In 1950, Chaney arrived at the
grand-old house on Hampton Street,
deep in the low-country of South Carolina,
to work for my great-grandmother.

In 1960, when my twin sister and I arrived,
our great-grandmother sent Chaney
next door to our grandparent's
home to care for us. 

And there Chaney remained,
year after year.  She cooked
and cleaned and fussed over us as
if we were her own.

She was family and we loved her.

Chaney hummed when she ironed
and starched the sheets.
She made a savory macaroni pie
and perfectly sweet iced tea.

She called me "Miss Suzy."
I simply knew her as "Chaney."
I never knew her last name.
No one did.
Mama said, "No one thought to ask."

And therein lies the pickle of my Southern roots. 
Chaney M. Gruber 1903 – 1975
Digital Art by Sue Viseth
In memory of Chaney, I found her last name by searching the cemetery directory of my hometown. She passed when I was a teenager, but I never knew her age. She will forever be timeless to me.

19 thoughts on “Memoir: Chaney

  1. Crazy that we never thought to ask. We had a housekeeper when I was a child called Thomas. He is someone I will never forget, he was like a Father to me, but I don’t think we knew his last name.
    Thank you for sharing this moving memoir to Chaney.
    Oh and your art is fabulous, Sue!

    Liked by 2 people

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