Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Southern Vocab Lesson: Tippits

Tippits - small pieces of it food or carpet fuzz.

My grandparents (maternal) played a large role in my life. They lived 15 minutes from my parent's house and we spent time with them often. On Friday nights there was a rotation between the four of us, and we waited (impatiently) for it to be our turn. While it may not seem like a big deal, back then we couldn't wait for our turn to stay the night at Pawpaw and Grammy's by ourselves because we knew it included Piccadilly Cafeteria (YUM!), dancing with Pawpaw to the Lawrence Welk show and briefly feeling like an only child. What I would give to go back and dance with Pawpaw one more time to the Lawrence Welk directed tunes. Pawpaw passed away almost 6 years ago and it feels like we lost him yesterday. I miss him greatly.

Back to the topic....tippits! My grandparents were meticuluos about cleaning. Not so much that they cringed when we dirtied things up but they had a strict cleaning schedule. Right now, I can only remember Friday's activities, vacuuming. Pawpaw would pull around the hose vacuum every single Friday morning and on the days between it was nothing out of the ordinary to find him crouched on the carpet picking up "tippits" - tiny pieces of paper, crumbs, fuzz, etc. - to keep the carpet looking clean until it could be vacuumed on Friday. Tippits weren't just things found on the carpet they were also the coveted roast beef shavings from Grammy's Sunday roast which we all fought over (4 girls...we fought a lot). It makes me laugh now to think about it; tippits were both undesirable and desirable, annoyances on the carpet and delicous shavings of meat, something to be thrown away and something to be eaten. Up until now I guess I had never noticed how funny it was...probably because I thought that the word "tippits" was a part of everyone's vocabulary. That is until I was asked what I was doing crawling around on the carpet and this exchange occurred:

Mr. Ski: What are you doing, babe?

Mrs. Ski: (What does it look like I'm doing?) Oh, just picking up tippits.

Mr. Ski: Tip-whats?

Mrs. Ski: T-I-P-P-I-T-S....little pieces of crap(not literal) on the carpet.

Mr. Ski: (Blank Stare)

He knew I'd explain further (apparently I over-explain things...but you know that if you've ever read my Friday Fragments), and I did not disappoint as I told him the origin of "tippits" and laughing over its contradictory meaning. Now when I pick up tippits off the carpet, I smile because it not only reminds me of my beloved Pawpaw but it also means he is still with me. And now I'm crying.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful and needs a replay. I hope you'll link it up on Saturday.

    I can't really put it into words, but the feeling this post conveys is universal. We all have Pawpaws and Grammies :)