Neighbors and Friends

Yesterday, my four cousins laid their sweet 104 year old Granny to rest.  Granny was my Aunt Charlotte’s mom.   It has been a long time since I’ve seen her; but thanks to technology, I’ve seen her many times on Facebook in the recent years.  This picture was taken when she was 102 by my sweet cousin by marriage, Lorretta.

granny-at-102

Many years after Grandma moved, I remember visiting Granny (Mrs. G) on the street where my Dad’s family lived as they were growing up.

Springdale Road.

As I was reading the feeds on Facebook yesterday, cousin Jim posted a picture of Granny’s house.  The trees have grown up and the white exterior I remember has been painted, but the basketball goal that the cousins played on is still there…the yard where cousin Jim used to “sit and wave at the cars going by while listening to the transistor radio” is still there…only I’m guessing very few cars go down the road these days, because of the airport, it’s a dead end now.

grannys house on sprindaleAnd then he posted a picture of the family home…stembridge house on springdaleMy Grandma, Grandpa, his dad, my dad, my four other Uncles and my Aunt lived here until my Grandpa died, then my Grandma took all of them on by herself, with God’s help (and I’m sure the community of neighbors).   This is the home where they’d hide from each other only to jump out and scare the bejeebees out of whichever poor sap happened to be walking by, the home where Grandma would make Sunday afternoon fried chicken and biscuits, and all the other wonderful things she would cook.  The home where she’d wash and dry the clothes on the back porch.  The street where once upon a time, the boys would drive their hot rods (or maybe hot rod want to be’s) up and down the hills.. (the story is told that they would even go airborne but I’m not sure I’m buying that).  This was back in the days when a muscle car really had some muscle.  I’ve never been in that home, but somehow it holds the memories for me…I can see Grandma on that back porch even though I’ve never seen the back porch.  I can see the boys chasin each other through the house, through the yard.  I can see the oatmeal dumped on a head, the fight that Grandma forced because 2 of the boys wouldn’t stop pushin each other…somehow my mind sees it…my memories of the memories that have been told.

grandpa stembridge building houseOn a side note, my Grandpa built this house.  He died when my Daddy was young.

Mrs. G and Mrs. S (my Grandma) lived 2 doors down from each other…that was way back when neighbors were friends.  After Jim posted the old homestead picture, a comment was made about all the families that lived on that street. All the friends that lived on that street.  I have a picture of my Grandma and Mrs. Waddy somewhere but have spent some time looking all over my computer and can’t find it.  If I ever do, I will add it here.  (Mrs. Waddy was another neighbor/friend).

That comment got me to thinking…

That was back before days of air conditioning.  Before cell phones and tablets and video games and even before the days of corded phones…when operators still connected the calls between friends and very rarely between distant relatives because long distance phone calls were extremely expensive.

It was back when all the kids played outside with each other.  Back when people weren’t afraid of walking into each others homes and each others lives.  When ya sat on the front porch with your sweet tea and lemonade and shared life together.

Lifelong relationships were made between those families on Springdale Road.

Lifelong memories were made between those families on Springdale Road.

Long after Grandma moved away the legacy between the families continued.

grandma stembridge

Granny’s legacy, Grandma’s legacy.  The friendship with my Daddy’s family, brought a marriage, brought 4 brothers, brought children, some of which have already grown and have married, or getting ready to be married.  Even though my Grandma left this earth many years ago, some of my relatives have been at some of Granny’s birthday celebrations.  I believe this was her 103rd.granny's 103 b day

and some were at the funeral to celebrate Granny’s life yesterday.

granny's funeral

Even though the Ladies of Springdale Rd. are all gone now, the friendships are still intertwined with each other and always will be.

I wish it were so these days…I think our lives would be much richer if our neighbors were also our friends.

signature 3 green

P.S.  Thanks to several cousins for borrowed pictures.

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2 thoughts on “Neighbors and Friends

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Friends and Family | Just a thought...

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