A Day In The Life

Ava Bell Ava Bell was my Granny W. She was born in…
January 4, 2007, 2:49 am
Filed under: Family
Ava Bell
Ava Bell was my Granny W. She was born in 1897 and didn’t get married until her early twenties which made her an “old” bride in that day and age. She also married a younger man by two years. She had eight children without ever stepping foot into a hospital. Her youngest child was my mother who was born when Ava Bell was 41 years old.

Look at that pretty dress and those shoes!! This picture was taken sometime during the 30’s when my grandparents moved from Arkansas to Turkey, Texas, because there were better jobs there during the Depression years. Look at their two oldest sons being pranksters in the background. Don’t you love those caps?! You can’t see the details, but Grandpa is wearing a plaid tie.

Granny W. was one of the most influential people in my life. She was a devout Christian and was one of those lovely people who never had a bad word to say about anyone. No matter what a person had said or done, Granny always found something positive to say about them. She had her share of hardships and sorrow in her life, but she was rarely unhappy. She didn’t talk about her troubles, she talked about her blessings. Her philosophy was that no matter how bad things were, there was always so much to be thankful for.

Ava Bell loved birds. Cardinals were her favorite. She would make an extra pan of cornbread to crumble up and feed “her” birds. She could identify birds by their songs. The pages of her bird book were as frayed and worn as the pages of her Bible. She also loved flowers and her house was always surrounded by a profusion of blooms.

Granny was a great cook. She canned vegetables, made jelly, baked bread and pastries, made sweet and dill pickles, canned a vegetable soup mix that was out of this world good and cooked so many other delicious foods. I remember her doing all this with a gas cook stove. My mom remembers when Granny did it all with a wood cook stove. Granny also made sauerkraut and she had a little Daisy churn that she used to make butter. Her kitchen was always full of wonderful things to eat. My mom and I have often talked about how all of us bring food to our big family holiday dinners, but when Granny was alive and we had those dinners at her house, she did all the cooking. Her daughters and daughters-in-law cleaned up and washed the dishes, but Ava Bell was The Cook.

Ava Bell was a very modest woman. See how she made sure her knees were covered before I took this picture? I can just hear her fussing at me for letting people see this picture because her slip is showing just a bit. When Granny got her Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs in the mail, she would sit down to look through them with a pen in hand. She didn’t put an ‘x’ by things she wanted, she colored in the midriffs of the models wearing two-piece swimsuits. If a skirt was really short, she might add an ink ruffle to it. If I wore a dress that Granny considered too short and too low cut in the neckline, she would politely compliment me on my nice, wide “belt”.

Oh, there are so many other things I could tell you about Ava Bell. Her life is as full of intricate pieces as the the beautiful quilts she stitched by hand. But it is late tonight and I have school tomorrow so I will have to post more about her another time.


13 Comments so far
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Your grandmother sounds like such a neat lady! No wonder she was such an inspiration!

Comment by Shauna

I squeaked aloud when I read that she colored in the ladies midrifts.

I think that might be something my grandma grace would have done, too.

Oh how I would love to have eaten at Ava Bell’s bountiful table. I love food.

Do you have her bird book?? I’m starting to recognize birds by their song, too. She and I would have been such good friends — as long as I kept my knees covered.

Comment by Pamela

Nice – it would be great to be one of those people who never has anything bad to say about anyone! Wish I could aspire to that.

I would imagine she wouldn’t be able to watch today’s television. Too much to color.

Comment by Tiggerlane

I love that picture. She looks so happy – like she is having a good time with life.

I can’t id birds by sound. My ears are not attuned to it. What a lovely memory to have.

Comment by Karmyn R

your grandmother sounds wonderful 🙂 and to remember so much about her even when you were younger is great! I love posts like this, you make the reader feel almost as if we know her and I adore old photos..

Comment by Tonya

Great post. Honest and beautiful lady.

Comment by Vicki

What a great story! Your Granny and my mom shared the same middle name. My mom’s name was Viola Bell. She also shared the trait of saying only good things, or nothing at all. Ladies were really laidies then, weren’t they?

Comment by gawilli

How come all of my grannies were crazy, unhappy, mean ladies?

I can’t wish I was exactly like a person I have so little in common with. I am not religious, and though I am a bit modest by modern standards I would have raised your Ava Bell’s hair quite a lot with my outfits. However, she sounds like a really wonderful lady and a great person to emulate in spirit.

Comment by Angelina

Awww….what good memories. I love her coloring in midriffs and adding length to skirts. That is so funny!

Comment by Claudia

She sounds just like my Grandma! What always amazed me was how she could make a meal for 8 people out of the scraps in her kitchen. And it would be DELICIOUS! No recipes. Just good old-fashioned common sense and “know-how.” I sure would have liked to have a little of that!

Comment by Susan in va

It’s fascinating to read about the generation born in the late 1890’s. Think about what they where teached and how the world and Technology has changed since then. It’s amazing.

That’s why it’s so important to tell stories like you do in this great posting. We take “everything” for granted these days.
Thanks for sharing good memories.

Comment by TorAa

I LOVE that she colored in the midrifts and lengthened skirts! What a woman!

Comment by Grim Reality Girl

I was touched, then I saw the last picture of her — she reminds me so much of my great-gran! How beautiful!

Comment by LeftCoastOnlooker

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