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Visiting Big PawPaw
Russell Hodnett is my great grandfather on my father's side. Visits to his home were memoriable for me. He and Big MawMaw lived in a little house which they rented until she died. His brother Red lived in a small trailer next to the house until his death. They still had an outhouse and used the well for water. I can't remember if running water was ever added to the house. Big MawMaw would put a small pot for me next to my bed in case I might have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. She always covered me with handmade quilts she made. With the weight of the quilts, I don't believe getting up would have been an option without help. Big PawPaw was a quiet man for the most part, but he did like to tell "tall tales" to get a chuckle out of everyone. He was tall and skinny, always wearing overalls with a button up shirt underneath. His hair was white and I have never seen any earlier pictures of him. On one visit with him and Big MawMaw, we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. All the children and grandchildren and great grandchildren were there. When Big MawMaw died, Big PawPaw had to move into a small apartment in Lineville where he lived the last 7 years alone for the first time since he was a child.
I still visit the old house where my greatgrandparents lived. It has not changed one bit. The large oak trees out front, still hanging full with mistletoe, cast a shadow across the porch where wooden rocking chairs once were. And from the porch, you can still look out across the grassy field to the little country church they would walk to before their health declined. And it is there at the church cemetery where both are now resting quietly with many other family members.
Dianna Hodnett April 16, 2012