Momma said…. “I’m so proud of you, Jay boy.”

All my life I have been told what 2 do by somebody, as have you, but it was always easiest to do what Momma said.

My Momma....Miss Peggy...Momma said "I love you." and meant it...always sealing the words with a hug.

Daddy would tell me this and that and I usually didn’t want 2 hear what he was saying cause, not unlike me now, he was telling me how I had screwed up or failed to meet his lofty expectations,. He never told me 2 do anything that I would say was 2 hard but as a young teen, there was always something else I had rather do other than what he was telling me to do.

But Momma was another story. There were a lot of life’s lessons that begin with Momma said.

Early in childhood Momma said “don’t touch that” whether it was a hot stove eye or a Butterfinger bar she had hid from me, for herself, and immediately I’d jump back with my hand flying up out of the danger. “Get ready for dinner”, was an easy task at my house and was said by Momma, cause she knew when she was thru cooking, thru setting the table, thru cleaning the counters and pouring the tea, then she called to get ready and I hurried to fulfill her command…happily.

On the other hand, when Daddy would say, “Come here boy”, it was a scary command that could end up 2 ways… bad or good. 50/50 was pretty good odds for my wild ways but I still had a slow walk to Daddy. Doin what he said do. “Come here”, was not always done happily.

As soon as I can remember in childhood, I was taught to be obedient and as Momma would say, “use your manners”. We learned our manners first at the Dinner Table. We all had seats assigned so we each would sit in our predetermined places at our “kitchen table”. We had a drop leaf rectangular table with 3 or 4 chairs of maple and one bench seat with a low back. That was my seat with my little sister Judie, when she got older, while Lu Anne, my big sister, and Momma were on the other side and Daddy at the head.

We bowed our heads and usually listened to Daddy pray but sometimes he would call on one of us to pray. U never new but I did no u were gonna bow your head and try not 2 giggle or get caught looking up 2 see who was looking up… that u could make giggle. After the prayer, part of manners were sitting properly, not slouching, elbows off the table, and properly passing the plate or bowl after Daddy had picked up the meat plate and Momma would start a veggie bowl. We would take what they passed and asked, “Pass the peas, please” and “May I have more” of this or that. And we all new which piece of chicken were ours. Momma and Lu got a breast half, Daddy the back, gizzard, liver, thigh and neck; I got a thigh and a wing or leg, Judie a leg and wing. The piece that was not spoken for and that was the “pulley bone” and that was Momma’s but she always said one of us could have it. She was fairly fair with it but usually Lu Anne was the winner.
A skillet fried pulley bone was Southern caviar. The winner of this Southern delicacy was watched with care to see if the tiny “wishbone” stayed in tact after the tender white meat that surrounded was slowly eaten away. If so, we could make a wish and pull the pulley bone apart. The person that got the larger bone was 2 make a wish and wala it would b. Usually my wish was for the pulley bone at the next fried chicken dinner.

And if for some strange reason I would not “mind” her, Momma said, “Don’t make me tell your Daddy about this.” And I did what she said and walked over to an open set of arms beckoning, and a I love you, hug. And we would hug as long as I would let her.

When the meal was done, for one of us, we would ask “May I be excused” and Daddy would survey your plate, give some directions of what 2 do next. Like “Take your plate to the sink son, and take out the trash, then brush ur teeth”. For the girls it was “next” to help Momma clean up the table and wash the dishes and dry them and put them away.

We had a great family atmosphere in our home and we learned “our manners” and how to use them, cause Momma said so and if we failed a bruise from a corrective pinch would remind us to “use our manners” next time. Cause Momma said so.

From my bunch to Momma....we miss you by the bunches...tell everybody up there We love um and give um a hug for us....the world sent you some good souls this year....tell them we miss them still...a prayer to momma , by jay.....Asheley Christen, me, Diana, Nick, and not pictured Jessica

I am gonna try 2 B the open arms in someone’s memory of life and create new memories for myself and my family this day and every other ….So get ready for dinner…..at Momma’s Table….cause MOMMA SAID SO, “Now come here and let me give you a hug and it’ll be alright”,……… Momma said.

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