Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


September 9, 2013

Tidbits: Treasure your grandparents

CROSSVILLE — This past weekend offered a moment for everyone to stop and recognize those most special of adults, our grandparents.

National Grandparents Day was Sept. 8 and has been proclaimed a national day of recognition on the first Sunday after Labor Day each year since 1978.

I confess, I did not spend grandparents day with my grandparents. I was thankful to get to spend time visiting with my Granny and Poppa the weekend before, however. They are my only grandparents left, though I was fortunate to have many years with both sets of grandparents and even have many wonderful memories of two great-grandmothers.

There's something incredibly special about grandparents. Mine were never excessively lenient. They all wanted their grandchildren to mind their manners and be good kids. But they certainly let us kids get by with a bit more hijinks than those tough disciplinarians I spent most of my days with.

My childhood was filled with memories of staying over with Grandma and Grandpa or Granny and Poppa.

Sometimes, I'd join Poppa at the Druthers on a Saturday morning when he went to the weekly liars club and the members solved all the world's problems over coffee and gravy and biscuits. Then we were off to the stockbarn for a cattle auction or to the Co-Op to pick up feed for his horses. Or, we'd return to the barn and I'd run around playing with the horses, cats and dogs until time to walk across the field and get some lunch at the house from Granny.

Granny would often chauffeur my sister and me about town while Mom and Dad were at work in those younger years. Poor Granny was given the task of taking me for my pre-kindergarten immunizations. I have a long-standing hatred of needles and I wonder if maybe she drew the short straw because no one else wanted to deal with a screaming four-year-old. She knew what was in store for her. She promised me a new toy at the store where she worked if I would be a good girl and get my shot. I took the shot, but I'm pretty sure she was still left dealing with a tantrum, yet I don't believe she punished me. I guess she figured I'd had enough with the shot and finger-prick.

Grandpa Mullinix loved his Braves, even during the rotten years. We'd visit and he'd be watching them lose, but still he stayed loyal to his team. He and Grandma loved having the grandkids around, and staying over with them was always a lot of fun, with Grandma fixing a special breakfast treat in the morning, chocolate gravy and biscuits.

Over at Ma's house, you were always guaranteed to find something good to eat, whether it was green beans with fatback, delicious chicken and dumplings or Ma's fried pies. You couldn't go to see her without being offered something to eat. She wanted you to leave full! My sister and I would spend many afternoons playing at Ma's house, running through the bedrooms, climbing trees in the yard, grabbing a treat from the kitchen, sliding down the stairs or, later, playing a game of Rook. When a bout of stomach flu or a cold kept me out of school, I'd spend the day at her house, propped up on a couch, covered with afghans and a bowl of soup nearby. On these days I got to watch "daytime" television, including my great-grandmother's favorite soap opera, "The Young and The Restless." I watched that show up until I entered "the real world" and couldn't plan my schedule around daytime TV. This was also before the advent of DVR, and I never could program a VCR.

I notice a lot of my memories of my grandparents are connected to food. All the best memories involve a special food, in my opinion, and Granny has tried to pass a few of the secret family recipes along to me. She's taught me how to make her homemade pie crust and her chicken and dumplings, two of my favorite dishes from her kitchen. But try as I might, I just can't get it right. My cousin, the self-appointed quality control inspector on such things, confirmed that something just isn't quite right. I suppose it's Granny's love that's the secret ingredient I'm missing. Thankfully, she's still up for making me a pot of dumplings on occasion.

I'm so thankful for all the time my grandparents made to spend with me growing up and into my adult years, even if it was just watching a baseball game on TV or taking me around the stockbarn circuit. As I've gotten older, new responsibilities and pursuits have taken up more of my time, and I no  longer live right down the road from my grandparents. But I love them so much and I treasure all the times I get to spend with them.

If you're fortunate enough to still have your grandparents with you, don't waste the opportunity to let them know how important they are to you. Give them a call and catch up or, if they're close by, make time to visit with them. You'll be glad you did.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice