June 8, 2010

Nanna's Bible

When my dad came out for a visit a few weeks ago, he brought out some odds and ends that were mine and but were still loitering there in his house despite my departure. Among the items he brought was my Nana's Bible.

What an amazing gift! It feels like the most special old book in the world! Just the look of it, all ragged and aged, thrills me. But knowing that Nana's hands ran across it countless times makes it the jewel that it is.

Once my dad was gone, I opened it up and carefully flipped through the pages. I knew that if my Nana was anything like me there would be random memories hidden among the browned pages. My old Bible that I've had since junior high school has notes from a workshop that I took in college, a photograph of my dad and me at my granny's house on the last Easter Sunday that I lived in town, a concert ticket that has faded with age so that I can no longer read who the headlining act was. You can guess how exciting it was to find that my Nana was like me and her Bible was crammed with random snip its of her life as well.

She had this photocopy of the article that ran in the Nashville Banner when my dad built the house I came home from the hospital to. An A frame with solar technology back in the late 70s long before DiCaprio and Gore made being green so fashionable. Not that my dad was trying to be fashionable. In his words, "I just didn't want to pay the man!" But eventually the man came and offered him a job. I guess he's sort of Nashville's "man" for solar energy now! She was clearly as proud of him back then as I am now.

There was this old record from the Tennessee Central Railroad. I'm going to have to ask my dad (or he'll read it here and call me and tell me) what this is from. I don't recall Nana having worked for the railroad. That's about the only thing she didn't do, if she didn't! At different points in time she owned a grocery store, a a truck stop, worked on the farm, and was a riveter during the war! Tough old broad! But I never heard any stories about the railroad.

Look at the printed portion! It was so long ago that they went right on and printed the 190_ for you to fill in the date! Whoa! This is the oldest piece of paper I own! So cool!

There were several scrap looking pieces of paper, all with lists of family members, birthdays, death dates, and marriages. They mostly had the same information duplicated from scrap to scrap as if Nana had forgotten that she'd already hidden an identical list in the Bible several times before. Most of them ended with my granny's birthday, some earlier. What I love is how she wrote the way she spoke. If you look close, you can see that she wrote "borned" instead of born. And that's exactly what I can hear her saying! "Why that Miss Ruby was borned on a night when the wind just bout dun blowed the house away!" She never really said that (I don't think) but that's exactly the way she would tell stories! So it was sweet to find that little scrap of Nana in her real language!

I can't think of a more special family heirloom to have! Thanks, Daddy, for passing it on to me!

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