ONCE UPON A NEW YEAR’S DAY…..part 1

I need to set up this story before I start.  Otherwise it may not make sense to some of you. Plus, the back story is just as good.

My Pop loved to make my Mom happy.  He tried to accommodate all her wishes.  He loved doing this and she loved it as well!  DUH!  And, boy did she have wishes!  When they came to Dothan in around 1950, they moved into a  new home…ABODE #1.  They stayed there, on 3rd Avenue, until I was in the 6th grade..around 1965.  They built and moved into a new home on Florence St…..ABODE #2.   And, there they stayed until they built a new home on Lizzy Lane in 1982…..ABODE #3.  In a year or so they added a pool and then a pool house.  They loved living there.  Our whole family enjoyed them living there!  They backed up to the golf course, and there were plenty of woods nearby for Pop to ride his motorcycle through.   The children would swim, and Joy and I would fix lunch in the pool house.  In the summer this was an every day affair.  We also used the pool house and the surrounding land as the base for a camp we did for quite a few years.  It was for the girls, grades 1-6, and their missions class at church.  Then we had to do one for the boys, too, because they were jealous!  Also, there was a culvert that had an area that Mom and Pop made into a little pond.  The boys would fish there.  Wonderful days…some of my best memories!

For some reason, Mom decided that she was tired of living in a house.  She decided that she wanted to move to an apartment.  Pop said fine, and she was off and planning the move.  She sold alot of her furniture and had a huge garage sale. [OK, I have to say this about my Mom.  I loved her dearly, and still do.  However, she would do things sometimes that just blew me out of the water.  She used to complain about all the ‘stuff’ I had, but she had just as much!  We discovered lots of it after she moved to Heaven.  Where she and I differed is that periodically, she would get on a tear and throw bunches of her ‘stuff’ into the garbage.  Well, I take that back…she laid it out beside the garbage pickup cans, so if someone wanted it, it was easy to get to.   OH, my friends, many are the times I would drive up to her driveway and see something that had no business being thrown away.  I would just get it and put it at my house.  Tina lucked up on several bags of beautiful garlands and greenery that she had thrown out.  She is still using it to decorate with.  Who knows what went that never should have.   Bless her heart, when she cleaned out—-she cleaned out!   Once Mom saw a beautiful vase at my house and asked me where it came from.  I told her that I found it in a pile of trash and rescued it.  She said that she used to have one like that and she needed to see if she could find it!  I said nothing.]  Back to the garage sale.. she just wanted to get rid of everything.  I went over to help her…and headed off a tragedy!  When I walked out to the pool house where she had everything set up, I saw a woman walking out of the door with my Mother’s crystal goblets that she had gotten when she got married.  I always loved them….and I was not about to let them get away!  I said to the lady,” I’m sorry, but there was a mistake, and those goblets were not supposed to be in the sale.”  She said, “Sorry, they are mine now.”  Now, I did not want to get ugly…but she started it!  So, I said, “Ma’am, I just can’t let you take those glasses.  They are too special to us.”    She said, “Well, I do not have to SELL them back to you, you know.”  I was getting a tad bit upset here.  I told her, “Ma’am, I guess you don’t understand.  This is where my family lives.  And, WE get to make the rules around here.  And, the rule is that my Mama’s wedding crystal  belongs to her daughter and that is ME.  And, I just can’t let you walk out of here with my glasses.  She just looked at me like I was the crazy one….so I decided to finalize the deal.  I said, “You see those 3 wild boys out there in the woods…(my 3 boys whopping and hollering like they had not been let out of the house for a week)..”.they belong to me.  And, they would love to play a new game called KEEP THE NICE LADY FROM GETTING TO HER CAR!  She got mad then.  And, I knew I had gotten started running my mouth and didn’t know when to stop.  I did not know what was coming next.  But, then she said, “Fine, I’ll sell them back to you.  There’s 6 of them, so that will be $30.00.”  I paid her and she gave me the bag that held the glasses.”  She was mad.  And, I was ashamed of myself, but, I was mad, too.  But, not as much I was going to be.  Mom came out about then and asked what was I doing with those glasses.  She said that she had just sold those a little while ago.  I said, “I can not believe you were selling your wedding crystal.  If you didn’t want it, don’t you think that I would want it?”  “Well, I didn’t want those old things.” she said, ”  I never liked them anyway.  I was glad to get $3.oo apiece for them!”  “3 dollars apiece!  Did you sell them for 3 dollars?” I said.  She said, “I just told you I did,” she said, “why does it matter?”  Realizing that I had been ‘had’…I just decided not to let her or anyone else know what I had done.  “It doesn’t matter, really, I was just wondering,” I said,  ” I got the glasses and that is all that matters.”  And, it was.  And, they are still mine.  I think they are beautiful.  Before we moved here to the Creek House, I never had a place to display my china or my crystal.    There was just not room for a china cabinet in our small eating area.  But, when we moved in here, those 6 glasses were the first things I put in my new china cabinet.  And, they make me smile every time I see them.  The little cream and sugar in front belonged to my sweet MIL, Elizabeth.

ANYWHO…..they finished their sale, and did, indeed, move to an apartment…..ABODE#4.    I asked Pop today why they moved.  And, he said that he  thought he was getting old (65) and it was hard for him to keep all the yard work done.  [I must interject right here, that he was mowing grass, and weeding flower beds just last summer…at 84!!!  But, he’s not going to do that anymore.]

