Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Granny's Peanut Brittle

Gladys Pearl James ~ not just anyone can wear the name Gladys Pearl. Or in my opinion, James.

This fall marks eighteen years that Gladys Pearl, my Granny, has been delighting crowds in heaven - and delighting herself in the Lord in the process. Even though she's been gone nearly two decades, I sense her presence regularly. She is such a part of me, and of my dad of course, and her legacy spills into our family's sense of humor and spunk.

This treasured book of Granny's poems is one that my big brother Trey bound for all the family members in her last years. Years ago I posted one of my favorite of her poems, Wonderful Me, and here's another favorite she wrote about my dad. A couple of things by way of introduction:

1) Besides her intelligence and crazy hard work ethic, Granny was stunning. Even in her seventies she watched her weight, greeted her days with makeup and fixed hair even if she didn't leave the boundaries of her south Texas ranch, and always looked to me like a supermodel.

2) Granny adored, absolutely adored my dad, "Billy." They were cut from the same cloth. She was always amazed when dad actually understood (or pretended to) something my Pappy said or did. As I've grown older, I've realized that it's not so much that my dad understood my Pappy, but rather chose to live with him in an understanding way.

Love you, Granny, miss you and your wit and your raucous laugh. I always, always knew how deeply loved I was by you.

Peanut Brittle
8.22.77

Back at the old house
In a bowl on the blond buffet
An eight inch package of peanut brittle
lay unopened day after day.

Its presence never discussed
I knew it was there but I didn't care
Never touched it except to dust.

We took Billy to the airport
And put him on a plane
Kissed him good-bye with a wave and a sigh
And went back home again.

I walked into the dining room
All bent on desperate fling
Unwrapped that bar of candy
And ate the whole thing.