Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here are my mother's parents, Ed and Emily Vahalik.  I remember them very well as we would spend almost every holiday at their home in Yoakum, Texas.  I absolutely loved to go to their place...there was so much space and fun things to do there if you were a kid. We would walk down to the tank, run through the pastures, climb through the barns and farm tractors, it was a constant wonder.  Grandpa usually had a pretty mean bull in the pasture, so we were very careful to be on the "right side" of the fence. We would "fish" for crayfish from the mud puddles with bacon on a string.

And the food ... oh my goodness.  Our visits usually turned into a huge family reunion at each holiday, and the tables were piled with food of all kinds.  Good, old fashioned country eating.
My grandmother never followed anything like a recipe.  She cooked and baked by feel - a pinch, a bit, a shake.  And everything turned out delicious. (So there to those television cooks who insist that you have to weigh and measure everything.  No so.)

Grandpa used to cool his coffee by pouring it into the saucer and letting it sit for a bit.  Then he'd sip it from the saucer.  Grandma served coffee in fancy cups and saucers with little flowers on them. No such thing as a mug in their home.  I loved their house, including the bathroom that was an add on to the front of the house - mom says they used an outhouse for most of her life there.  I don't remember a television in the house until much later.

They had a nice cement porch on the front of the house that gathered cool breezes as there was no air conditioning that I can remember. There was another cement pad at the back door that went out from their bedroom that had a huge black walnut tree that dropped big globs of black tassels on the porch, staining it in places.  Grandma loved her flowers and had them planted all around the place - beautiful big hydrangea bushes, too.
There was a windmill and pump in the front yard that brought water into a big water tank near the house. This was endlessly interesting to all of us kids from the big city.  But, the most interesting was the hidden stairs in their bedroom that went up into the attic where the kids used to sleep around the fireplace stovepipe.  It was something from a book, some days it was magical, some days it was creepy.  But we climbed up there every time we went there.

If you bought Grandma anything to wear, she would wrap it up in the tissue paper that it came in and store it in a cedar box in her room.  I never saw her wear any of those things.  They were her treasures, I guess. Grandma had a big hump in her back and was fairly hunched over in her older years, lack of calcium, I'm sure. Her poor spine. I think of her every day when I take my calcium supplement. These two were blessed by many grandchildren, many who lived in Yoakum, so they were lucky in that way.  Loved them!

Edmund Vclav Vahalik
Born July 19, 1890, Died November 23, 1974
Married on October 25, 1911, Cistern, Texas
From Hocheim, Texas (?)
Family was from Czechoslovakia

Emilie Johana Svec Vahalik
Born April 5, 1894, Died May 1, 1975
Married on October 25, 1911, Cistern, Texas
From Hocheim, Texas (?)
Family from Czechoslovakia

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