Saints We Love

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Iron Beds and Other Memories - Terry Fenwick

Iron Beds and Other Memorie

by Terry Fenwick

I can remember my Grandmother had a big room at the top of the stairs that was set up for having grandchildren sleep over, sometimes all summer.   The room was huge.   There was no electricity in the room so you used the hall light outside the door, at the top of the stairs, to find your way if the moon was not shining.    In the room she used a little oil lamp that was guarded very closely and we all knew we were not to touch it or even think about moving it.   

In the winter the room was very cold!   Grandmother used to heat bricks on the little black kitchen range (in the summer kitchen) and wrap them in paper, then towels, and she (or someone) would run up the stairs carrying them to put at the end of the beds to warm the feather beds for us.  At the given signal we would all run up, jump into the beds, that would all but swallow us up in the feathers,  and very, very carefully reach down with our toes to the hot end of the bed laughing and laughing  as we had to pull our feet away from the hot bricks.   

Normally we were at Grandmother's house in the summer, but the winters were also great times.   I loved it at Christmas.   I loved it anytime.  You almost always had sorghum molasses at bedtime with fresh bread.   Can you imagine that?   Sorghum and molasses and fresh bread and warm bricks at the end of your fluffy bed!   Imagine that!

Grandmother had a big white iron bed in that big room at the top of the stairs.   The biggest bed slept three children or, if Grandmother slept with us, it slept one Grandmother in the middle and one granddaughter on either side.  (I remember Grandmother wore a corset - not in bed, of course!)   Grandmother had another white iron bed (in that same big room!) that was angled in another corner with the end going slightly toward the end of her big bed, which was also out from the wall.   Grandmother never had things against a wall except for chests or library tables.   Chairs and sofas and beds always were away from the walls.  The second white iron bed slept two.   I loved sleeping in it with my Mother!   I think that bed was a three-quarter-size bed.   Then, do you believe this; she had a third white iron bed that slept two and finally a beautiful baby white iron bed in an alcove.   All of these beds were in the same big room.   All white.   All painted white!   Think of all that lead in that room.   We could have fit another bed or two because the room was so large. 

All 4 beds had huge feather beds, and all had homemade quilts.  The sheets were always wonderful smelling because they had been hung outside in the wind to dry.    We also had big hooked rugs all over the room. My Grandmother and "her" girls, my Mother and her three sisters had made all of these rugs. Sometimes they would show you material in the rugs that had been from their favorite dresses that had been hooked in the rugs. They would all lean over the rugs and point to their old dresses as we, the grandchildren, all sat on the edge of the beds (while wiggling our feet back and forth) and watched them tell the stories of their old dresses.   Some of the dresses had been worn by all four of the girls.    Imagine that!  I think the room had one big rug and then several smaller ones.  
The room had windows on three sides.   The lace curtains blew in the breeze when the windows were all open.  You could watch the lightning storms and the rain and hear a far off train if you listened closely at night.   I loved that room.   I can close my eyes and see it now.   I can even smell the blossoms from the fruit trees in the back orchard.  

You do know the house had a cellar door, don't you?  And cherry trees and gooseberries and a mulberry tree and a barn that always had a litter of kittens.  

You would have loved that house.   It was not a house . . . it was a home.

Playmate come out and play with me -

The bedroom with the iron beds is the first one on your left on the second floor. Total cross ventilation and lace curtains that blow in the breeze.


Terry Fenwick said...

This is the house, btw, where I met Ralston, my Angel. I remember him but had conveniently forgotten about him until after Tom left. When I became aware of my Angel again, I suddenly had flashbacks of meeting him and actually seeing him. I don't see him now but they seem to do special things with little children - so as not to frighten them. I can remember being behind my Great Grandfather's chair in the dining room and kneeling at a low window - about 10 " off the floor - with Ralston. I can remember so many things about him. I remember being in Great Grandfather's closet - under the stairs - with a glow in the dark pin that you held up to the light to make it glow in the dark. I can remember Ralston being with me and how we laughed. I can see him today. But, of course he has no body - Angels don't you know. I think he was there so I would not be frightened.

Helen W. said...

Mrs. Fenwick~ Hi I'm Helen from Texas! Great story, beautiful memories. I am a 50 something woman, married with 3 Godly boys. I am trying to become a published writer however, realize it is a very hard industry to break into. I too have a deep faith in God, in fact just completed my morning prayers before getting my Sophomore up for school. I have a 19 year old, home from college & a 24 year old (who was healed miraculously from cancer) who graduated college this past summer and is now in Australia. Your story brought tears to my eyes as I lost my precious Momma two years ago. She was 83 when she passed away & I miss her so. I know she is with the Holy Father, but I miss her every moment of every day. She shared so many stories of her growing up with me as well as my children. She took care of our children for 13 years while my husband & I both worked our civil service jobs. She taught my older son how to thrash peas. She taught us all the meaning of love with her polite Southern ways~ I'm glad you're doing this blog. I too have met my guardian angel, once in a dream and once when I was in that place before you drift off to sleep. I admire your faith in our Father and I pray that you will continue to be blessed by his presence. Have a God day~

Terry Fenwick said...

Thank you, Helen, for your kind comment and sharing your life openly with all of us on this post. You must start a blog and begin. It does not happen without the writer taking up the pen or - opening the computer. You will find great encouragement on a blog. People are hungry just for life. We all need memories and sometimes they help us forgive the past and bring us to a place of being so grateful for the simple things we may have missed. Love is a many splendored thing - but so is life.