A Day In The Life


Visitin’
June 19, 2007, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Life in the South

Thanks to all of you for your doggy birthday greetings!

We began the day with a nice long walk on our muddy road. Then Jasper had a bath to wash the mud off his undercarriage.   I was invited to a luncheon at a friend’s house; sweet tea, salads and great conversation….who could pass that up?!  But, after I got back home, Jasper and I went visitin’. 

rudbeckiacloseup.jpg

Visitin’ is an important southern pastime.   It usually involves settin’ on a porch or sitting in a kitchen and drinking lemonade or sweet tea.  Now, I didn’t misspell any words in my previous sentence.  My upbringing taught me that you ‘set’ on a porch and you ‘set’ outside, but you ‘sit’ inside. 

Jasper and I made the short trip to my dear neighbor, Mrs. M’s house.  Jasper got a birthday treat and went outside to explore while Mrs. M. and I settled in sippin’ our tea and visitin’.  As our conversation meandered from one subject to the next, Mrs. M. began to speak of being the only member of her generation in her immediate family that is still living.  She then reminisced about her mother, Miss Ola.  I can remember Miss Ola.  She lived in a perfectly square, white-framed house and grew beautiful flowers and a big vegetable garden every year.  She also invited us (my church youth group) in for hot chocolate when we sang Christmas carols at her front door.   Today, Mrs. M. told me about Miss Ola’s hair. 

It was considered unseemly for a woman to have short hair in the years when Miss Ola grew to adulthood.  Consequently, she had a head full of thick, long hair that she almost always wore up in a twist.  In her mid-life years, Miss Ola began to have severe headaches and after much discussion, her mother (Mrs. M’s grandmother) told Miss Ola that she was going to have to cut her hair in order to ease the pain of the headaches.  A cousin was asked to cut Miss Ola’s hair.  It was quite an event.  Mrs. M. remembers several family members being present and Mrs. M. said it liked to have killed her mother to have her hair cut short.  Miss Ola shed a lot of tears after the deed was done.  “You know, years later when Momma died I was going through her things and packing up the house,” Mrs. M. told me.  ” I found a box made of cedar in the back of her closet and when I opened it up, there was all of Momma’s hair that had been cut that day.”  

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10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Did she say what they did with it?

Did her headaches stop?

curious and curiouser.

Now I’ve never heard the set and sit distinction…
and I’ve heard of sweet tea.

Comment by Pamela

Pamela, The first question I asked Mrs. M. was if the headaches stopped and she thought for awhile then said she couldn’t remember. She was a young girl when the hair cutting occurred and I guess the trauma was what stuck in her mind rather than the home remedy results! I didn’t even think to ask her what she did with the hair. I got the set/sit thing from my granny. We’d ‘set out’ on her porch, but ‘sit in’ her kitchen.

Comment by arkansassongbird

It sounds like a perfectly delightful pasttime. It seems like the only “visiting” we seem to do it over the phone, at a chance meeting in the grocery store or at a soccer game…

Sigh…life has gotten so busy.

Comment by Susan

Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day! I’d love to spend an afternoon with Mrs. M and listen to some of her stories!

Comment by Jodi

What a great reminisce. My mom had really long hair when I was a baby and then cut it all off and when I was an older kid I found her cut off thick braid in a box in her closet. I admit it kind of creeped me out.

The rudebekias are gorgeous!

Comment by Angelina

Lovely flowers and a lovely story. Visiting does not happen often here in our town. However, in the nearby city, I see the residents walking down the street stopping to chat with one another on the sidewalk or settin’ on the stoop or porch. The only visiting that occurs with most people in our town is pre-arranged and usually has a specific purpose like celebrating a birthday. The southern kind of visitin’ seems more leisurely and friendly.

Comment by mjd

what a great story 🙂

Comment by Tonya

Great story! We don’t set and visit much these days, but we should. My grandma use to tell the story about the boy that sat behind her sticking her braids in the inkwell on his desk. Then to prove her story true, she would pull out the box that held her braids, gently wrapped in tissue paper. I always thought that was such a cool story.

Comment by gawilli

Love the story and love the south. 🙂

Comment by Debbie

Life, for me, has gotten too busy it seems. How I long to do some settin’ on the porch sippin’ on some lemonade. Sounds divine.

Comment by marnie




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