Monday, December 11, 2006


Roots..........


Through fate and serendipity, my husband's job has landed us within an afternoon's drive of a county that has deep family roots for me. My great-grandfather settled here and raised his family in the deep hills of Appalachia. The above farm belonged to my Great Uncle Curtis and his wife Sarah. Sarah was raised in this farmhouse, which was originally a log home (the logs can still be seen inside). She and Uncle Curtis inherited the farm and lived out their lives here- Aunt Sarah never leaving her childhood home.

Aunt Sarah and Uncle Curtis were very resourceful, as the isolation of the mountains necessitated: growing most of their food, making their own clothes, and raising animals. Sarah taught school and Curtis was a carpenter. They never had children, but raised a local orphaned boy as their own. Sarah always had homemade bread and fresh-churned butter waiting for any visitors that stopped by, visitors that included some of her students- some of whom I have run into, living close by, and they have related what a treat it was to be invited into their teacher's home.

My Uncle Curtis died in a tragic accident when I was two- felling a tree on his property, something he had done hundreds of times before...so I never knew him. But Aunt Sarah continued to live there on the farm and teach and we visited her numerous times growing up. I remember her wood cookstove that she would bake fresh bread in, her sparkling eyes that would light up when we came to visit, and playing in the creek running along side of the house. Memories cherished..... and now passed along in the retelling to my son, who gets to relive them vicariously through our afternoon drives to the land of his ancestor's.....

10 comments:

Andrea said...

how wonderful. And wonderful that you chronicle it. I need to do that when I go back to my hometown.

kenju said...

A very nice post, and it reminds me of the homeplace of my great-grandparents, in Wyoming County, WV.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Wonderful memories and such a long and great gistory...I love the pictures, too...Youyr Aunt sounds like a very strong woman as well as a woman with a big heart...Sad that your Uncle died so tracically...That had to be terriblyt terribly hard on your dear Aunt....Great memories and a great heritage to pass on to your son...!

Anonymous said...

Make sure that you are scrapbooking these wonderful photos along with journaling your fond stories and memories for you son. That my friend, is priceless.

Joel and Jaime said...

You have a great uncle curtis??! What a nice name... :) :) :)

bluemountainmama said...

anna- i am horrible about journaling and actually putting photos in albums. i had high goals when my son was born and started organizing all his pictures and putting them in albums, but only made it until he was about 9 months old...he's almost 5 now. so that's why i started blogging..... an easier way for me to chronicle everything. but i need to back up my blog somewhere b/c i've heard of people's entire blogs getting deleted.....anybody have any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Ah, your pictures make me want to bag work today and just go wandering in the countryside. I hate being responsible sometimes.

Tom

LZ Blogger said...

That sort of reminds me of when I was a little boy running (from the pursuing geese) to the outhouse from my grandma's Farm's back porch in Arkansas. Thanks for the MEMORIES! ~ jb///

colleen said...

I fear that so many life skills are being lost and that we will need them again someday.

Anil P said...

I can only imagine what it must have been in those days gone by, and how it must feel for you to step into what is essentially a personal diary speaking with every step you take in the farm.

Post more pictures.