Monday, March 18, 2013

Beginnings and Endings

God has blessed me with a new little grandchild. This one makes three! Not bad, considering I didn’t think I would have any. This time HE sent us a little girl!!



Kenzie Elizabeth Carleigh Kitchens was born on March 07, 2013, weighing 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long.

I went to see her today. She is soooooo sweet and cuddly. There is nothing sweeter than a new born baby. Well, except a newborn grandaughter!!!  Ever since she was named, I have been having trouble remembering her name; that is until I first held her.


Since then, it has stuck fast in my heart and soul.

( Her daddy named her Kenzie and I think she already has him wrapped tightly around her tiny little finger. )

Being sick with the crud that has been running like wild fire all over Greene County lately, I forced myself to wait until I was sure that I wouldn’t pass it on to her or the rest of the family. I don’t know what I had, but it knocked me to my knees so to speak and put me in my bed for days. I very seldom miss work, but I missed all three days with this evil stuff.

Little Miss Kenzie was suppose to wait until March 11th, but I guess she decided she was coming when SHE wanted to…which was a week early. When Amanda called me that day and said; “ Mama, I am on the way to the hospital to have the baby”, I was running a 103 degree temperature. Without thinking, I squeaked out, “You can’t… I am sick!” 

So for the first time ever, I could not be with my daughter when she had her baby.

I think I have learned that one of the hardest things a mama can do is force herself to stay away from her child…for her child’s sake. Of course I knew that I could not go to the hospital in the shape I was in…but I cried all that evening that Kenzie was born, all the next day and most of the next. Along with being sick as a dog, I also felt soooooo guilty for not being there for my child when she needed me.

A mama is suppose to be there.

One day when I had to take Amanda to her c-section Pre-op at the hospital, I had the boys out in the lobby while they did all the tests on their mama. In the lobby were three big Lego blocks about a foot long each. Wyatt took the blocks and turned one up on it’s end for a refrigerator and the other two down flat for a sink and a stove. He and Will had the best time pretending they were cooking. I told them that maw maw was going to hunt them a play kitchen and darn if I didn’t find one the next day at Goodwill for $8.00! I went on to Walmart and found a basket of play food for $5.00!  So, I have been waiting to give them their gift that I promised them.

Today I took that kitchen set down there to the boys and they had the best time. Even though little William was sick, he still played right along with Wyatt for a good while. We put their kitchen on the screened-in front porch and it was such fun to watch them coming in the front door with various foods they had cooked for us. They even brought us donuts and coffee!!

After they had played for a while, Wyatt came in the door and came up to me all serious and said, “Thank you maw maw for our kitchen!” and then went over to Dan and told him the same thing and went right back outside to ‘cook’. To know that he loved this kitchen so much to stop his playing and come inside just to thank me, without being prompted, well it about made me cry. They are such good little children. When I told them they needed to eat, a very hungry Wyatt said, “Chef Wyatt and Chef Will’s kitchen just closed!!!”

( Poor little Will didn’t feel like eating, but instead went to sleep on the couch. )

While walking my dogs this evening, I glanced over at the Mill and it looks so sad. I thought about all the hard working people that worked there. My Granny, and all of Danny’s folks worked at the Mary Leila Cotton Mill making ‘Mill cloth’. When Danny and I got married, his grandma, ‘Big Mama’,  gave us Mill cloth sheets and when my babies were born, she gave me Mill cloth diapers.

This evening,  I walked over toward the gate and stood there looking up at the back door of the Mill…


I could still see in my mind; Danny at 17 years old running down the steep metal steps to get his lunch from me and I had to swallow hard to keep from crying.


That Mill supported so many families. The work was hard and everyday Danny would come home and immediately take a shower to get rid of the cotton lint in his hair, his ears, his nose, his throat and everywhere else it could find to lay on him.  I think the mill took $7.00 a week out of his check for the rent on the mill houses we lived in. We painted every room in every house we lived in. They were constantly moving us from house to house and looking back now, I think they did this so we would paint them! lol The first one was the house right in front of the Mill near the underhead pass. It is a little shotgun house and is still standing. ( They were called shotgun houses, because there were only three rooms which ran straight through.) I keep meaning to go take a picture of it before it is too late. I remember that I had a wringer washer when we lived there. It washed clothes better than any washer I have had since.

                         my house

                                     My little Mill Town home

I know it will never happen, but I sure wish the mill could come back to life and I could hear the mill whistle blow again. Just think of all the jobs it could create…all the families it could help.


I still live in Milltown and there are sooooo many memories and ghosts floating around this place.


Anonymous said...

You are so blessed and i know u feel bad not being there. But u did the very best for every glad u got a kitchen set. Live hearing the mill town stories. Miss old days too lori

Paula said...

Congratulations Carlene on the new baby and what a delightful story about the other two grand kids and about the mill house. Glad you're over that crud. Stay well and take care.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Congratulations on your new granddaughter. The picture with you and the baby is so beautiful. I love being a grandmother. There is nothing quite so wonderful.

gabby68 said...

Congratulations on your newest - and a girl. I have 4 granddaughters now, just had twin girls in Jan. my mom lives in Monroe and they turned the two cotton mills in town into huge antique malls. So much enjoy walking through them. That would be great for Greensboro!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Carlene, I love the mill too. I hope your dream of the mill being restored happens. Dad and I are doing our best to bring it back as loft living apartments. Look up the mill on facebook. We are rezoning the mill for residential living this month. I'd love to connect with you and hear some stories of Mr Danny. Good things are happening. Sincerely Nathan