Raised in a Barn

I Remember Grandma

If Grandma Dawson were alive, she would be 109 this Thanksgiving! She’s been in heaven for 29 years I think. But she still roams in my memories often.

Amanda Leona Dawson, I’m her namesake. She told everyone that, but my mom tells me she didn’t always say that. Mom says when I was born, she would share with friends that she had a new grand-baby, named Amanda. Folks would ask her where the name Amanda came from and she would answer that she didn’t know. (She used her middle name, Leona.) I guess after a while, I (and my name) kinda grew on her!)

Grandma was an awesome cook, like most grandmas are. My family and most of our cousins, gathered at Grandma’s quite often on Sunday after church for dinner. You want to talk about good eating, you can’t find food like that anywhere. Grandma never seemed to  sit down when we ate dinner. She spent the whole time passing the food. One would not get their plate cleared before she was passing the food again! She made the best glazed sweet potatoes. I never knew anyone else that made them the way she did. She also made this type of gravy for potatoes. We called them dumplings, but they weren’t like the dumplins we eat here in the south. Apparently, the dumplins were actually my Great- Aunt Mildred’s recipe. Oh my, another thing I couldn’t wait to get a taste of.

I often remember stealing a sip of her hot tea. I was “too young” to drink tea, but you know grandmas; they always break the rules for their grand-kids. I guess that is why I still love a good cup of tea with sugar and cream!

Yes, Grandma served all of us at the table, but she lived a servant life for everyone. To bring in a little extra money, she would clean houses. Mom says she learned all about keeping a house from Grandma Dawson. But the most important thing about Grandma is that she loved Jesus. She prayed daily for her four children and her 17 grandchildren.

I recalled my Uncle Tom saying at her funeral. “You could always find Grandma on her knees. Either serving others or praying.”

Now that is a heritage to leave behind!