Apr 13, 2009

My Masana

The day before Easter my mom and I went out for the last minute Easter shopping. We stopped at Denny's for breakfast and started talking about our Goodman Family Reunion that is coming up at the end of May. My mom asked me what are some of the memories I had of my Masana. I had to think hard. I was young the last time I saw her. I think I was 14. I don't remember a lot of my childhood so I had to think hard. Hear are some of the memories I had of my Masana.
I should let you know that Masana means Grandma in Navajo.Her name was Jane Goodman. My Masana lived in Monument Valley but passed away in Chinle Arizona 1993. Monument Valley is in Utah. Right by the Arizona/Utah border. She live in a round cement house with no rooms. She didn't have electricity or running water when I was little. She lived right next to a mesa. The mesa's name was Douglas Mesa. You know that famous Monument Valley picture that is everywhere from history books to magazines. She lived a ways away behind that actual rock.
Since she didn't have running water in her house, she would take a bath in a silver basin on one of the bottom level of the mesa right next to her water tank. I remember helping her wash her hair and how it felt like real coarse, almost like horse hair. She didn't have a lot because she was going bald so we had to be gentle and careful when we wash it. She would tell me stories while I helped her. She also had a chicken coupe that had chickens. I also think she had bunnies by them to.
I also remember she had a shade house ( i don't know how to spell it in Navajo)which was made out of tree branches and logs. She had beds in there for her and my cousin Selena to sleep in during the summer nights. I would lay next to her while she would sing Navajo lullaby's to me. She was always rubbing my legs down with Mentholatum telling me that this medicine would help my legs from hurting when I was growing. So the smell of Mentholatum reminds me of her hands.
She had a sheep corral and I would help her and my cousin heard the sheep back in the corral and she would always tell me to keep a close eye on the ram because I was to stay far away from him. I always listen but one day I cousin wasn't watching and it ram right into her breaking her collar bone.
She had a few cars next to a big tree in the front of her house. Those cars were full of junk but my cousins, brother, and I would move stuff around to pretend we were driving. I would think of where my Grandpa may be sitting or maybe just laying down it. He died when I was a baby. But that was the one place I would try to remember him.My masana would yell at us for playing in there because there might be snakes in them.
Oh she made the very best fry bread. I would watch her peel potatoes, fry them in her pan on the wood stove. Than she would make the fry bread. Now, because she loved me the most (what I thought then) she always made me a small fry bread at the end. Nobody was to touch it because it was for her Janalea. Instead of sitting around the table, she would put the pan and pile of fry bread on a blanket on the floor. We than would use our fry bread as utensils and "DIG" in. My masana was always playing cards. She taught me to play solitaire. She moved gracefully.I loved her so much.
Because she didn't have a lot of hair, when she brushed her hair gently, she would than gather up all the hair off the brush and stick it back in her bun with the rest of her hair, so her bun looked fuller. She also said that it was also to keep the bad spirits from grabbing her hair and putting a curse on her. She was very into the Navajo culture. She spoke English but so always spoke Navajo to us all.
These are just some of the memories I have of my masana.

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