I am afraid that the Apt. people did not expect what had moved into their midst.    And, I’m sure that whomever moved into #268 after them, was very grateful that they did!  They were in one apt. and decided that they wanted to be on the second floor, and so they moved across the complex to a second floor.  Then the changes began.  Even though they had repainted the apt before they moved into it…Mom wanted it painted in ‘her’ colors.  And, so she had it painted.  Then, every time she looked at the fireplace…she got so sad.   There was NO mantel!  This would just not do, as she loved to decorate her mantel.  And, so, she got permission, and had one made and hung!   A BIG ole mantel!   And, how could anyone ever enjoy living anywhere in the Deep South without a nice ceiling fan?  So they picked out a nice one and installed it.    They removed wall paper in a bedroom, and installed shelves all around the room in the guest bedroom.  And, finally, it was done to her liking.  Well…to her liking for about a year.  By then, apartment living had lost it’s appeal, and they began building a new home…..right in front their ABODE  #3.  This was a beautiful home…2 stories, and all to her liking….ABODE #5.      We all loved this house.  It had a big porch on 3 sides with rocking chairs and swings…very Southern.  She  had the yards landscaped beautifully where once was a treeless empty lot.  She planted blueberry bushes that the children loved to pick for her to make pies with.  They lived there about 2 years, and bet ya can’t guess what came next.  Yep, they decided they did not like living in a house that had stairs.  And, so they were going to build a smaller house to better suit their needs during their later years.  So, back to an apartment…not the one they had totally remodeled.  Someone was living there and they weren’t about to move.  So this was just a regular apt, ABODE #6.  And, since they knew they were not going to stay there, they managed to live in it just as it was.  And, they were happy there…the only exception being that Pop missed having woods to walk and ride in.  He did, however, find a place to walk. 

Below is my humble attempt to show you where Mom and Pop made their homes.  Houses 3–5–7 are all right together.  I think I made the cul-de-sac a little out of proportion.  Oh Well…

Now this is what where I wanted to start this post.  But aren’t you glad you know all the back story?  So, I will end Part 1 here…and pick up THE GRAND ADVENTURE  in the next post.  You can’t even imagine……

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14 Comments

  1. I love it so far … Can't wait to hear the rest of their adventure!

  2. Oh, Tonja, I just love your stories!! And the glasses—the GLASSES! They are the exact "first" crystal Mother and Daddy had. They were etched, or carved, and those things that look like wheat were cut deeply, some with an almost sharp edge around the little hollows, and ONE hollow leaf—well it was all the way through the glass. Remember "dribble glasses" in comic books?

    Mother was such a stickler for having the entire table set JUST SO, and wouldn't hear of using another kind of glass at one place setting—they HAD to match, so guess who ALWAYS got the HOLEY glass—me. I always did the table setting anyway, and I'd put the odd one at my place—you couldn't miss it; you could see daylight shining through the little gap in the wheat.

    And there I'd sit, whenever there was special company, eating like a lady and managing to keep the hole on the opposite side from where I was drinking. And I could fill my tea only three-quarters of the way, anyway.

    I'm tempted to write about this tomorrow, and link this post—would that be OK?

  3. Can't wait to 'hear the rest of the story'! I well remember Houses #2 and following; what fun and sweet memories in all these. I love you, dear friend.

  4. Oh, I can’t WAIT to hear the rest of this story! I know it’s gonna be good, of course your stories always are!

  5. I can see you getting those glasses back now! 🙂 You do a much better job of the story telling than I do and I loved your story and can't wait until the next part! I don't know why I wanted to write about our home last night…..I just did. I may talk some more about it later. 🙂

  6. I can't wait!!!!

    Wow, your dad really must have loved your mom. That's a whole lot of mind-changes to put up with!

  7. Tonja—I did the piece on the leaky glass today, and linked it to this post.

  8. That was a fun read. I can't believe how many houses they have built and how they are all in the same area. Very interesting. You did get swindled on those glasses but at least you have them.

  9. .Pamela Kelley Colarusso
    enjoyed the story, glad you were able to get the crystal glasses even if you did pay her more than what she bought them for. She probably thought she had won that one, but actually you did! My girls and I loved the camp too at your mother's home, great memories

    Pat Parker Kines What a great story..loved your parents! 🙂

    .Sherrie Deupree Peak
    Love it!!! You forgot to mention that not only does your DAddy do his own yardwork at age 60+ but also rode motorcycles!!!!!

    Gayle J. Tedder Funny! Can't wait for the next part of your story.

  10. Margie Haynes and Sandi Head Phillips like this..

    Anne Jenkins Atkinson Love it!!!!

    .Sheila Chastain I can't wait!

    .Leslie Cude
    Your mom was one of a kind! I can't believe that mean lady wouldn't just give you back the glasses! It makes me mad just reading it! Ha!

    .Suzi Smith Jones
    The cystal is beautiful. I imagine you would have paid even more just to have it. Good for you!

  11. The story of the wine glasses will be passed down for generations. It is classic! I'm glad you have this written down. I totally cracked up at your final picture. Haha… SO close! Hey, do you know that you can print your blog to a book easily? If you need help, e-mail me and I'll let you know. I did mine as sort of a keepsake and I like the book (s). I did one of every year since I started. Thanks for sharing this precious story!

    p.s. I'm glad you are enjoying the 1000 Gifts Book! 🙂

  12. Wonderful article, looking forward for great information thanks to sharing.
    happy new year

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