It all started with sweet potato pie. I have known my sista’ friend, Pat Lewis, since college. During one of our frequent phone conversations, she told me she made her mama’s sweet potato pie and that it was all she could do to keep from eating the whole thing. Although Pat resides in New York and sings with the 50’s revival group, The Crystals, she is a Bama girl, born and raised in Birmingham, AL. It was there that Ms. Margaret Pritchett, Pat’s mother, made sweet potato pie. Pat, consistently over her mom’s shoulder, took heed from her mother’s words. “Keep it light.” Ms. Margaret is no longer with us, but her pie’s sweetness and “light touch” generate a warm and fuzzy feeling. But, then, our talk of such things was on, like a pot of neck bones! What?!
Pat recounted how her mother used to flip the sheets over to freshen them, and I quipped, “So did my mother! On Saturday mornings, she would come into my room and flip the sheets with me in them, laughing.” It was the best feeling ever, so I gave my kids the same thrill. Then, there were the mama rub-downs.
My mom, affectionately called “Amon,” is no longer in this realm, but her spirit lingers through rub-down memories. When besieged by a cold, Amon used to gently come into my bedroom and rub my chest with Ben Gay and swipe under my nose with Vicks Vapor Rub. Then, she would take a piece of flannel and pin it to my undershirt. I swear, I can still feel it. For Pat, Ms. Magaret used to rub her legs and feet with tallow, a cream she would make of beef fat. “Whew, that stuff really smelled,” but it was a healing remedy. She also remembers her mom rising at 4 am to go to work. She did not see Ms. Margaret until she returned shortly after Pat and her sister, Maxine, came home from school. Yes, to cook the way she did – scrumptiously.
My mother left for work early too, but not before I would sit on her bed and watch her dress for work, put on pancake makeup (the only makeup for Black women then), and finish with her glorious lipstick. She looked so fine. “Mother only wore lipstick,” Pat recalled about Ms. Margaret, but “she was beautiful.” (I can attest to that).
Walking home from work, Amon could barely make it to the corner of our street before my brother, Bernie, and I would run to meet her. She never really wanted to work; we were her joy. Daddy never got home till after 7 pm, so it was Amon until then, taking us roller skating, to the rodeo, park, library, dance class, music lessons, and downtown to the museums on Saturday.
Pat and I went on and on; Pat in New York, me, in Florence, AL. With each remembrance, my smile deepened, and I’m willing to bet Pat was smiling too. When done with our phone call, I thanked Pat for launching our memories. Warm and fuzzy.
I would love to hear a childhood memory of yours. Believe me, it feels so good. What!!
Image of pie: Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Both Pat and I were groomed in Church and knew/know the activation of God working in our life. Unfortunately, childhood is not all fairy tales. Sometimes we have to search for childhood memories we can cherish. I have sympathy for so many folks that have horrid childhood memories. However, I still encourage all to find the sweetness, the warm and fuzzy feelings experienced when anyone – a parent, teacher, family member, or friend, reached out to you as a vessel of the love that is inherently yours.
These memories can help us navigate these times. These times call for finding your light, holding on to hope, and faith that God is working.
For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Love is like a baby: it needs to be treated tenderly. – African Proverb
“It’s all good/love/God” – Victorine
© 2022 Vicki Goldston, All rights reserved.
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Author of Be S.A.F.E., StillAware, Faithful, Excellent, now available on Kindle Amazon as an e-book.
“…the book title and its content are intended to be a whisper, reminding us that by taking the time to connect with our spiritual self, we can center through anything and that we are forever within the bubble of God’s protection.”
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