[guestpost]Summer can be a time for rich memory making. Randy’s memories can inspire you to think about what memories you are and aren’t creating for your children. Sometimes, we’re so concerned with doing things for our children, that we don’t do enough with them. And, have you told them about your grandparents and those even older? Pull up a chair, grab a piece of pie, and talk. Speaking of pie, if there was a “food smart” it appears Randy’s Aunt Ruby and Great Granny Sallie Mae had it. Warning – you may be hungry after reading this. I’m craving a juicy peach – in or out of a pie. – Kathy[/guestpost]

When my Great Aunt Ruby passed away in 2006 it was heart-breaking news. She was a sweet soul here on Earth, an blessing to our family, and I miss her.

Aunt Ruby married my Great Uncle Boochie (Boochie is a name of endearment) who was the son of my Great Grandmother Sallie Mae. They lived with Sallie Mae. Uncle Boochie was a police officer and died relatively young from a heart attack. My Aunt Ruby definitely was a modern example of the Biblical figure of Ruth. In the Bible Ruth stayed with Naomi, her mother-in-law, out of loyalty and in the humility of service even after her husband passed. Unlike Ruth, Aunt Ruby was never to re-marry. She stayed and lived with my Great Grandmother until Great Granny passed away. It was only then that Aunt Ruby moved out on her own.

In the Bible Ruth says to Naomi in Ruth 1:16, “… I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Aunt Ruby lived with my Great Grandmother, believes in Jesus and was buried next to Uncle Boochie, Sallie Mae, Irene and Evelyn.

I grew up visiting Great Granny’s (Sallie Mae’s) house. The house was in the hills of Middle Tennessee. It was on a slope and had been built by my Great Great Grandfather’s hands. Sallie Mae was born, raised, and lived her entire life in that house. Indians had also lived on that land, Confederate and Union soldiers had crossed over and fought in and around that area. Her house had only known fresh air and lots of homemade cooking. The rickety wood porch had sturdy but oddly dangerous porch swings. The three concrete steps down into the yard was home base for our chase driven games.

Ruby and Sallie Mae were always doing something. Cooking, sewing, crocheting … shucking corn…whatever it is you always had to do to food. They were also into mowing the yard with a pretty steep slope. They mowed that thing with a push mower all the way up into their late years.

They were tough ol’ women. Aunt Ruby was the only one who could tame the meanest dogs ever to be let loose on the earth. I was one of five great grandchildren (great nephews and nieces to Aunt Ruby) and I remember being told that those mean dogs would EAT me if I got anywhere near them.

I was afraid to even look at those dogs. One had been Uncle Boochie’s police dog. They might eat children but we were all assured that they protected Great Granny and Aunt Ruby.

So that made them ok … barely.

Some other memories, great holiday meals where Sallie Mae and Ruby made the best food ever…from scratch. I remember standing in awe knowing that they actually killed their own chickens and turkeys.

That was SO cool to me as a kid and my inner kid still thinks it is cool.

They made me my own chocolate pie every holiday. I remember my cousins as babies crawling on the floor to later years of squealing and game playing outside. I remember running with my cousins Brit, Julee, Jennifer and my brother Jimmy all around that yard, banging through the screen doors, completely filthy exhausted and checking for ticks at the end of the day .

Yes, I said ticks … it was the boonies people … lot’s of ticks.

I remember the slope of the kitchen floor. I remember the HUGE feather beds on iron frames. The beautiful vanities and cupboards. I remember feeling warm and safe in that house and some of my favorite memories were from when I would help wash the dishes in the water basins, looking up at Sallie Mae wondering where all her teeth went.

I even remember Uncle Boochie eating peaches on the front porch. I thought he was the strongest man ever. One time he let me ride a wild horse they caught in the “city” (more like a “town” at the time) he was an officer in and well… it was wild. It bucked my little body right off it’s back within half a second but good ol’ Uncle Booch hadn’t taken his hands off me once. I didn’t fall but I also don’t think we told Mom either.

And Mom, if you read this … well … it happened but I was fine :)!

Aunt Ruby was a very meek and quiet lady. She didn’t say much but I will never forget her cute laugh. As long as I have known Aunt Ruby she couldn’t hear worth a lick. You always talked loud to Aunt Ruby and most of the time she would get it. If she didn’t she would usually say something completely out of left field with a cute nod of the head or smile. If you were around she was always trying to make you feel comfortable. I can remember her hugs when I was just a little bitty kid and later as an adult looking down on her white hair.

She was always safe and kind.

As I remember Aunt Ruby’s impact on my life, I always end up thinking about her standing before the Lord and Him taking her into a loving hug, wiping any tears she has away as the glow of heaven’s light reflects in her eyes. I like to think that our family who are already there came to welcome her as they rejoice in the Light of eternity. It’s a comfort to think of Uncle Booch welcoming her into eternity, Sallie Mae, Evelyn, Irene, Uncle O…all of them laughing in reunion.

I miss you Aunt Ruby but thanks to the Lord, I will see you again.

If you’d like to read more of Randy’s writings click here to visit his personal blog.