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Running Down A Dream: Granny Stole an Apple

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Running Down A Dream: Granny Stole an Apple

Running Down A Dream

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Granny Stole an Apple

Let me first say "Thank You" to anyone reading this right now. If you are, then you have personally enabled me to have a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch! ( I am pausing after every sentence or two to take a bite).
James and I took the trailer to Columbia last night when we got home.... spent most of the day lounging (ahhh!!! IT WAS SOOO GOOD) hold on....*bite*....
went to see Granny, cleaned out the Suburban (didn't start that task until 11pm... We are so weird)
*bite*...
I lied.... *2 bites*...
And THEN we decided to drive back to Nashville. Well, he got me all excited when he mentioned he was going to go buy milk so we'd have some for cereal (About the only thing good in our pantry at the moment). But when I got home, I got all busy doing stuff... unpacking... cleaning... getting ready for bed...
*bite*
I got all the way into bed, and then I realized "I HAVEN'T WRITTEN MY BLOG!!!"
*bite* MAN this stuff is good.
So I figured... well, hey! If I have to get back up, then I HAVE to go eat that bowl of CTC I had been thinking about, right? I mean, I was all sleepy.... so I need the energy. Right? (The correct response is YES no matter what the correct "answer" is)
*bite* or 2....

So back to the whole "going to see Granny" part of the day. My Granny is so awesome. I love her so much. And you would NEVER know she is 98 to look at her. She talks about how she is "losing her mind" yet she can recount story after story with fascinating and elegant detail. She told us a few stories today that I had never heard before!

One was about the only time she ever stole.

This is amazing, so I have to share.

When my Granny was 10 years old (which was 1920), her mother could not afford to take care of her. At that time there were orphanages set up for just that purpose. You didn't have to be what we normally think of as an "orphan"... if your parents couldn't afford to take care of you, churches and organizations had orphanages set up to help out. I hadn't heard her talk about the orphanage until a few years ago, but now she talks very openly about it. She always prefaces any story about the orphanage with how grateful she was to have that place to go to. It impacted her life in a HUGE way, and she loved being there because she knew it was the best thing for everyone. She and her younger sister (who I never got to know) both went there.

The orphanage was the first place she had ever seen an indoor toilet. And today she said "It had hot water in the faucet ALL day and night, and there was a basin JUST for washing your hands" (Just to put things in perspective).
She stayed there for 5 years and each year she alternated jobs.

Now for the story:
One year she waited on the "Lady's Table" as part of her daily task. She had to go into the storage closet for some reason and there were HUGE bags of apples and potatoes in the closet. She was hungry, so she took an apple and tied it up in her bloomers. When she finally retired for the evening, she went to her bedroom, took out the apple and had every intention of eating it.

But she couldn't.

The guilt of stealing overwhelmed her, and she could NOT bring herself to eat that apple.

The next day, she took the apple back to the storage room and put it back in the bag. She assured me that even though it had been in her bloomers, they cut and peeled and cooked the apples.... so it was fine :)

The funny thing is, I can't imagine her doing it in the first place. But the way it affected her? Makes SO much sense. I think it says a LOT about her character. And she did a wonderful job of instilling that kind of integrity into Mamma. Mamma is the exact same way.

It reminds me of a story that is probably James' favorite "Little Natalie" story. When I was 11, I went to an acting camp in NY. We were not allowed to talk to our parents the entire week of the camp, nor were we allowed any sweets. (Not sure what all that had to do with acting.... this was an extremely regimented and disciplined acting camp. Peter Sklar's Boot Camp Acting Workshop for Kids... I guess...)
*last bite of CTC*
Our parents did have our address, though and could send us letters in the mail. That was the only contact we could have with them.
So one day, I get a letter from my parents. I was laying in my bunk reading it. And after reading the main letter, there was this one envelope marked "FOR NATALIE'S EYES ONLY" in my Daddy's handwriting. I opened up the envelope... and there were 3 Werther's Originals Candies inside this envelope. Butterflies entered my stomach. This wave of panic overcame me.
We were NOT supposed to have ANY sugar. I had signed a 50 page contract (we had to sign EACH page - 1 parent AND me) that said I would strictly adhere to the rules. I took this stuff seriously, y'all. I just KNEW if I ate those candies, something bad would happen to me. I felt SOOOO guilty.
I asked my favorite counselor to come over to my bed. I whispered to her "My dad sent me these in a secret envelope and I don't know what to do with them". She gave me this look like "Oh no." And said "Sweetie, I can't let you have these. Hand them over" For some reason I felt like I was in even MORE trouble. There wasn't any, "Thanks for telling me. Or Thanks for being honest" Just "HAND THEM OVER". Funny thing is... she probably ate them. She was probably thinking "This poor girl... takes this so seriously, but SCORE! They are MINE now." Hehe :) That's what I am imagining right now anyway.
But I felt good about not eating them and keeping my word, nonetheless. So I guess Granny has passed down that overwhelming sense of guilt to me, too.

