Category Archives: memories

JOURNEY

It began with an idea and a dream; start a family, build a house and barn and turn them in to a home.  The babies came one by one and what was once boards and nails became a home filled with laughter and yes, some tears.  Then the children grew up.  They left for college or distance jobs. Their life journeys no longer needed the small frame house and old barn.  It was forgotten and left to end its journey in neglect and disrepair.

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JUBILANT IN DALLAS

JubilantI was visiting my son in Dallas when he was attending Dallas Theological Seminary.  We always have so much fun when we are together. We were definitely jubilant.

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THE GARDEN WEEK THREE

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RISK     Yeah I know that I’ve been showing you my vegetable garden but every now and then I need to sneak in a flower or two.  I just plain love gardening whether it is vegetables or flowers.  Like I said before I’m a plant collector.  The photo above is my ginger blooming.  Those little beautiful pearls will soon open to gorgeous flowers.

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     I had to take the risk to show you because I so want you to see them.  Recently I watched a tv show that demonstrated how to get ginger started from a piece you buy at the grocery.  I purchased a small piece for seventy cents then I broke it into three pieces and planted those in pots (it was about a month ago.)  They sprouted and are about three inches high.  I can’t wait to see what their bloom looks like.  I’ll take pictures of them growing but I forgot to today.

     Okay; on to the vegetable garden.  Everything (except the onions) is growing well.  I planted sweet peas where the onions were supposed to be and several of them have sprouted.The squash are blooming.  We actually had fried squash blooms at supper.  They were absolutely delicious.

The pepper plants are loaded with small peppers.  They are too spicy for me so I’ll give them away but it is fun to see them grow. And the tomatoes are looking strong and healthy.

     As you can see I have been very busy outside and loving every minute.  Today we raked and bagged leaves and we’re only half way there.  I save some of them in the compost bin but there is just too many to keep them all because we have several oak trees and an equal amount of Laurel Leaf Cherry.  And on that note I will say good night because I am so tired. Please come back soon and let me know what you are growing and how it is going.  I forgot to show you my pumpkin plants but God willing and Jesus lingers I’ll show you later.  And of course my Dutchman’s Pipe vine; the blooms are so wonderfully beautiful.  One fell of the vine and I opened it and found seed sooo guess who is saving Dutchman’s Pipe seeds.

Good night.

WISH LIST…DREAM LIST…

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TIME

I don’t like to use the phrase “Bucket List” because in my opinion it is way over used.  I’ll just call my list a Wish List or Dream List  but never the less it is a list of places I want to visit.  My husband does not like cities so one of my sons usually escorts me to the cities I want to see before I die.  San Francisco was on that list and my oldest son took me there a few years back.

This clock is on the old Ghirardeli Chocolate building; can’t you just smell the wonderful delight.  I believe the company has moved to another building but when it was there the wonderful aroma filled the air.

San Francisco is a fabulous city with so many things to see and do.  When we made our travel arrangements my son told me to make sure to bring a jacket.  I thought this strange since it was the middle of July but since he has traveled more than me I did as I was told.  Boy was I glad I did the morning we got up early and went to Pier 39.

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It was fresh market day and they had everything from beautiful cut flowers to fresh goat cheese. We enjoyed steaming cups of coffee and sampled the warm baked bread and cheeses.  The fresh fruit and berries made the perfect dessert.

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The post is supposed to be about time and that was one of the most perfect times that I have been blessed to enjoy.  The city was great but sharing the adventure with my son made it even more special.  If you get a chance to go I highly recommend it and make sure you go to fresh market at Pier 39.  That alone will make your trip worthwhile.  Yes, I do have a few other places to mark off my list but one day I plan to return to San Francisco.

This clock is across from the pier and you get a tiny glimpse of tents of the market.DSC_0042Time… what a wonderful thing to have and share. Thank you for checking out my post.  I usually do not use as many photos but hey TIME… what can I say.  I will get back to posting about The Creek but until then I have so many other things to say.

Thank you for stopping by and enjoy the time you are given because God did not promise us tomorrow. God bless.

 

 

Time

LORD YOU’VE BEEN GOOD TO ME

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There are so many songs that I like but the one that most represents me has a line that says “Lord you’ve been mighty good to me.”  That is so true of my life, of course I’ve seen bad times and had heartache and sorrow just like anyone else.  The thing is I’ve learned to count my blessings instead of dwelling on the bad.  If we look around and see all the good that God has and does still give us.

