The beauty of doing house calls as a massage therapist is you often get to meet your client’s extended family. Not only that, but there have also been quite a few times when my clients would treat their guests to one of my massages.
I met Edna because her dear daughter in law would treat her to a massage when she came to visit from Texas. She was such a nice generous Grandma to their kids. With her amazing sewing skills, Edna would make beautiful clothing for her grandchildren.
The first time I massaged her I remember being impressed at how dense her musculature was. She was in her eighties and had a solid set of hip and legs muscles. She had worked hard physically most of her life. Edna hunted for deer, wrung her own chicken necks and could kill a calf for dinner. She used heavy cast iron pans to cook with and did many chores on the farm in Texas where she lived.
Edna’s Dad was a preacher and they were part of the primitive Baptist church. She’d say Daddy got lots of credit for being good to people but it was Momma who made the homemade meals he would bring to them. When she told me stories it was as if I was listening to a live history book. I loved her stories.
When she was a young teenager in love she had a tragic event. Her fiancé received an airplane as a gift from his parents. Unfortunately, he crashed the plane and died right in front of Edna. She said to me one day,” I knew then that I had bad luck”. Edna did meet and fall in love with another young man and they got married. As newlyweds, she and her husband rented a little house which they filled it with furniture. A few months later it burnt to the ground. She suspected arson was the reason.
Her husband worked very hard, physically dragging the plow to till the fields himself till they could afford to buy a horse. When he was in his forties he had a bad heart attack that slowed him down. She explained to me that although some of her neighbors went off to fight the war during WW2. the government understood they needed to keep the farms going in order to feed everyone, so farmers like her husband didn’t all get shipped out like some parts of the country.
Edna was a great story teller, and she told me too many funny stories to put them all down here but here’s a couple you’ll get a chuckle out of. One day she was talking with me about how things upset you so much more when you’re younger. I love this one. She told me, one time she baked a cake and Tinsley, her husband, only ate one piece. She assumed he didn’t like it “I flung myself on the bed cried so hard.” He said “what are you crying about? She told him you hardly ate any of that cake, it must not taste good. He said oh no I was just full from that good dinner you made. I’ll eat more later”.
Edna and her husband had three sons and got along well with all of them. I admired that she enjoyed the differences in them. As a mother, she appreciated their individual talents. Her first son was a talented musician who could write songs, and sing. Her second son was a creative carpenter and her third son was a doctor with a busy practice. Her grandkids would call to ask for her advice and to pray with her.
Another of the stories I loved was about the time she and her husband were hunting. Edna shot a deer, but she didn’t kill it. The deer continued running with Edna close behind. The deer made it to a highway road and drops in the road. Just then a pickup truck pulls up, picks up the deer and throws it in the truck and pulls away. She was so mad, cursing that man for stealing her deer. She said I hope he got stopped cuz I bet he didn’t have his hunting license on him. She also bragged that the original Marlboro man was the husband of a relative of hers. He owned a huge mega ranch and was also a local judge. She was very proud that her daughter in law was a judge and bragged how she was so careful to be ethical. No one better dare try to mess with her either.
It made me happy when she’d say, “never in my life did I think I’d be so lucky to get three massages a week, thanks to my good kids”. She appreciated that I took good care of her and tried to think of ways to keep her comfortable.
Edna was also an accomplished artist. I was grateful she taught me how to paint. I’m amazed she had the patience with me! I asked her to teach me when I realized she missed teaching her friends back in Texas. She did such a good job and I still love my paintings till this day.