Thursday, April 14, 2016

An unexpected stroll down Memory Lane

When I was in 4-8th grades we lived with a lady named Gladys. She had was sick and bedridden and my mom helped take care of her. Gladys grew up in Orange, Texas and on occasion we'd go and visit her family home. We'd say we were "going to Orange." She grew up in a mansion on a flower farm. I think they had oil money, but they were also into horses and Glady's Mom, Mrs. Betty, grew flowers as an extensive hobby.

By the time my sister and I got to meet Mrs. Betty, she had Alzheimers and was mute. She loved taking us on walks around her garden though. She'd grip our hand and walk my sister and I around and point to the flowers and grunt. She was very happy when she got to show off her flowers. She no longer took care of the flowers, a kind old groundskeeper did that. I'm blanking on his name right now, but he used to make homemade peppermint ice cream and there was always dixie cups of the pink stuff in the big deep freeze. Flo, the cook would let us steal as many as we wanted. Probably knowing there is really only so much peppermint ice cream one could consume in one sitting. 

Because of Mrs. Betty's alzheimer's they left the house untouched decor wise since the 70's. It was like stepping into a museum. For those that don't know, Orange, Texas is really close to the Gulf of Mexico. It's hot and humid. The smell of the place with all the old furniture (in pristine condition) along with the moist air, growing flowers and mildew that was growing here and there due to the climate will always be with me. I remember hot, lazy summer days sitting in the kitchen with Mrs. Flo just visiting the hours away. And on the walls of the kitchen and in the morning nook were funny signs and sayings. These plaques that hung on the wall had funny sayings like, "You are what you eat said a wise old man. If that's true, I'm a Garbage Can!" They cracked me up, they seemed so out of place in such a fancy place. But I am pretty sure that is where my love for old plaques, quotes and sayings comes from. 

I started my own plaque collection when we bought our own house and since then, every few years I add new ones that I find that tickle my fancy. This last trip to Texas, Mema bought me a few more to add to my collection. My new kitchen was just BUILT for plaques. There is a tray ceiling that was just begging to be filled with them. I almost have the perimeter complete. There is space for one or two more. I kind of like that empty spot, though because that means that I can always still keep looking. When I am looking for the perfect plaque, I'm remembering sweet Mrs. Betty, her beautiful home and her daughter's Gladys who will always be with me in spirit and Molly whose family is like my own. I'm very lucky to have known the Brown's and have them be part of my childhood.

 The one last spot...

 Izzie on her way to Music class. Her teacher complimented her on this outfit and she wore it to music like three times in a row. We finally convinced her to wear something else or he'd think it was the only thing she owned!

 Gardening Class.

 Lego Math. Perfect for learning Perimeter and Area.

Izzie practicing on her new guitar.

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