     I was blessed to have my sister, Betty Jean.  She has gone home to be with Jesus and I know she is waiting for me.  She and I shared so many things and music was a strong bond between us.  She would hear a song she liked or buy a new CD then call me on the phone and play it so I could hear and vice versa.

     Even though we lived in different states we talked at least once a week.  Thank God for Alexander Graham Bell. We laughed and talked a lot; sometimes we’d be on the phone for over an hour.  Our husbands asked “How can you find so much to talk about?”  But unless you’ve been that close to someone you just plain can not understand.  We shared everything good or bad; we could tell each other anything.  I know she carried some of my secrets to her grave and I will do the same.

      Yes Betty Jean was my sister but she was also my best friend.  There are times I miss her almost more than I can bear; I’ll hear a song and think “I want Betty Jean to hear that.”  I was so blessed to have her and I know we will be together again.  I hope you have someone like this in your life.  If so tell them how much they mean to you and always tell them you love them; God did not promise us tomorrow so you might not get another chance.

     Thank you for stopping by. Please come back soon.  God bless.

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BULL COUNTRY

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     Friday I had a wonderful lunch with the lady who was my partner before I retired.  She and I worked so close for so long she feels more like family than friend.  Over the years we’ve laughed together, cried together and got madder than hell together.  We had each other’s back.  She knows all about my family and I her’s.  Friday we exchanged stories about our grandchildren; they are all the smartest and cutest kids this old world every saw.  Lunch ended much too soon but we parted with a promise to do this again soon.

     I recall part of a song I learned as a child.  I don’t remember all the words but the most important are, “Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.”  I have to agree there is nothing like having someone you know and trust completely and it is exciting to make new friends.

Thank you for stopping by I hope you come back soon.  As we say in the south, “y’all come.”  God bless.

MISSING RED

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Now you might think I’m crazy but I missed Old Red screeching out a crow saying it was time to get up when it was still dark outside.  I missed him escaping through a hole in the wire of the chicken pen and scratching in the leaves looking for bugs; and Momma chasing him out of her flower beds and garden.  I didn’t miss Pearl as much because mostly she just clucked and stayed in the pen.  It seemed we were slowly erasing everything from the farm except our memories.  Now our life was the Creek just like all the neighbors.  We all struggled to get by but shared what we had and were happy to help anyone in need. Everyone had memories they liked to talk about.  When the weather got warmer they would stop by and sit on the edge of the porch dangling their feet and legs over the side and recall better times.  Sometimes if Momma was caught up with the laundry she did for the fancy ladies in town we would walk to where people were gathered at someone else’s front porch and listen to the stories.  While the grown ups talked the kids played chase or baseball in the street. It had not rained in weeks so the red Georgia clay had been ground by vehicles and feet to a soft, orange powder.  Our bases were smashed cans and nobody had gloves. We used a short weathered-gray board for the bat.  When someone would slide for a base the dust would swirl and settle over all of us.

As the days grew longer and warmer Momma dug a five gallon bucket of chicken poop from the pen.  Then with Daddy’s old push plow she tilted the compost into the soil and made a garden.  She planted rows of peas, beans, squash, potatoes and tomatoes.  If everything came up and did well we would can them and have vegetables for this coming winter.

Now we slept with our windows open and listened to the crickets and the low hooting of an owl hunting in the woods behind our house.  I would look out the window and watch the fireflies darting about in the darkness.  A soft breeze slipped in and cooled the room.  I was getting to know the survival techniques of the Creek and had come to love the life I now lived.  I thanked God for not punishing me for my mean thoughts and selfish actions and promised to try and do better.  Then with a heavy sigh I rolled over onto my side and fell asleep.

Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you come back soon for more tales.  God bless.

CREEK LIFE II

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I don’t want to make life on the Creek seem so hard. Yes, I guess it was but I, along with most of the other kids on that street, learned lessons that are invaluable.

Our life changed abruptly when Daddy died. There was no leftover insurance after Momma paid the funeral cost. Momma had developed a heart problem and diabetes so she had to quit her job at the canning plant. Her face was so sad and is forever etched in my heart the day she came home and told me.

We sat at the dining table eating our supper of watered down tomato soup, that Momma had canned the previous summer, and a pone of cornbread. I felt like I would choke with every bite because I knew whatever I was about to hear could not be good. She patted my hand then broke the news.

She finally stopped talking as she fought the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes, patted my hand and sighed deeply. “Now don’t you go worrying ‘cause we’ll get by. God has always provided for us and He ain’t about to quit now.”

