Last month I spent some time going through a box of old pictures and other memorabilia left to me by my grandmother, Mabel Esther Austin Gibson. I scanned a lot of papers, cool things like her 1926-1928 college transcript. I also found a lot of pictures, many of which were labeled, and I have been scanning them for posterity and to share with family.
Here’s one of my dad, Robert Warren Gibson, dated September 1937. He would have been three months shy of his second birthday, although he looks bigger than that here. He was a big guy, though, so the date might be correct. There was no name for the girl in the picture and it is definitely not either of his sisters.
This picture is dated September 1946, so 9 years later. Dad would have been just shy of his 11th birthday. And with him is his younger sister, Lois Elaine Gibson, who would have been one month shy of her 8th birthday.
It is kind of surprising to see dad with a cow, but I suppose milking the cow was his responsibility then. I know he never ever wanted anything to do with cows as an adult!
Every day some little thing reminds of my dad and how much I miss him. Yesterday morning, it was pancakes sizzling in the frying pan. When we were growing up on Nutt Road, if you smelled pancakes, you knew Dad was cooking.
These are buckwheat pancakes that I made for my breakfast. Dad’s specialty was putting either corn or pineapple into his pancakes. So yummy!
Several food items remind me of my dad, including pot roast (with carrots and potatoes) cooking in a crockpot, corn on the cob, and pie. Dad loved pie. And chopped apple cake? I have my Grammy’s (Dad’s mom) chopped apple cake recipe and Dad loved to make that himself. He was really quite a good cook, although in later years I think his taste buds were dimming because he became very heavy-handed with the onion and garlic.
Here are some more “little things” that remind me of my dad:
- Looking at a road map
- Crops growing in a field
- The smell of rain
- Looking at a seed catalog
- A sea shell
- Hearing a George Jones song on the radio
- Writing down the gas mileage after filling up the gas tank
- Square dancing
- Checking the weather report
- Husking an ear of corn
- Taking my vitamins
- Seeing my granddaughter’s blue eyes
I hope my newest grandbaby, Hurricane Giblet, has those same blue eyes. In some ways, my grieving has been made easier with the knowledge of a new grandchild coming so soon upon Dad’s death. It is comforting to know that some small part of him will continue forward into another generation and I can look for small ways in which this new baby will remind me of Dad. I felt much the same comfort when Charles was born just a year and a day after Bill’s dad’s death. That is one of the magical things about babies, seeing reminders of those we loved in those we love.
Today would have been my Grammy’s 105th birthday! I have a lot of fond memories of my dad’s mom, including her molasses cookies (her cookie jar was always full!) and playing the card game Kings in the Corners with her. I still have her cookie jar, but I don’t remember how to play Kings in the Corner.
Mabel Austin Gibson was an artist and left behind many beautiful paintings. This is one of my favorites:
She loved to paint birch trees and autumn colors.
Here she is at my wedding, along with my dad.
Happy Birthday, Grammy!