Culture General

Thea’s Jamaican Childhood – Granny wid de magnet

Written by Thea B.

“Granny wid de magnet!!!!” Young boy Footy hollered at my grandmother while she sat on the verandah with the kitchen knife looking out just ready and waiting. She cut her eyes dem past Boy Footy cause if him eva kick football and mek it reach over to her plants them in the garden yu see, “him wouldda fenneh grease!!!” as she would say.

Every Sunday evening granny would sit on the verandah after enjoying a good plate of brown stew chicken, rice and peas, shredded cabbage and carrots and carrot juice, she would belch and “tank an’ praise de Lawd” for a belly full. The young men on Coolshade endevoured to play a game of football to work out and enjoy themselves on a cool Sunday evening. But granny was more protective of her garden arrayed with various trees and plants. Her newly planted peppers, tomatoes, scallion, one and two cabbage lined the 10 feet red tiled area where as children we played “pan de bank, pan de riva.” On the other side was a hibiscus tree where we would pick each delicate flower and put the lil embryonic piece on our noses to make “nosey”. A small ackee tree stood next to it.  As we head further to the front room windows on the right, was a tiny teeny palmish tree I don’t know what it’s called and I never seen nothing like it again. Her tuna/cactus tree that grew big and tall above 7 feet where often times granny would ask me to pick off a “tuna” and bring to her so the aloe vera can use to wash her white beautiful natural hair on Saturdays. See I was commissioned to do the errands for granny often because I was the youngest grand child living in a house filled with women.
    To the far side of the garden near the neighbor’s fence, stood a sour sop tree, lime tree, fever grass, leave of life plant, croton that lived only in water and some planted in the earthworm and fertile soil, ran and lined the walls. Mushrooms spread by the water pipe near the water gutter. Other assorted plants filled the granny’s garden tremendously. There was no telling, granny loved her plants and the same plants would receive special care and attention like non other as sometimes, the household would benefit from the leaves, fruits, or nourishments the plants would contribute to our daily diet. From drawing the leaves to make tea, to using the cactus for the hair, or eating the fruits or the ackee the times it bud, admiring the flowers, or reaping the vegetables to assist with dinner, granny’s garden was her pride and joy and useful to us all.

    Granny sat watching the passers-by and saying a “howdy-do” to each and often commenting at the passerby as they walked by to the bus stop or respective destinations.
“Yu see dah one deh? Woii, look how she fat!” Granny said bussing out in laughter.

“All dat dah china-foot one deh,” she said cutting her eyes, “den coo de batty too. Eh ehhh!!”
Granny had her times of entertainment by commenting on them and holding on to the knife lil longer.

“Boop! Goooooal!!!” The young men exclaimed and realizing the football had landed in the front yard garden.
“Granny grabbed her brown and black cane to try and raise her small petite frame up while the other hand gripped her knife, determined to open the high grill fence to retrieve the ball herself.

“Granny man, sorry about that. Mi can come ova and get the ball.”

“Mi tired fi tell uno…no kick no ball ova inna mi garden. Next time uno dweet, mi a go cut up de ball.”

“Alright granny sorry bout dat.” A young man came to get the ball apologetically. “Granny wid de magnet!!!!!” Boy Footy hollered in laughter as granny returned to her seat on the verandah to finish admiring and enjoying the Sunday evening cool breeze on her verandah. All the while, still clutching the knife on the side seat.

About the Author
Thea B. is a native Jamaican and aspiring writer who enjoys reading and writing as hobbies. She loves to explore and emphasize the beauty of Jamaica and to tell fictional and non-fictional stories from her childhood or about life in general. She is currently writing a novel and is attending graduate school in New York.

About the author

Thea B.