I thought I had an idea and a bright smile spread across my face. “Momma we can do like the Barbersons down the street. Susie says they don’t have to watch their food because they get some kind of stamps from the county and Momma they even get money!”

She shook her head sadly and sighed deeply as she put her hands on the table, pushed to standing then walked to the sink. Her back was to me as she turned on the faucet and filled the big canning pot. Our hot water heater had quit shortly after Daddy died so we had to heat all our water on the stove. “No.” She hefted the big pot and carried it to the stove. “No Caroline, that’s charity and we don’t do charity. Honey, your Daddy would turn over in his grave.”

I was shocked. “He can do that! He can turn over in that tight casket?”

She turned back facing me and smiled, “No, that is just a silly thing folks say when they mean someone wouldn’t like something. But your Daddy was dead set against any kind of charity.”

“But isn’t Social Security charity? Peggy Ann said we’re poor and live on charity.”

“Your cousin has a big mouth and she doesn’t know what she is talking about. The Social Security we get is money me and your Daddy worked for. Now go wash up and get ready for bed.”

I lay in my bed that night and thought about charity and wondered what we were going to do. I already got stomach aches in school every day because I was afraid when I got home someone would tell me Momma had died like Daddy and I would be all alone.

I wondered where were all the aunts, uncles and cousins who used to visit us at the farm. When they came Momma would cook big meals of ham or chicken or roast and all kinds of vegetables. Everybody raved about her hot biscuits. They usually came on Saturdays because everyone knew we were in church on Sunday and our dinner and supper was leftovers from what Momma had prepared the day before. Daddy said Sunday was a day of worship and rest. Even old Hay-Burner didn’t work on Sunday. The only things that kept doing their job were the chickens and I guess they just didn’t care to rest because all they did anyway was eat, scratch the ground, eat some more and lay eggs. So if we had company it was always on Saturday. Momma and Daddy loved those visits.

After we were all full of good food and cold iced tea the men would head to the front porch to smoke or chew. Even though Daddy raised tobacco he didn’t allow one tiny bit in our house. After the women finished the dishes and cleaning the kitchen they would refill their glasses with tea and everyone went to the porch. The rocking chairs and swing were reserved for the ladies. The men would break out their fiddles, banjos and guitars from the trunks of their cars. Then they took sat on the faded gray steps or around the edge of the porch with their feet dangling over the edge. Daddy played the guitar and I thought he was the best but I wasn’t allowed to say so. If there were babies in the crowd the women would rock them to sleep and back awake. We’d sit there and sing until the sky was gray with pale streaks of pink. When they left Daddy would load them down with ham, bacon, sausage and other meats from our smokehouse. He gave them bushels of potatoes and vegetables from the garden. Momma would ease in a basket of eggs. The people left promising to come back soon. Momma and Daddy would stand side by side smiling and waving until the car was down the lane and out of sight.

One time I asked “Why do y’all always want them to come back ‘cause all they do is eat our food and take the rest with’em?”

Daddy frowned and shook his head and anger flashed in Momma’s eyes, the first and only time I ever saw it. “Girl, that ain’t no way to talk.” Daddy stated in a subdued voice. “The Good Lord has blessed us with plenty and it’s only right to share with friends and family. People get greedy and don’t share the Lord could take what they have.”

So now I figured it might be my fault that we were having hard times but I didn’t want to tell Momma because I didn’t want to see that anger in her eyes ever again.

 

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you come back soon.

Creek Life II

WELCOME TO THE CREEK

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Life on the creek was not too bad; at least I survived.  Or did I?

I was in elementary school when they sold the farm and we moved to the outskirts of town. There would be no more freshly plowed fields to walk through crunching clods of dirt just to feel them crumble under our bare feet; no more deep well to draw cool water; no more faded gray barn that always smelled of dust and hay.  But worst of all no more Hay-Burner to live in that barn. Momma was allowed to bring along a few chickens and the others were left to the people who bought our house.  Momma and I cried because we didn’t want to leave our home but Daddy kept a stiff upper-lip.  It was  years later that I realized his heart was also breaking.  Farming was his life and now the doctor said he could not do it anymore.  So he gave up his dream, moved us to a house that wasn’t too bad at the start and he went to work as a night security guard at a sawmill.

