Living with My Grandparents

While living at Papa and Momo’s on the farm, there seems to have always been so much to do. When dad was stationed overseas for the Army, mom, my brother Glenn and I would usually live at Papa and Momo’s. At times Papa would take us to pick eggs, showed us how to milk a cow, along with other things from farm life. And they often had company which was always fun. When it was time to cook, Momo would often go outside, grab a chicken to use it for the evening meal. When Papa would bring in corn, beans, and whatever items from his crop from the farm, there were usually others around to help to can or bag the vegetables. One of Papa’s favorite meals was to eat rice and milk. I loved eating that too as well as rice and eggs cooked together, which I add a touch of hot sauce to pep it up.

Blackberries grew along the wired fence along the shell road where they lived and Momo helped us picked these those along the bob wired fence along the shell road where they lived. Momo would wash some of blackberries, sprinkle sugar on the berries for Glenn and me to eat. The remaining berries she made a pie or if she had enough berries, made several pies.

Momo was a great cook and liked to bake. My favorite was her homemade cupcakes with chocolate frosting. We liked to say her cupcakes were world famous because her cupcakes were so good! If she made twenty-four cupcakes, it was divided by the number of us. With my brothers, if I didn’t eat my share right then, I didn’t get any, so I ate all of mine at once. I never asked Momo for her recipe, which I now regret. The taste of her cupcakes has never left me, and Glenn says the same.

Regarding Momo’s cooking, there was one time though, as story goes as it was before my time, she mistakenly put chocolate frosting in her gumbo instead of roux. Roux is flour browned with oil to use as the base for gumbo, which was homemade back at that time, however today, roux can be store bought. Imagine the look of those eating the gumbo when they took their first bite!

While living at Momo and Papa’s, Glenn and I got chicken pox. Being there were chickens all around the farm, I thought we got it because we were around chickens. Well, we at least got that out of the way at a young age. Knowing people who have had chicken pox can get shingles, my husband Larry and I recently got the shingles vaccine in hopes to prevent getting shingles. But back to the story. Momo and Papa, more so Momo like to spoil Glenn and me. They got to have us around for a whole year instead of the short visits they previously had with us. And they knew after that year, we would be moving away again, somewhere probably far away. There was always a flood of tears when we moved away or left from being home for a visit.

Momo loved taking us downtown to buy us something. It may have been clothes or toys, probably whatever we wanted. She didn’t drive, so either Papa or mom would take us downtown. Mom worked at J W Low’s, a 5 & Dime store downtown so we often went in there to shop. I recall Momo, as do most grandmothers, showing us off to her friends we would see downtown. She took Glenn and I hand in hand from store to store. One of my memories was going in what I think was a leather or saddle store next to Tot ‘n Teens on Main Street. She was probably looking for something for Papa for the farm. When we lived away, she would buy clothes for us to mail to us. And when she would write to mom, Momo usually enclosed a dollar bill for each of us.

There were so many people we met when we lived in Opelousas, mostly family. Being so young, when I saw them again a year or two later, I would usually have to be reminder what their names are and what the connection is to me. Momo loved talking about family, which is something I take from her. As I do genealogy now, I often think of Momo telling me about family and looking through her photos. She kept her photos in her dresser draw. I would pull out the photos asking her who are the people in the photos, must have done this hundreds of times growing up. I only wish they were all still alive to not only be with them, but also to learn about them, listen to them and most of all to appreciate them. Momo instilled the knowing of family to me which helps me in my genealogy research.