In which we meet Aunt Gracie, learn a lesson in sittin' and waitin' and watch for heavenly angels to arrive on Big Mil's porch.
Our Millie used to say that Big Mil always told the kids that life was more than just sittin' and they better start movin' around and gettin' those chores done or they wouldn't be able to sit much. That's why she didn't really know what to make of Aunt Gracie and her rockin' chair when Second Cousin Ira brought her and the chair for a visit at her house. Second Cousin Ira unloaded the chair from the back of his pickup, put Aunt Gracie in it and quickly disappeared down the road in such a hurry all you could see was dust and chickens scramblin' to get out of the way of the wheels. He had mumbled that he appreciated Big Mil takin' Momma in for awhile as he had business to tend to in another state. Our Millie wasn't sure what state or what business but it sounded like he was going to be gone a long while.
He did say his Momma wouldn't be no trouble. She'd just be a-sittin'.
Our Millie never knew anybody who was just a-sittin' but Aunt Gracie seemed very content to do so and settled right in on the front porch. Our Millie knew she could walk 'cause she had seen her get out of the truck. She knew she could talk 'cause she sure was tellin' Second Cousin Ira what she thought of him as he jumped in his truck and got out of there and she was just now tellin' Big Mil what a hard life she had with that no-good.
In Our Millie's house you coud sit and snap beans, sit and read, sit and yarn socks or sew, but you didn't just sit and stare.
Big Mil seemed to be in a real bad mood and told Our Millie to just let Aunt Gracie be. If that's the way she wanted it there was no changin' it. She did mumble some though when she had to send a supper plate to Aunt Gracie 'cause she wouldn't come to the table to eat. Billy Bug said he would take it to her but he disappeared with the food and Big Mil had to make another one and send Our Millie out with it.
Our Millie decided she would sit too and maybe Aunt Gracie would talk, but all she did was eat that food and ask for more. She sure had a good appetite for someone who didn't move around.
Our Millie decided there had to be something Aunt Gracie could do besides just sittin' so she tried to get her to read. Aunt Gracie said her eyes were too old, so Our Millie read to her an old story from the book Grandpa had given her for her birthday. She thought Aunt Gracie smiled a little bit.
She tried to get her to knit but Aunt Gracie said her fingers hurt from the "arther-itis" so Our Millie said she could pick out the yarn and hold it for her and Our Millie would knit a scarf, but since she didn't really know how to knit that didn't work out so well. She was sure Aunt Gracie smiled and almost laughed when she saw the tangles and knots in the yarn.
Our Millie tried to get Aunt Gracie to sing but Aunt Gracie said her voice wasn't as good as it once was so Our Millie sang a song from the church songbook and Aunt Millie hummed along.
When Our Millie asked Big Mil about Aunt Gracie just a-sittin' Big Mil just said she was Papa's aunt and that's the way they did things. But Our Millie watched Papa. He did his share of sittin' alright but it was usually when he was fishin' or whittlin' or playin' the banjo. And sometimes she had to admit he was sittin' and snorin'.
Finally Our Millie couldn't stand it any longer and she asked Aunt Gracie about it and Aunt Gracie said she wasn't just sittin'. She was sittin' and waitin'. Our Millie thought about that for awhile. Was she waitin' for Second Cousin Ira to come back? Or for rain? But Aunt Gracie said no. She was waitin' for the heavenly angels to come and take her to her home in the sky.
It took a lot of thinkin' on Our Millie's part on that one. She had never seen an angel on the porch and wondered what would happen when the dogs went crazy and Big Mil came runnin' out with a broom. Or what would happen if Papa brought his shot gun. Can you shoot an angel? If you wing them can they still fly?
But the question she asked Aunt Gracie was how the angels were goin' to find her if she never moved. Aunt Gracie seemed offended by that and shooed her away for the rest of the day.
Then a strange thing happened. Aunt Gracie must have been a-sittin' and a-thinkin' cause she came to the supper table the next day. She walked around the porch and even went to the garden and picked some beans for Big Mil though she said it really did hurt her back. That evening she was snappin' beans and when everybody was around pickin' and singin' Aunt Gracie was smilin and tappin' her foot. Our Millie decided she was tryin' to show the heavenly angels where she was and in the meantime she was a lot nicer to be around. Big Mil seemed to be in a better mood.
One day Second Cousin Ira came back up the road to collect his Momma. When she saw her son Aunt Gracie even got out of her rockin' chair to go meet him. Our Millie thought everything was good until she heard Aunt Gracie say,"Oh son, take me away from here. That child has 'bout wore me out. I need to go home and rest in my own bed."
Our Millie had to do some real thinkin' on that one too. Suppose next time Aunt Gracie comes she decides to bring her bed instead of her chair? Where would they fit it on the porch and how would they keep the dogs off of it?