No One Remembers Her Need

I know a family who handles hard times by referring to them as memories. “We’ve just made a memory,” they’ll say in the face of some new setback. Good strategy. No matter how bad it gets, they’re always richer in memories. 

Cars and Ranches Come and Go

Cars and Ranches Come and Go

In the 1920s, when she was in her 80s, my great grandmother, Sophia, decided automobiles were part of the modern world. A person had to drive to stay in the driver’s seat. With that in mind, she talked her youngest son, my grandfather, into giving her a driving lesson—one of the most talked about events in our family. Sophia, I’m told, was never a woman given to compromise. She was strictly all or nothing. In short, she drove with the same steely stubbornness with which she’d built the family ranch from scratch.  

Full gas. Full brake. Hard right. Hard left. 

 She scared the life out of every man, woman, child and rooster that happened to be around that day. No one has forgotten that morning, even those, like me, who only know it second-hand. Sophia never learned to drive. Supposedly that morning was the moment she knew she was old. Before that, she’d never met a challenge she couldn’t match. However, if she was old, she wasn’t defeated. Instead of driving cars, she bought cars. She bought cars for kids, grandkids, even some of the hired help—anyone she thought she might need to drive her someplace. What they remember is not her need, but her generosity. 

Those of us with less goods, don’t have to be less generous. Ranches, like hard times, come and go. Stories stick. If you have a story, you have something to share. If you have more than one story, you’re rich. If you tell your stories with a largeness of spirit, the world will sit at your knee.



Filed under Family Stories, Funny story, Uncategorized

5 responses to “No One Remembers Her Need

  1. This is a wonderful vignette. It reminds me of my own grandmother who never had much in the way of material goods. In fact, she scrubbed floors for her church to build up what she called “good will” for those in our family who had fallen away from the church. But throughout her life she always sent me a birthday card with money inside. Never more than $5, but that was a lot in her budget, and usually the cards were recycled from ones she had received. What was not visible, but dearer than all, was her love for me, never waivering and still held close to my heart.

  2. Thanks. I hoped others would share their stories on this blog. Sometimes stories are the only way we have to honor someone like your floor-scrubbing grandmother, bless her.

  3. What a great memory – wish I’d met Sophia. Although I have to say I’m teaching my teenager to drive right now and thankfully she doesn’t drive anything like Sophia!

  4. attentiontolife

    Amen, Jerrie. I’m story hound myself, mostly inspired by living abroad and returning home. Sometimes the stories just jump out at me and sometimes they are more elusive…but they are always there. I’m excited to find your blog because I see stories too!

    All good wishes,


  5. Anne
    Welcome to the stories blog.

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