I was talking to my little sister Amy, and mentioned that our grandmother, Nana, had given birth to all her children at home.  The story she told me, was that she would do the housework until the pains got too great, then she’d go lie down and have the baby, put it in a shoe-box with cotton,  (I’m guessing cotton cloth here) and then go back to work.  She said, “I was hanging the laundry, felt the baby coming. So I went inside, had the baby and put it in a shoe-box with some cotton.  After, I went back outside and finished hanging up the laundry.” She was a tiny woman, maybe a little over 5′ tall. She says all her babies were small, and that they were all born with no problem , with very short labors.

I can remember Nana well, she was very energetic, smoked cigars, and tended to be caustic. She liked to cook. When I went to see her, I would pour over her recipe books, – she used to have Southern Living Magazines, and we’d cut recipes we liked from them.

nana Here is a picture of Nana when she was about 12 or 13, I’m guessing. She is standing with her older sisters and some friends. She is the one furthest left.  Ethel Griffin, Florence Seckerson, Marion Griffin, Lillian Jennings, Florence Griffin & Marion Jennings

Here is another picture of her, at her sister Rita’s wedding. She is third from the left.  (L to R) – Maesa, Jack, Ethel, Marion, Thomas, Fanny, Dorothy, Joan Pryor, Florence & Gertrude; Rita & Joe seated. Thomas and Fanny  were Ethel (Nana’s) parents, and my great-grand parents.

rita's wedding

I will have to look for some more pictures of her and upload them. Until then, I’ll thank Jim Leonard, my cousin, for posting these on his family’s page!

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