Friday Nights at My Moew’s

As a child, I spent countless Friday nights with my maternal grandmother, Moew, usually when my mean older sisters were having a slumber party.

Moew’s old house on Lahoma Street was packed with neat stuff.

In winter, I loved to stand on the gas heating grate in the living room.  The tines were just wide enough so you could stand on them barefoot when it was off.

When the gas heater came on, it would crackle and pop.

Soon it was too hot to stand on, so you would straddle it as the hot air billowed up your backside and roasted you alive.

Moew’s living room had thick carpet and a dark wooden table that ran the length of the windows.  It was covered with a hand-crocheted doily and held old lamps and other Old Lady things.

But what intrigued me was on the bottom.  At each corner were ornate pieces that hung down. The were about the size of a pine cone, but smooth to the touch. 

Three of them were tightly stuck in, but one would come out. When I was maybe four or five, it came out a lot.

I’d pull it out every Friday night of the world and go hide it. Moew would pretend to be mad at me while searching high and low, but she could never find it.  

I’d triumphantly retrieve it — from the same place I’d hidden it 1,000 times before.  Then Moew would smile the way that only your grandmother could smile: filled with love and pride and joy.

If my Aunt Joe was living with Moew at the time, we had a lot of TV to watch on Friday night’s, especially Porter Wagoner and Saturday Night Wrestling, with Danny Williams!  (“Watch out for flying chairs!”) 

I remember Moew’s bedroom being ice cold in the winter, so racing in and leaping under the electric blanket was always a thrill.  And I would absolutely conk out in about 30 seconds.

I loved sitting on her screened in back porch, that my Dad had built, as she cooked the most incredible breakfasts — bacon and eggs, fried bread and the killer — sausage gravy and biscuits.   

Moew was such a great cook that OU frat houses got in bidding wars to win her services.

Porch Swing

But the “bestest” thing about Moew’s house, as a kid and even when I got older, was sitting next to Moew in her big front porch swing.

I loved to spend Fall or Spring evenings swinging with her on the porch swing.

We’d talk a little, drink ice tea and, every year, watch momma birds build their nests up where there was a gap in the wood.

In the Fall, we’d swing and enjoy the trees that ran along both sides of Lahoma Street as their leaves “turned”. And as the squirrels would hurriedly hide their nuts where the birds nests had been in the spring.

When Moew finally passed away, I’m grateful that my childhood best friend Steve Madden’s sister, Glenda, bought her house.  She gave it the TLC it deserved and was even kind enough to give us wood from a tree in the back yard that had to be cut down.

I’m hoping that my nephew, who has the gift of making stuff, will one day make me something out of that wood.

I don’t know if he could make me something like Moew’s miraculous table, but that would be awesome.