Sunday, April 12, 2015


Amanda's Aint Ruby was JUBUS of things---she was jubus of anybody in politics; she was jubus of a new preacher til he proved hisself, and she was WAY jubus of the new hymnbooks when her church replaced the sung-out Broadmans, because Rock of Ages was not on page 103 anymore, and she could remember it because 103 was the reddio station where Preacher Agar could be heard at seven every Friday Night and nine on Sunday, when all good folks oughta be home, anyhow.

She and her family would come and visit with her sister Miss Floy ‘n’ ‘em in Paxton perhaps once a month, spending a weekend as the hosts and their family counted the minutes til three o’clock on Sunday, when they always departed, so as to “be home by dark.” That the hour of departure remained rigid even in the plentiful sunlight of Summer days was a Seasonal Grace granted to those who suffered her visits.

Miss Ruby and her family HAD things---a really big house, a huge Oldsmobile, land and a pond and every appliance and electronic device known to man. She dressed beautifully, even in her ‘duster” for First Cup every morning---it was always accessorized with exactly-matching little scuffs, and sometimes a co-ordinated headband in her wiry hair. She wore Capris often, with a shirt-tail-out blouse, either sleeveless, or with the sleeve cuffs ironed into starched creases sharp as the pages of a book. And she smoked. Nobody had any say in her smoking in the house---her reply was always, “Get used to it,” as she swung the umpteenth big old kitchen match through the air and blew little silvery dragon-snorts from her nostrils.

Everybody in the family was sorta afraid of her---her two older sisters and even her parents.  Amanda, Miss Floy’s oldest and quite a kitchen-whiz herself, helped her Mama all she could, letting her go relax on the porch with the company, while she did the dishes or cooked the next meal or baked a cake.   She left the chatting and socializing with Aint Ruby to her Mama and Grandma, letting them “get their visit out,” and keeping up with the chores because her Mama was absolutely wore plumb out just being with Aint Ruby for the weekend.

As they gathered at the dining table one Winter night, they sat down to a good hot hearty pot roast supper, with that big old silvery Magnalite roaster plumb full of tender chunks of beef and potatoes and carrots in a savory onion gravy, and side dishes of tee-ninecy English peas and three-bean salad.   Amanda was already a “dab-hand” with the biscuit-making, doing them just like Grandma Foshee always had, with a well in the middle of flour in the big pan, a BIG three-finger scoop of Crisco worked in with her fingers, and then the buttermilk, likewise.   Those were some of the best biscuits in the history of baking, and a big plate of them always sat on the table, supper or breakfast, if there was gravy involved.

Amanda and her sister set the table real pretty, and that night she’d put pickles and preserves and jelly into pretty little dishes, and poured the sorghum (a MUST for their Daddy,  when there were biscuits on the table) into a heavy little pitcher.

As the syrup pitcher reached Aint Ruby, she poured a generous pool over her biscuit, then, noticing an errant drop on the pour-lip of the pitcher, she raised it to her mouth, lapped out her tongue, and took a big old sidewise lolling slurp all the way around the pitcher-lip. looking impishly around the table as she went. She passed it on with a hearty, raucous laugh, as they all looked on in amazement and disgust.   On and on it went round the table with no takers---apparently nobody else really had a taste for syrup that evening, anyway. And Amanda made sure the remains got poured down the sink before she washed the pitcher.

From all the stress and work and dread of the visits, two of the things everybody remembers most about Aint Ruby concerned her cooking---she didn’t ever, as the saying went, “turn her hand” when it came to clearing the table or washing up, but would “help out” in the kitchen only when it struck her to barge in and insist on preparing a dish or two “the way EYE make ‘em.” 

She always insisted on making the devilled eggs, and in addition to a big spoonful of pickle relish, she added several tablespoons of sugar into the mix, so that every bite went crunch. And a cup of sugar into the Cheese and Macaroni, cause that’s how her husband’s Mama made it, and that’s how HE liked it. Good thing---that made ONE who would eat it.

And all the rest of the family were mightily jubus of that macaroni, so Amanda always wrapped it up nicely in Tupperware for Aint Ruby,  “. . .for your supper when you get home, cause I KNOW you’ll be too tired to cook.”


  1. I love your writings!!!!!!! I'm jubus!


  2. Just 'window shopping' right now on this lazy spring Sunday afternoon....I will come back and visit unhurriedly - My roots are in south Georgia and we called our "Aunts" ....'Aint' Our Aunt Laura was "Aint Lar" happy you signed on as a follower hope you understand my explanation of my 'obvious' neglect of Down the Lane and also invite you to come over and get aquainted at Like Gramma's House -

  3. Amanda's Aint Ruby sounds delightful!
    What a character - nothing jubus about her!!!

    I'm popping in as I happened to see your comment on the Hattat's blog post.
    I'm love all things gardening so your question interested me!
    I followed the link to your friend's blog and when I saw the photos I knew immediately that it was Pink Broom!
    I hope this is a help Rachel - I've now joined your followers - it's lovely to meet you!
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Shane in New Zealand

  4. Thank you for stopping by Like Gramma's House and leaving me a note...I haven't yet gotten "a handle" on my day so I haven't read the entire first post I am coming to here...even so..I AM INTRIQUED already and will come back later in the day to "dig in"..I look forward to getting to know you through your writing!

  5. Lordy mercy, Girl, you just tickle the stuffings outta me. Love your way of telling a story. And, you bring to mind every time some memory from my childhood 'down South'. Loving it. Keep it up.

  6. Your Aint Ruby sounds like my dear SIL.....
    A southern-raised lady, who is demure enough to sit and have tea with the "Queen", but could cuss like a sailor on shore leave.
    A beauty of a woman, she could be a Hollywood star, but instead lives her life in the quiet of her tucked away farm far from the starlight.
    I would have liked your Aint......

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment and the visit......
      I admit to being quite humbled at your words.
      Thank You they made my day.