Thursday, October 02, 2003


My maternal grandmother, Minnie Ashworth Droddy, did not tell stories as much as she "remembered." Living with her all of her life was her eldest daughter, Elsie, who was simple. I want to remember Elsie also, but that's for another story. My grandmother and Elsie could remember the most incredible details of their lives. Because mostly what they remembered occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s, I sometimes feel as though I have one foot in this century and the other foot in that one. Only now, I have a third century to factor into the analogy, and I'm out of feet, so I'm going to drop it for right now.

Mama and Elsie remembered life when it was simple. Poor, but simple. Between them they could recount the genealogy of individuals I considered total strangers at the time of meeting. They could remember the intricacies of kinship. They didn't always remember things in the same way, and they didn't always end the subsequent argument in agreement.

As a child, I sat through these regressions and discussions and arguments, sometimes paying attention, more often not. I cannot remember the details. I told my sister I was willing to be hypnotized so that someone could get me to channel either my grandmother or my aunt Elsie because you know in the recesses of my mind there are some delicious stories.

Even without channeling or hypnosis, I think the details of their remembering color my perception of life today, and do absolutely lend detail to my ability to imagine our stories. I don't remember as much as I tell stories, richly detailed with vague recollections of my grandmother and aunt fussing with each other about the specific details.

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