April 30, 2014 — My grandmother Minnie was just short of five feet tall but she loved to remind anyone who teased her about her size that dynamite comes in a small package.
On the day of her 100th birthday, a newspaper reporter innocently asked her if she could prove that she was really that old.
She bristled and responded that her family bible had detailed information on every birth, death, marriage, divorce and other kinfolk data for six generations.
Concerned that she might have offended the young man, she then added with a twinkle in her eye that her grandson Keith told everyone that she was older than dirt.
She was born and raised in western Carter County, spent about half of her life in the city but never lost her love of nature.
She may have been the only resident of downtown Ashland with a vegetable garden in her backyard.
In fact, she was working in her garden one day at about age 90 when she fell and injured her leg. A neighbor saw her fall and called an ambulance.
My cousin Jamie was painting the floor of her front porch at the time. After she was loaded into the ambulance, Jamie started to climb in with her to go along to the hospital.
This tiny little woman sat up on the gurney and ordered Jamie back to the front porch to finish the job she had hired him to do.
When asked often in her 70’s, 80’s and 90’s why she persisted in walking dozens of blocks to visit friends at a senior citizens home or the hospital, her standard reply was that she was going to cheer up “the old folks.”
At her own funeral, the minister said she had a heart of gold but was as tough as a pine knot.
I was proud to say “amen” to that.