Nancy Nason Guss
Nancy Nason Guss, a retired career educator, is Living with Gussto, a life filled with Books, Bagpipes, & Blogs. In addition to playing bagpipes, she's published pieces for all ages that process life's triumphs and tribulations.
514 S. 6th Street, #6
Usually, I don’t keep broken bits and pieces of stuff, but in this case, I made an exception. My mother had a special gift for creating gifts that remind us of something she wanted us to remember. She always let us know why the gift was so important and what it symbolized. I glanced at my shelf and saw the picture of Mamoo, my great grandmother, behind one such gift from my mother. I unknowingly had paired the two, and when glancing over to the shelf, the symbolism of this juxtaposition landed like a ton of bricks on one of the few remaining pieces of 514’s foundation. My mother spent most of her childhood at 514.
514 S. 6th St., #5
My first Christmas was spent at 514, and I was almost a year old. On that first baby's first Christmas, a special stocking was made that bore my name and contained little baby things. As I grew, I continued using it, and it was always my favorite. None of my siblings had one like it. Their first stockings were purchased in New Jersey, not Georgia.
514 S. 6th Street, #3
“I like Jean’s version best,” said Uncle Jimmie. Aunt Jean had a gift for telling stories. They may have been filled with embellishments to brighten them up or exaggerated so the heroes became superhuman. I remember when she told us the story of Aunt Anne, who was being bullied every day by a slightly older girl. On the way to school, that girl would steal Aunt Anne’s lunch. My aunt would cry and go hungry. Then one day, she figured out how to stop this bully once and for all.
514 S. 6th Street, #2
The mirror welcomed visitors to my grandmother's home, which was her mother's home, and her mother's mother's home. Many have gazed into the mirror with their ever-changing reflections as they aged. My grandmother and mother grew up in that house, where they were greeted on the right by the hall tree adjacent to the door leading to my grandmother's room, with the phone table on the other side of that door. On the left, the little table with the mirror above it stood next to the living room door, followed by the line of shelves filled with books. All would stop on their way out, check the mirror to make sure they were ready, and walk out, sometimes without returning for a long time, if at all.
My Mother's Shoes
After Mom died, my sister and I split up whatever clothes she had that we would use. Mom always had an impeccable taste with an eye for quality. She and I wore the same size sandals, and there was an almost new pair, light blue with a cushy feel to them. I tried one on, and it seemed to fit, so they were mine. They would be perfect around the house and when I did my gardening outside. Once home, I wanted to feel closer to Mom. Her shoes were there, and they matched my outfit.