In August of 1997, Hank's maternal grandmother passed away, her husband having died ten years earlier. In April of 1998, we were asked by Hank's mom and uncle if we would like to move to her house, they were not wanting to sell the house since it sits squarely on land that has been family land since the early 1900's. We deliberated, consulted Daughter, contemplated, and made the decision to move from the home we had built six years earlier into a home that needed updating in many ways.

To say we renovated the home would be an understatement. Walls were moved, paneling torn down, sheetrock added, new fireplace surround, new master bath, and on and on. The only room that was left unscathed was the laundry room. Ah, nope, I'm wrong here, it did get painted.

With all this remodeling there are a few things remaining that are reminders of the couple that first called this house their home. I'm surprised, as I'm sure Hank is too, that I've hung on to these items; you know how I am, if it doesn't serve a purpose, it's outta here.

Exhibit A, this red apple scrubber holder.

For the longest time it sat in a closet gathering dust. Each time I cleaned/organized this closet I'd consider throwing it out but couldn't do it. The most resent cleaning brought it out of the closet. The kitchen counter needed something bright and cheerful, it was feeling lonely, ah, yes, the ceramic red apple. Perfect.

Exhibit B, something prosaic. 

I have no idea how long Dudie, that's what everyone called Hank's grandmother, had this but it is absolutely perfect. Perfect in that the handle turns effortlessly and quietly while the blades spin and make their whirring sound, give the perfect point each and every time. I imagine it's been around since his grandparents built the house forty three years ago. There's some rust in places, the paint has worn away on the handle, tape is holding the shaving box together. 

I could never part with it. It is, perfect.

Exhibit C, an unusual find.

Hank and I found this in the recesses of the cabinet above the refrigerator when we were moving in, before all the remodeling began. I thought it ironic that a couple who was Mormon would have an old, well used, tin coffee pot in their home. No, they were not coffee drinking Mormons, perhaps it was her mother's from days gone by, Dudie was a convert to the Mormon faith so it could stand to reason that she kept this, as I have, as a reminder of someone she loved. 

I have other Dudie paraphernalia, a reamer, a measuring cup, a cast iron skillet (oh, so perfect for making cornbread), cookie sheets, and muffin tins. Oh, and there's 'the pot'. Yes, 'the pot'. The pot is coveted by one and all but I have it. I am the lucky one. You see, 'the pot' is the perfect pot for making pralines. Pralines are a Christmas favorite around these parts, heck they're a favorite anytime, I just make them at Christmas, otherwise, well we would all be as big as this house if I made them all year long and then the pralines would no longer be a special treat, now would they?

So, why have I kept all these things, I who will throw out things I haven't used in six months time, I who fear becoming a victim on the show Hoarders, I who have no use for things that don't serve a purpose? Honestly, the skillet, the cookie sheets, reamer, muffin tins and measuring cups fit the mold of having a purpose as I use them daily, if not weekly. As does the pencil sharpener with its I'll-give-you-a-perfect-point-every time quality. Quite simply, though, I've kept them as a reminder of a wonderfully kind, generous, God fearing, strong willed, I'll-fight-for-what's-right woman. Each time these well worn things serve the purpose for which they were intended, I see Dudie. I hear her unique 'and huh', 'ah Swanee', and other Dudie expressions in her soft Texas drawl. And I miss her. I miss her no nonsense wisdom, her undying devotion to serving others, her love of Christ, and her love of family. If this were the only purpose of these things, that would be reason enough to keep them around. 


  1. Mormons don't drink coffee? I had no clue! What is the reason behind this?
    -Big Sis

    1. Big Sis, I'm so glad you asked!

      If one is a practicing member of the Mormon faith, he or she will adhere to what we refer to as the Word of Wisdom. What this is, is a standard of health set forth in 1833. The Word of Wisdom teaches that the use of tobacco, coffee, and tea are not good for the health of the individual; tobacco because of it's many, many carcinogens and coffee and tea because of the caffeine they contain. Of course, these things were not known back in 1833, which makes the inception of the Word of Wisdom back in 1833 all the more miraculous. In addition to the counsel to avoid these three, the Word of Wisdom also teaches that we should eat grains, fruits and veggies that are in season, use meat sparingly (not that we should all be vegetarians, though there are some of the Mormon faith that are) and to avoid the use of alcohol.

      As is the case in all faiths, there are those that adhere to the tenants of their faith wholeheartedly, those that follow them marginally, and those who choose to not follow them at all. I say this just in case you know of someone that is a Latter-day Saint, a Mormon, who does drink tea or coffee.

      Thanks for reading!

    2. Thanks for answering. I am always so interested in other faiths and what they believe. I don't know much about the Mormon faith but always say (and is my response when people mention the Mormon belief) that I may not know much about it- but I grew up with a lot of Mormon young people and quite frankly... they were/are the sweetest people that I have ever met.

      The reasoning makes complete sense! Love reading!

  2. I just read this at work and now everyone will wonder why I am all teary-eyed with mascara dripping down my face. Reading this brought back lots of great memories--I even have "pencil sharpener memories".

    1. I miss her every day. Think the pencil sharpener was at the old house. I have used it many times. Sister of Hank sent me the link. I too have to wipe the tears before I greet the guys that I work with today!

  3. Anonymous-es, Thank you for the comments! I love them.

    I think Anonymous #1 is Hank's sister, but Anonymous #2, I don't know who you are! I am glad though that you have pencil sharpener memories too. It is an awesome sharpener, isn't it.

    I was sitting, pondering about this place I call home the other day and I thought of Dudie and all that I have that reminds me of her. I just had to put those thoughts to pen and paper, uh, keyboard to screen actually. I'm glad my random thoughts brought back fond memories to you too.