what they called that half and half style.
I think in my mind I'd decided that Grandma had always been a simple country girl who wasn't comfortable with "newfangled" things, much less fashion. She once confessed that she'd only gone through the 6th grade, quitting school to help work on the family farm. And more than once during my childhood, she would look down at her legs and muse that she didn't have "calves", she had "cows".
Today I found a picture that has forever laid to rest the idea that Grandma didn't have a fashion clue until we, her granddaughters, were born. Hey Grandma, seems you didn't always have "cows" attached to your ankles.