Whipped With a Hankie


Grandma Ashley’s Mom and Dad.

My Great Grandma Ashley wasn’t big as a minute.

So when she threatened to whip me, I wasn’t scared, even at age three or four.

Besides, when she threatened to swat me, she was smiling that sweet old lady smile, and brandishing her embroidered hankie — that’s what she was going to whip me with.

That memory is so vivid I can still see her, “threatening” me in my grandmother Moew’s kitchen on Lahoma Street in Norman.

But there was more to my sweet, 4-ft-10 Grandma Ashley than met the eye.

We only saw her maybe once a year, near Christmas, when she would come to Norman from Altus.

She always smelled exactly the same. I loved her perfume.

And she always looked exactly the same; old grandma dress and standard-issue Great Grandma Hair Bun.

You could have knocked me over with a feather the night I saw her remove her bun before going to bed.  Out tumbled her beautiful grey hair to below her waist.

She winked at me and did a little jig around the room.

Grandma Ashley explained to me, in her tiny, little whisper of a voice, that she brushed her hair 100 times every night.

With her special little brush, that she let me hold.

Grandma Ashley died when I was very young and, sadly, I don’t know very much about her.

I wish I could’ve asked her why she always had that mischievous twinkle in her eye.

I bet when she was young, she was a real pistol.  

If your given name is ‘Ophelia Mae’, you’d have to have a trick or two up your sleeve.

Or under your bun!

I’m pleased that we have three young “Ashley” girls in our family, honoring our tiny great-great granny with the long grey hair and mischief in her eye.

Leave a Reply