Today also marks the birth of Nettie's daughter-in-law, my grandmother Neva Almeda Shaw Watwood. We called her Mamaw. This is a photo of Neva with her siblings (yes, I come from large families) She is the one in the center of the photo. Of course she is! My grandmother was a strong woman, full of sass. Born in rural Oklahoma in 1919, she also lived through the Great Depression and World War II. She married my grandfather at 19 and theirs was a true love match that survived losing both their sons before losing each other. She was a tiny thing---stood just about 5 feet tall, but she was a little stick of dynamite. One did not argue with Neva Watwood. I remember her telling me often to "remember that the man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck.---and the neck moves the head, honey. The neck moves the head." We spent a lot of time together, she and I. Looking back, I miss those days of shelling peas on the back porch and going out to pick peaches at the nearby orchard. She taught me how to crochet and she taught me how to take no crap using only the stink-eye and Sunday-appropriate words. She could make the best Sunday dinner you ever ate in your life, and oh my word, her chocolate pies were a slice of heaven on earth. On days I'm feeling overwhelmed I remind myself I come from strong and sassy women like my Mamaw and that nothing & no one can get me down for long.
So Happy Birthday, grandmothers. You are loved and missed, and your memories are treasured.