When we ever we visited southern Indiana, our Mother’s accent would change. She could put on quite a show with her southern twang. It was puzzling to us but she seemed happy talking like that, so my sister and I accepted this “newfangled” way of talking.
Our mother would drag us from one relative’s house to another. Depending on whose house we were “visiting”, and how hungry or thirsty Mother was, she would request certain items to be prepared. She thought nothing of yelling out how much she loved fried chicken with fresh tomatoes from the garden. I guess she thought she was at a restaurant.
She also thought nothing of asking in her best Southern Belle voice:
How about a glass of that nice, refreshing sweet tea…you know, that special tea you make.
It seemed she needed a glass or two of “special sweet tea” at every house we stopped at. We learned later that this was her code for a good, stiff shot of hard liquor poured into a glass of sweet tea. Even then, Mother was quite the heavy drinker.
One of her favorite meals was squirrel gravy with biscuits. Now, we were not accustomed to eating small little rodents back home in Illinois. But mother would go on and on about how much she loved these delectable little animals. Our Aunt Edna lived on a farm and would try to meet her demands.
To accommodate our mother’s request for squirrel gravy, our aunt would ask one of her boys to “go get some squirrels.” Off they would eagerly go with their shotguns. Upon their return, the preparation of the squirrels (namely, skinning and gutting them) would commence. Then it was time to begin frying the rodents up. Soon there would be a big bowl of greasy rodent gravy on the table, often with buckshot scattered in it. Many days, my sister and I left the table hungry during our visits down South.