Last week, the world lost a witty, strong-willed, and philanthropic lady, and I lost a fabulous great-grandma. Dorothy Mae (Holley) Hale entered this world on December 7, 1916, and at almost 97, she wasn't about to let you forget it!! She loved her grandchildren, and I still remember her insisting my little sister (born December 3rd) be born on her birthday, and then she fussed and fussed when her first great-great-grandsons (twins) had the nerve to be born late on the night of December 6th. They couldn't wait just a couple more hours!?!?
She married James Kyle Hale, known to everyone as "Bud" when they were in their 20s, and they had two wonderful sons: Ronald (my grandfather) and Gary. Widowed at an early age, Dorothy worked with the Virginia Extension Service in Family & Consumer Science as a technician. She helped families learn about nutrition and foods, and she worked with 4-H. One lady I spoke with who Dorothy worked for in FCS laughed when she recalled how my Grandma would always lose her keys. "She'd lay them down somewhere and forget, so after our meetings, we would all have to help her search for them, so she could go home." Hmmm . . . I'm guessing that is genetic.
Dorothy was very active with her senior citizens group and with the Red Hat Society. Grandma & I both always loved wearing red, so I remember when she first told me about this group of ladies that wear red and purple, I was ready to sign up!!! Apparently, they have age restrictions - ha! She had the best little platform above her staircase, and my mom and I would sneak up there and play when we weren't hiding from her in the wardrobe closet. The train tracks ran behind her house, so when the coal train would come by, the whole house would shake!!! I was certain the china cabinet was going to crash to floor one day!!! And her dolls!!! Grandma loved to make things . . . she made beautiful quilts, dolls, and (my personal favorite) Raggedy Ann & Andy!!! There are actually pictures of me dressed up in my Raggedy Ann's pinafore (yes, I borrowed clothes from my doll).
There are plenty of hilarious "Grandma" stories, which are what have kept me from crying too much over the
past few days. Really, her grandchildren teased her mercilessly. They convinced all their kids (ok, so me, my sister, and my cousin) to sing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" at Christmas. Mom posted signs about how she cheated at Rook, and we were all convinced she killed all her boyfriends. Seriously, they would forget they dropped her off somewhere or would call and report the car they loaned her as stolen, and the next thing you knew . . . they were gone. I suspect dating in your 80s and 90s can be a bit rough.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of us and my Great-Grandma-Dot!!! Slideshow is approximately 2 minutes.