Memories of our county

Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.

Extended families
 When I was growing up on the farm, we had a blessing that sometimes we overlook today. It was not unusual to know several families in the

community who had extended families. I mean that they had older folks living with them. In most households there was a ‘Granny, Grandma, Grandpa, or Aunt Somebody’ living with them. There was no such thing as Social Security. Old folks had no way of making a living if left alone. Elderly ladies were not able to work in the fields or plow or do manual labor.  It was necessary for families to take care of their own.  It was an accepted way of life. Nursing homes had not come into existence. The elderly were loved and appreciated. They did jobs around the house such as shelling peas or beans, mending socks for the family, tending the smaller children, making quilts and coverlets, washing dishes, making beds and many other jobs. I remember these ladies as white haired, plump, ample bosomed, aproned, and always pleasant. (Of course I know I am prejudiced.)  My own great grandmother lived with my Uncle and his family. She often came to visit my grandparents. She was just as described above white haired, plump, ample bosomed, aproned and always pleasant. She was widowed at the age of 36 with 5 small children to raise. She never married again and I have never seen her unless she was smiling.  When visiting, she sat on the front porch and dipped snuff with my grandparents and they talked. Then, there was the little lady ‘on the other road’ from us that we called “Aunt Nan.” I do not remember Aunt Nan’s last name. She was one of my mother’s favorite people. She came to our house and helped quilt, and pieced quilts while talking up a storm. She lived with The Hillhouse Family. I think she was a relative of theirs. My mother kept some of the quilts that she pieced for many, many years. She was very adept at quilting. The quilts were very beautiful and had many very small pieces. Oh! The money they would bring today. And I remember “Grandma Taylor”. Grandma lived with her son and his family. She was dearly loved by them and she became our own grandmother over the years. When she died, it seemed that I had lost my own grandmother. This same family had an older brother of the father of the family living with them. He was an epileptic and needed constant care. What a special caring family this had to be to take care of two extra people in addition to a large family of their own. There are many others that come to mind as I write, Mrs. Edna Young that my cousins call, “Mama Young.” She had the most beautiful white hair. It was combed into perfect waves and put up in a huge bun on top of her head. Mama Young used to tell us stories of her husband and how he had slaves and they kept the records of his slaves in a drawer of one of the tables in her house. I have told you a little about the Adams family who lived at Liberty and taught school there. I remember “Mr. Sam” the father of Mr. Josh. He lived with them for awhile there. We all learned to love Mr. Sam and recognized his ability to interpret the Bible. My sister, Dot, took care of her mother-in-law in the family home as long as she lived. She also was a beautiful example of what Solomon described as a price “Far above Rubies.”  Her name was Ruby and she loved her family and feared her Lord. In the words of King Solomon, “she shall be praised”. The art of listening to the older generation is lost. T.V. has taken the place of after dinner conversation. Have you heard the old adage, “What goes round, comes round?”  It seems that no one realizes that one day; we will face weak legs, impaired hearing, wrinkles and white hair in our own lives. I have decided to embrace the day and count it a blessing to have lived that long. After all, I don’t know of any way to change it.  
Nannie Maude Dewease Reynolds