Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wring chicken necks & go to Mass

Saturday morning at Grandma Strange's house was everyone up early & many chores to be done.
The dog area had to be cleaned & dog dishes washed. Yard work was waiting for attention. The chickens had to be fed & watered. Can you imagine chickens in Detroit? I mean in the city of Detroit, not the farm area. I guess that was before zoning was enforced.

Feeding the chickens was as much fun for me as cleaning the front porch. Those were my two favorite jobs. My most enjoyable time was when Grandma Strange called it a day & we were able to sit & knit. I learned more from her than I have from anyone in my life. She even taught me how to care for the plants in the garden. To this day I have Holly Hocks, Lily Of The Valley & purple Iris in my garden in her honor. When we knitted the rags we always laughed over the colors. We had to use left over yarn to make the cleaning rags so we created our "rags of many colors". Some turned out like a rainbow & some could not be classified as anything except a rag.

I am still knitting our rags. They are one way of keeping Grandma Strange close. She saved my life. I will be posting some pictures of the rags & they will be for sale. I can guarantee you that you will never see these colors any where else or this type of rag.

I heard Grandma yell for me from behind the garage. The chicken coop was located behind the garage & the vegetable garden. Remember I mentioned Grandma served chicken every Sunday. She wanted me to chase down three chickens for her. This part of the chores was my least favorite. Grandma knew how much this upset me. We had a talk about where food came from & I felt better. I just didn't want to be on the killing end of the food we ate.

I would catch the chickens she had chosen to become Sunday dinner. She grabbed them around the neck & twisted them like a cowboy lassos a horse. Off comes the head. When someone tells you to quit running around like a chicken with your head cut off, please stop. Because they really do continue to run with their head off. I am glad Grandma didn't have any cows.
I don't want to talk about what happened to them next.

I loved Sunday Mass. At that time all Masses were still in Latin. I always felt special because Grandma let me wear a lovely net head covering to Mass. We couldn't go into a Church without a head cover. Wow, how things have changed. I could not wait to study & make my first Holy Communion. That was like reaching a pinnacle in your life as a Catholic. The male wolf parent would not hear of it. By that time he had decided he didn't like the nuns. I watched my Grandma cry without a sound & shake her head. She never said a word. I respected her for suffering quietly. That was something she could never teach me. I am not silent.

Off to Mass we went. When we returned home Grandma put her apron on & prepared dinner. As we sat down to dinner, before she said the prayer, I told everyone I wanted to introduce the Annie Oakley of chicken killers to them, right here in person at our dining room table.

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