Labor Day is fast approaching and I am truly looking forward to a long weekend. Many times Adam and I would spend this holiday with his grandparents in Nolensville, Tenn. staying the weekend at their home. Saturday evening was spent playing dominoes as this was a house favorite. Grandmother taught me the rules as well as the ins and outs of the game. We would sit at their kitchen table playing for hours, only stopping to grab a handful of her wonderful sugar cookies and a glass of sweet tea. She loved this game and it was such a joy watching her smile, enjoying our company.
Sunday morning we all went to church and then returned to their house for Sunday dinner where the rest of the family gathered. Granddaddy would walk past us all stating “I have to go wash the Brethren off my hands before we eat.” We would finish the evening looking at old family pictures. They would tell the background of every image, where it was taken, when it was taken, and always had a story to share. We would laugh so hard, and then sometimes cry, as we looked at each one, listening to the chronicles of our family members and friends.
Grandmother and granddaddy have a remarkable story of their own. Uncle Thomas, granddaddy’s brother, was married to aunt Sarah, grandmother’s older sister, and that is how their story began. They dated for several months, became engaged and then he was drafted to the US Army (WW11) in 1942. He was shipped overseas, while grandmother and her younger sister started working at Wolfcreek Ordinance Plant, where ammunition was made. This was located in Milan, Tenn. just north of Memphis. Her job was to fill the Bazooka Shells with TNT. Adam said to her once, “Wow, did you realize how dangerous this was?” She stated she never really thought about it at that time.
While grandmother was working in the states, granddaddy was shipped to North Africa, and then to the invasion of Italy with the 84th Chemical Battalion. He was a jeep driver who would sometimes deliver shells to the front line. While in Italy, on a mission, he was hit by shrapnel, which cut his femoral artery, and ended up losing his right leg above the knee. This left him hospitalized for a total of 16 months due to the severity of his wounds. The first eight months were spent in a field hospital in North Africa and the only information the family received was that he was wounded, but no one knew how severe. His mother would receive letters from the Army, saying his health was improving, but never given any real details about his injuries. It was not until he was transferred back to the states, to a hospital in Atlanta, did grandmother actually hear from him.
One of the first letters received was to inform her of all that he had been through and the injuries he had sustained. It also explained that she was not obligated to the engagement since he only had one leg and it would be understood if she wanted to call it off. She wrote him back stating, “Elton, we will not cancel the engagement as I love more than just your one leg!”
After learning his location, and when the Army decided he was well enough to receive visitors, grandmother traveled from her home to Atlanta to see him in the hospital. This was Larsen General Hospital and had over 1100 amputee patients. Later, as granddaddy’s health improved, he was granted furloughs home to be with his family, and visit grandmother.
Grandaddy talked about the friendship that developed between him and his roommate. He too was severely injured, losing his left leg, the opposite of granddaddy. They shared stories of home, talked about their families, and encouraged each other in rehab. With a visit home approaching, granddaddy bought a new pair of dress shoes to wear on this occasion. Since he could only use one he gave his friend the other shoe as he knew he was going home as well. Neither had mentioned what they would be doing while they were gone and upon returning on Monday, each learned the other had wed over the weekend. Grandmother and granddaddy went to Franklin, Ky. to get married as it was easier to marry there than in Tennessee. Both men started laughing as they had “Tied the knot” in the same pair of shoes, at different ceremonies in different places on the same day.
Even though they had been apart for many months, had many obstacles to overcome, Elton Scales and Floraine Martin Scales managed to get married and remain married for 62 years, and raise a family.
The recipe I am sharing this week is grandmother’s sugar cookies. This is definitely a Flint Ridge Favorite. All of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren loved these and her cookie tin was always full.
I hope you have a wonderful week and hope you have a chance to “Bake a Memory.”
Grandmother’s Sugar Cookies
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of baking soda
½ tsp salt
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla till light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Sift together dry ingredients, blend into creamed mixture until all is mixed well. Form into a roll, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate overnight. Take out, slice thin and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees 8-10 mins. Store in an airtight container.
We love these cookies served with ice cream and peaches, but just as good straight out of the cookie jar.