I love this picture of my grandma Lillie. She is in bib overalls here, and to me that is very out of character for her. In all of my memories of grandma, she was always in a house dress.. I saw her one other time in a pant suit that was made for her by one of my aunts as a gift. If I can ever find that picture, I will have to share it.
Grandma Lillie was a quiet, mild- mannered, woman. She was very modest. And her heart was centered around Jesus and her family.
I wanted to share a few things in this post about my grandma that shows her unique personality and character.
Grandma was a naturalist . She believed in, and used herbs that she gathered from nature. She taught me how to gather red and white clover flowers from the fields. She would dry them on a newspaper. Later she would place a few in a tea ball and let it steep in a cup of hot water. She drank clover tea a lot and I carry on her belief in the healing power of herbs in my own life.
She also made a very potent healing liniment for sore and aching muscles. Granddad Otis, who was a fence contractor, and knew a lot about sore muscles, was a firm believer in its’ healing powers. I used it a couple of times on my husband, who also vouched for its’ healing effects. However, we both hated it because it had a very potent and foul smell as well. I don’t remember what else was in her recipe, but there was a lot of ammonia that would take the top of your head off!
Grandma also believed in tying off warts. I know, I know. WHAT? When she told me about this she was very serious. I would smile and laugh, and she would smile and laugh with me, but she would say “it works!” And I had a few family members who said she tied off their warts and they disappeared. She said she would take a piece of string and tie it around the wart. Then she would take the string, go outside and bury it in the dirt. When the string rotted, the wart would disappear. Now I personally do not believe this works. However, the Bible says if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains. My grandma had a lot of faith and I would bet you anything that when she buried that string, she prayed Jesus would remove that wart. If this did work, I believe it was her prayer and not the string rotting that took the wart away. LOL.
As I said, Granddad was a fence contractor and he built a lot of fences for the different ranches my dad worked for. They would pull their camper in and park until the fencing job was complete. That was often for a couple of months at a time.
It was during these times that allowed me to have a lot of conversations with my grandparents.
Grandma would share with me how when she was raising her kids, money was very short, but they were also very self-sufficient. They always grew a large garden and Grandma would can and dry it’s produce which would last them most of the year.
Grandma baked their own bread, and she was very good at it. She also taught that skill to my mother. There is not much in this world that can lift your spirit more than the smell of fresh baked bread. Grandma almost always had fresh cinnamon rolls in her kitchen. That was one of the reasons we liked to visit them, especially my husband. One time I told Grandma she was causing a lot of trouble in our marriage. She got a very concerned look on her face until I told her Mike always complained that only time he got fresh cinnamon rolls was when we visited my grandparents! She laughed and asked,”Don’t you ever bake bread?” I told her I did once in awhile but it took so much of the day watching bread rise that I didn’t do it much. She then gave me a recipe for quick rising bread, and told me she would save my marriage. Then she just smiled and said,”no excuses now Sherry!”
Grandma also told me how she used to make rubber balls for the kids to play with . She would take rubber bands, and just keep wrapping them around each other until she got a good size ball. She said they would bounce just about like any rubber ball you could buy from the store.
Another way that helped them be self-sufficient was with their goats. I’m not sure if they had goats in their early married years or not, but they did have a few in their later years of life.
Grandma milked the goats, and said they liked it better than cows milk. They also made goat cheese, which they truly loved. I have to be honest here. I sampled them both and did not like them, but there were several family members that raved over them.
Lillie used to make braided rugs out of scrap material and old clothing. She also made beautiful wool hooked rugs of which I was lucky enough to inherit a couple.
My grandma Lillie is one of my dearest memories and she was one of the biggest influences in my life.
I love the way she loved Jesus, the way she loved and was so devoted to Granddad, and the way she loved me.
You are loved and missed by so many. You are not forgotten Lillie Belle, and never will be.