Monday, July 18, 2005

My Grandparents

My grandfather, had he not died in 1998, would have been 103 on July 20th. I've been thinking about he and my grandma Fisher a lot these past few weeks. About all they lived with and through during their lifetimes.

My grandfather Fisher was not a big man but he was the most honest and intelligent man I knew. His most remarkable physical feature was his hair. As long as I knew him he had a full head of silvery hair and always had his trusty pipe and wore overalls. Grandma was short and round and almost always wore house dresses with an apron tied around her waist. They were so very wise and managed to keep us out of a heap of trouble during the years we lived with them on their farm.

Their lives spanned the time of the greatest technologcial improvements the world has ever seen. They were both born within a little more than decade of when their parents pioneered in Oklahoma in the late 1880's when the Fishers went west in a covered wagon . Towards the end of her life, Grandma took her first trip by jet airplane to visit family and lived to see man land on the moon and the invention of computers. They lived the depression era, the one we only know about from TV. When my grandmother married, women were not even allowed to vote in the U.S. They were both 10 years old when the Titanic sailed her first and last voyage.

My grandfather told me after purchasing a John Deere lawn mower, " Sister, there was a time when I could have bought a couple of new pick-up trucks for what I paid for that thing", and he was right, in 1915, when he was forced to be, due to the death of his father, the man of his family, a new Model T could be had for $345 of his hard earned dollars. He could also buy a gallon of milk for just a few cents but there was little need for that when he or grandma could walk out to the barn and get it fresh from the cows.

My grandparents were in their late 60's before they ever lived in a house with indoor plumbing. I still recall how good and cold the water was that came from the old pitcher pump in the back yard. I can remember pumping many a bucket of that water on wash day too. I was around 10 or so when the phone company put phone lines out to the farm and they got their first phone. They were on a party line and only answered the phone when it rang 2 long, and 1 short rings. Other wonderful memories are of being snuggled under a load of grandma's handmade quilts on cold winter nights and taking cool baths in the old, galvanized wash tub out by the pump in the summertime at dusk.

I guess city folks would think it was a hard life but I remember such good and happy times during the years I lived on that farm with my grandparents. I was most fortunate that they lived to see me grown and with children of my own for them to cuddle. Both of my grandmothers worked harder and longer than any other women I've ever known so I reckon I learned from them that honest work never killed a soul. I'm certain that I'll never be the woman they were though, and I don't believe I'll ever meet or know as honest or hard working a man as my grandfather was.


Sally said...

It's wonderful you have such great memories of grandparents who set an example for you to live by. Yes, I can relate to much of what you wrote about - the water pump, baths in the tub, no telephone or indoor plumbing.

Between you and Wanda (the new picture on her blog this morning), you've both got me on a trip down memory lane. People don't realize these days Ms. Brenda how good they have it when it comes to "luxuries", but, really the way of life back in the days you wrote about were simple, hard, yes, but everything was appreciated; every little thing. Good and happy times; I'm so glad you had them to conjure up and share with us.

Maria said...

This takes me back in time, I don't remember my grandparents, but my parents
had lived very much the same life as your grandparents. My father was 5 years old when Titanic went down, and my mom was born a year later. I remember the days with outdoors bathroom, taking a bath in loundry tub.......
Yes, life was hard, simple, but we were all happy.
It is a beautiful post, thank you for
sharing with us.

cassie-b said...

What wonderful memories. I grew up with much more urban grandparents. My grandmother never left the house without gloves and a hat. She really wasn't much of an influence on my life at all.

I think I like your way better.

Cal said...

Nice post, Brenda.

Special K said...

That was a sweet entry, darling.

Joan said...

That sure takes me back. Sounds like your grandparents were very special people.

I still remember taking baths in the old wash tub. If you were lucky you were first one in, if not, well.. the water was a little murky second time around.

wanda said...

Your Grandfather sounds a lot like mine. Except for the overalls. I never saw my pawpaw in overalls except on the days he was doing his 'repairs'. My grandmother was tall and average in size. She was quite the intimadating one, never one for cuddling or showing a lot of emotion.
Your grandparents sound like wonderful people. I too don't think I'll ever find a man who can measure up to my PawPaw.
Oh, and your wrong about one thing. Your every bit the woman your Grandmother was. I'd bet she'd be the first one to say so too.

Leslie said...

Oh, Brenda, what a beautiful thing to read. I can just imagine how proud they must've been of you and how much they loved you. Hang on to those special memories...they're priceless.

Cindra said...

Brenda, I think your grandparents' influence is obvious in you. Look at the way your grandchildren love you. I hear in your writing how much you loved your grandparents and I see it in your pictures and blog how much your grandchildren love you. You work hard and love a lot.
Thank you for sharing this memory. Too few have memories as wonderful.