…”There goes Miss Frances”…

One of the things that sticks out in my mind about my Mother, many folks knew her as “Miss Frances”, is that she always loved Butterflies. I remember from my earliest years in the Spring when my Grandmothers (Mamas) flowers would start bloomin’ & openin’ the Butterflies were drawn in. All sizes & colors.They would just flit around the yard from flower to flower. And we had them in both front & back of the house. We had a terraced back yard. Right off of the small back porch, about 12 feet, was a small set of rock & concrete, homemade, steps goin’ to the upper back yard. On both sides of those steps were flower beds & the one on the right side was the longest & deepest of those two. AND WE DIDN’T DARE get into Mamas flowers. Out front at the base of the elevated Front/Summer Porch was another flower bed runnin’ the width of the porch base, about 20 feet long & 3 to 4 feet wide. Up on the porch there was a waist high balcony with a 1 foot wide concrete top runnin’ the length of the porch and then on one side back to the house about 12 feet. It was a BIG Porch. And all along that balcony  were various sizes of flower pots all in full bloom. Mama kept those things rotated out & well pruned. We always had cut flowers throughout the house also. So needless to say we had Honey Bees & Butterflies galore. We were allowed to mess with & kill the Bees in those days but NEVER were we allowed to hurt the Butterflies. I would always catch some bees & chase my older brother with’em, threatenin’ him with a bee sting! My brother was allergic to bees, if he got stung he’d swell up something awful all over. He had pills to take if that happened then mother would RUSH him to the Dr. or Hospital for additional shots. Then I’d get one hell of a whippin’ when we got home!  We had a lot of fights over those times as well. We didn’t have much growin’ up but I always remember mother wearing Butterfly Pins. In her hair, on her sweaters, & blouses. Sometimes she’d wear more than one at a time. We even had cushions & sofa pillows with Butterflies on’em. Thru the years she kept her collection of Butterflies. After Mother passed we cleaned out her house. There among her things was her Butterfly Collection. We made sure that all of the children, grandchildren at the time all got some of them. Since her passin’ every time we see a Butterfly someone will say there goes “Miss Frances”!  We always seem to feel her spirit around us when that happens. It usually will bring a tear or two to my eyes, as is happenin’ right now. Damn, now my shirt sleeve is all wet! So the next time YOU see a Butterfly fly by you just think “There goes Miss Frances”!…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

Mother & I at Cascade Plunge 1957


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