Dear readers, my goodness, I have missed you all! I went to work through the winter as an office manager and legal assistant to an attorney. I super enjoyed it.

I have an obsession, (my daughters would say ADHD, which I really do think I have), for organization. Unfortunately, it was way too much stress on my heart. But that’s okay, because I missed you all anyway.

Most of us southerners have been blessed to have a southern MaMaw. I had one that I miss every day. I hope that you still have your MaMaw, but if not, would you like to reminisce with me?

First, I want to explain the definition of a southern MaMaw ... she is somebody that will sacrifice every last thing that she has for her family.

She grows the best tomatoes you will ever eat. She believes in that Bible, honey. She reads it every day and she tries to apply it by taking care of her family and being a good neighbor.

She will attend all funerals in her community to show respect and to give food and comfort to the grieving family.

If you get sassy with the MaMaw you will get verbally, with a thick southern drawl, put straight. And I do mean straight. I’m speaking from experience here!

My MaMaw’s name was Sylvia. We called her MaMaw Sylvie. And she was as good as gold.

These things all describe a good MaMaw, and they sure describe mine. Living in East Tennessee is sentimental to me. I will see an oak tree with green algae growing up the side of the bark and be transported back in time. I would sit underneath hers in her yard in the stifling heat of summer to cool off after running up and down the gravel road she lived on. I would burst through the back-screen door and get her sweet tea out of the refrigerator. To this day nobody can make sweet tea like MaMaw.

My brothers, cousins and I would wait underneath that tree for the mailman who would roar up the road like a devil on a mission, throwing us bubblegum and candy. After greedily chomping down my candy, I would go into the air conditioned cool of MaMaw’s formal living room and drag out photo albums from the previous 50 or so years. She had pictures of various family members lying deceased in their coffins. I remember especially the pictures of MaMaw’s second husband whom we called PaPaw Bill. Old fashioned southerners always had these pictures. I think a part of it had to do with family pride about how well-dressed they were as they departed this world. A loving send off, a final act of respect.

After looking at family albums I would pick out from MaMaw’s Readers Digest collection that spanned back 20 years or so one to read. Sitting on the front porch swing, I would rock softy and read for hours. To this day I am thoroughly entertained by a Reader’s Digest.

In the early 60’s, before MaMaw got indoor plumbing, we got our water from a hand pump outside of the back door. Oh, that water that flowed out of there after pumping it was sure sweet. We also used an outhouse. Honey, you haven’t lived until you got to the outhouse in the dark and stepped on a slimy slug! MaMaw used a white and red enamel chamber pot at night but I just couldn’t face it. Ha. After she died, I hung on to that chamber pot for 10 years anyway. To me it was always a sentimental symbol of southern days gone by.

Well ya’ll, this is all I can write for now ... I’m starting to cry. I hope each and everyone of you has been fortunate enough to have a Southern MaMaw. Or to have one now. Because life was like that Blake Shelton song, “I Lived It.” Yes it was. Until next time, have a good week, and have a literary week!