Everything went well for a few years.  We were the first family on the street to get a television.  All the kids from several blocks gathered in our living-room every afternoon Monday through Friday to watch Circle-Six Ranch.  They were sprawled on every place to sit and some lay  with their elbows on the floor and heads resting in their hands almost hypnotized by the phony cowboy on the small black and white screen.  They waited patiently for the cartoons. Momma gladly welcomed them and often served Vanilla Wafer cookies and Kool-Aid.  She would hustle them out the door before dark and dinner time.  If it was cold she would have a smile on her face as she bundled the little ones in sweaters, coats and some had hats, as she instructed the older kids to make sure everyone got home safely.

Then our lives changed completely.  It was his birthday and when Daddy got home from work just as the sky was turning light gray with streaks of yellow from the sun that was trying to peep over the tree line behind our house we sang Happy Birthday.  Momma had made his favorite Coconut Cake.  I was promised a big slice when I got home.  Then with a quick hug, kiss and “I love you” I was hustled off to school.

Those were the last words my Daddy and I said to each other.  He had a heart attack and died later that morning.

All the neighbors gathered to console us and they brought food; which I later learned was The Creek Folks way to show they cared.  I had never seen so many cakes, pies and fried chicken.  But the huge lumps in my throat and stomach would not let me eat a bite.  Momma couldn’t eat either.  She stayed busy making and serving coffee and sweet iced tea and thanking everyone.

Yes, our life on the Creek changed and maybe some would view it as worse and some as better; the truth is up to the individual.  We were soon to learn what the Creek life was really like.

Thank you for stopping by and of course there will be more Creek tales in the future.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTRY GIRL

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It has been ages since I did a post but I’m back.

I absolutely love to work in my vegetable and flower gardens.  When I was a small girl my Daddy owned a farm .  We had chickens, hogs, an old mule named Hay-Burner, and my cat. If the barn and house were ever painted they lost even the smallest speck of paint ages ago.  The faded, sun bleached boards were the most beautiful soft gray.

Momma worked in town so I spent my days tagging along with Daddy as he did the chores.  When he went to the fields he’d take a quilt, fold it in a  square and place it under a tree and I had to stay on the quilt.  Momma had made that beautiful quilt by hand filling every stitch with love.  It was an Heirloom but I was too young to appreciate it.  Quilting was Momma’s hobby and we had a large stack of them each one prettier than the one before. He’d bring a quart jar of water from the well in case I got thirsty and put it in the shade near me.  Then off he and the mule would go down the rows planting or harvesting which ever the season called for.  As I watched them walk away, getting smaller and smaller, a lump of loneliness grew in my stomach.  I was scared.  Birds hopped around searching for seeds, bugs and what-have-you under the blackberry and other bushes that separated the fields and served as a wind break.  I was sure every rustling of the dry leaves was a huge snake or other wild animal coming to get me. I would stare across the field until Daddy turned the mule at the far end of the rows and started back toward me. Then I felt relieved as he drew nearer.  This was my routine no matter what crop he was working on.  Of course as the corn, cane, cotton and tobacco grew taller I was unable to watch him as far. When he decided it was time for lunch he would unhook the mule from what ever piece of farm equipment he was pulling.  Daddy didn’t talk much but I made up for both of us as we trudged back to the house.  I’d make up stories about the animals I had seen in the underbrush.  The trace chains rattled with every step the mule took and was a metallic backdrop for my stories.  Sometimes Daddy would let me ride the mule back to the barn but most of the time he’d say “Girl, this old mule has worked hard too and he needs a rest.”

Once back at the barn he drew fresh water from the well and dumped it in the mule’s trough until it was full.  While Hay-Burner glugged down the cool water Daddy filled another trough with food for him.  Finally it was time for us to go inside and see what Momma had left us to eat.  She always cooked before she left for her job in town.  She would put out settings for two, set the food on the table then cover everything with a clean white sheet.

Daddy would draw up the large jug of tea that Momma had tied a cord around and lowered down in the well to keep it cool.  We didn’t have a refrigerator but we were blessed with an icebox on the back porch.  Ice was a luxury not everyone could afford.  The ice man came twice a week and brought us a block.  Momma would leave his money on top of the icebox.  He’d take the ice we had left, if there was any, and put it along side of the big new block then wrap them in the quilt Momma kept in the top compartment of the icebox for this purpose.

After we ate it was my job to go and make sure the chickens had fresh water and check for any eggs they may have laid while we were gone.

Even after he quit farming and we moved to town Daddy’s love for working the land was a good part of him. He always had a garden.

So I guess I came by working the dirt naturally.  I have my flowers and vegetables.  I also have a few chickens, which make great fertilizer but that’s another story.  When I’m out working in the yard I feel close to God and my Daddy and I have a wonderful peace.