*drinking the milk now* mmm... so sugary!

Other than the one story, that acting camp was SO much fun. We had the opportunity to perform in front of all these agents in a beautiful off-broadway theater in NYC. It was my first time to NYC. It had actually been my first time on a plane and I had to go by myself - at 11!!!! I can't believe that looking back. But I had no fear. I just wanted to perform. It didn't matter what it took to get me there, I was going to NY!!!!

I remember getting a phone call at home and being invited by an agent to come to NYC after that. I wanted to go. But they were asking us to be there for 6 months. I had a great job at Opryland, and the thought of not getting to do Kid's Club again for something that may or may not pan out... well.... we decided to stay at home. :)
It's funny to talk about some of this stuff. I had a relatively normal childhood. But instead of sports or band... I worked a Opryland or played conventions around the country... or opened for old school country acts...
I guess not a whole lot has changed, huh?

Peace, Love, Fiddle

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2 Comments:

Blogger Village People said...

So this is the Natalie we are getting to know. Emily (UWP Music Man girl) will enjoy reading this when she gets home. Honesty and integrity in this world, what a great thing. God Bless you and your impact on the people you meet along the way.

February 24, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Natalie's Favorite Farm Boy Fan : ) said...

Hey Beautiful Cereal Muncher : )

Us farm boys have booked studio time with your awesome producer the Sonic Fedora, who has assured us that he will produce a Guiness Record breaking record of you singing and munching cereal at the same time.

You are so talented that should be a piece of cake ( which you can have and eat it too while you sing ; )

We want this to be the best Guinness record ever, so if this all proves too easy for your awesome talent and everything, then we will bring in some cookies that are completely covered in organic peanut butter that has been certified by president Jimmy Carter to be Salmonella free ( our good friends the Keebler elves wanted to provide the cookies but the FDA had them under a mini bite sized quarantine recently )

It really would be fun to watch you sing and eat at the same time, and here on the farm we are all well trained in the heimlich maneuver because we have all been diagnosed with infectious laughter that does not take any hiatus while we eat. ( You know we can’t spell here, but you may have heard that Cuzzin Cletus did take a humor hietous but he's back now : )

In your last blog response to me you mentioned the security verification word that google asked you to type was "nimpezoo" , and then you mentioned it sounds like nincompoop but more animal-like :)

It is an amazing coincidence that we actually have a fenced in area here on the farm where we keep all of our nincompoops so they will not injure their selves, and now thanks to your great insight we will be able to properly name it the Nimpezoo : )

( Between us, all of your large numbers of local fans are calling it Natalie’s Nimpezoo in honor of you)

We are having cuzzin Al Goreithm fix up a website and we’ve just broken ground on Natalie’s Nimpezoo Motel and Theme Park.

Because of your musical genius we plan to make and market Natalie Nimpezoo Kazoo’s, and we are working with your booking agent to schedule you for a Peace Love and Nimpezoo Kazoo Concert tour.

Well our brains are basically broken now from all this writing on the internet, if we don’t quit now we may be placed in a front room in Natalie’s Nimpezoo : )

Thanks for sharing your awesome beauty, talent and laughter with us Natalie Stovall, who is even better than those expensive awesome juicy cookies you can buy in the malls in most big cities !! : )

February 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

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