Name: Iva Nell Freeman
Hometown: Oneonta, AL
What were some major changes in the world while growing up?
When I was a child, I remember listening to the radio to hear news about the war. When I was 12, I remember people dancing in the street when World War II was over. It was strange to see such an enjoyable time to celebrate the war being over, after all of the time of being scared and living in fear for all the people that had served during the war.
What did you and your siblings do for fun?
Played tag and other games, we didn’t have many toys. On Saturday nights we would listen to mystery stories on the radio.
Did you ever get in trouble as a child or teenager?
I borrowed snuff from a neighbor, and thought I should try it (like all the adults were doing). I got sick, it made me never want to try any other type of tobacco. Although I never told anyone, it was a valuable lesson.
How did you meet your husband?
At a very young age I first noticed him riding in the back of a neighbor’s truck going down the road. He was very handsome and I wanted to get to know him.
Where was your wedding/honeymoon?
We were married in a furniture store that was owned by the minister that married us. For our honeymoon, we watched Gone With the Wind at the Alabama Theater. We stayed with my sister-in-law that night, and went back home to pick tomatoes the very next day.
Where have you traveled?
I have been to the entire continental United States, except for Montana and Minnesota. Also to Mexico, Canada, Israel and Bermuda.
Do you have a favorite vacation memory?
Riding the camels down the steep mountains in Israel. Not sure that I could do that every day!
How did you keep up with maintaining a household (cleaning, cooking, etc.) with 4 kids & a farm?
You don’t, it keeps up with you. You try. But…
How do you handle stress so gracefully?
Taking it one thing at a time.
What could you tell me that people would be surprised to learn about you?
If there is something I want to learn to do, I find a way to do it. I couldn’t afford to pay someone to put molding in the living room or ceramic tile in the bathroom, so I did it myself and it looks nice.
What is your dream for your children?
For them to be happy and have a mate that makes them happier.
What makes you happy?
Right now, laying down & taking a good nap.
What was it like being married for almost 55 years?
He was kind to me. I was married most of my life, and couldn’t imagine a marriage with anyone else.
What is your favorite current activity?
Going places, seeing things, doing things… Mainly, just being here.
What makes you happy?
I’m happy wherever I’m at really.
What one life lesson is most important for you to teach your children and grandchildren?
How to take care of and do for themselves.
Things you couldn’t live without?
Two things, a heater because I’m cold natured and a television because I want to know what’s going on in the world.
‘She Persisted’ by Chelsea Clinton
Your most favorite meal?
Vegetables from my garden
If you could meet one living person who would it be and why?
Trump & to tell him where to go
Your personal role model?
I love the women of The View, Joy makes me blush though.
Words you live by…
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
From the Author
My grandma is an amazing, Godly woman. She is as kind and graceful as Mother Theresa in my eyes. She is always calm and I have never seen her upset. Grandma can make just about anything and is the most resourceful person I’ve ever met. One of my biggest memories with her (besides Disneyworld) was her ability to harvest anything. She and my grandfather had acres of farmland, and that same food on the table from every dinner she ever prepared was fresh from her own garden. She is also a very talented seamstress and I have many hand-sewn treasures that she has made me over the years. When I was a child she built this big beautiful bookcase all by herself, which is an adored family heirloom that now sits in her great-grandchildren’s playroom. By request she made quilts for her children and grandchildren as special gifts. She wins all hearts with her cooking and makes the most delicious homemade/homegrown vegetable soup you have ever tasted. I’ve never attempted the soup recipe myself but I will one of these days. This soup is the cure-all for any illnesses in our family. I’m asking for this recipe now for the first time, and want to share it with everyone reading this column.
GRANDMA NELL’S CURE-ALL VEGETABLE SOUP
MIXED VEGETABLES (POTATOES, CORN, BUTTERBEANS, OKRA, ONION, PEAS, CELERY, CARROTS, PEPPERS HOT/SWEET) *TOMATOES **
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
**COMBINE A RATIO OF 1/3 MIXED VEGETABLES TO 2/3 TOMATORES
BOIL ALL MIXED VEGETABLES UNTIL TENDER, LET WATER COOK OUT. ADD
TOMATOES AND COOK OVER LOW HEAT UNTIL TENDER. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER.