Thursday, August 02, 2007

Roots..........
(The following is a re-post. With unpacking and trying to get all settled into our new home, I decided to re-visit a couple of entries about my roots. Now I am even closer to my family's homeplaces....a mere half an hour up the road. An area I never considered living in that fate has brought us to......)


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 ancestors.....

12 comments:

photowannabe said...

A real adventure for your son. He is so fortunate to be able to experience your family roots.
Hope you get settled soon.
After a month and a half we are still rummaging through some boxes and redoing things. It just never seems to end. Its all worth it though. Hubby and I are so content and love our home and being near our son and family again. Now if the other son was in California too, it would be perfect.

Moi said...

Life comes full circle in some way or the other...i wonder if i will veer get a chance to go back to where i belong ..till i don't, i make home where I am :)

beautiful post, Blue. it touched a chord and touched it deep :)

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, so it's a tag. Over on...

Green Inventions Central

bluemountainmama said...

moi...i know how it is to be far from home. but if your roots are strong, you carry a sense of where you're from wherever you go. i've always had a strong sense of place and my roots b/c of my childhood and have somehow been able to incorporate that into places where i didn't feel at home. you'll find "home" again someday, i'm sure....

Anna said...

I am so happy for you. I am struggling right now to keep my head above water....but that is transition! :) I have missed our frequent contact via blog and email and hope you are well!

bluemountainmama said...

anna....i've been thinking of you! please let me know if i can help in any way. i wish we were closer....

Rosie said...

It's always sort of a homecoming to settle back somewhere that your family has a history.

The gourds, actually , the proper way to dry them is to harvest them when the vines die and then hang them in a well ventilated place...like a tobacco barn. It's a messy business since they drain a lot of moisture and there is mold involved...and stinkyness. But I'm going to let them sit a bit longer this time since last year they didn't dry so good.

Enjoy your goatie visitors, but try not to feed them. They are dreadful freeloaders and will decide to live on your porch if it is comfortable for them.

Mike said...

I am glad you are rediscovering your roots. I enjoy going back to places I have once lived. There have been quite a few. Each one holds special memories. It is funny how you remember and relish the good memories of a place.

Christianne said...

Okay, so the fresh baked bread and churned butter made my mouth WATER!!! And it was mentioned TWICE in the story, which means I'm salivating now. :)

Beautiful story. So glad this rural place touches you so deeply.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks, rosie, for the advice! i'll also have to hit you up on how to make the birdhouses with them....

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

It's amazing how very deep those roots go into our souls - and how dangerous it is when we don't acknowledge or understand them because we don't seem to know what makes us "tick". I think the same can be said for the original garden - those roots also go deep into our souls when groan and long to "go home" again.

Happy unpacking and settling in again.

bluemountainmama said...

good point, halfmom.... and thanks for the well-wishes for packing and getting settled! :)

christianne.... if you ever make it to my neck of the woods, i'll bake you some of that bread.... but i can't make any promises about fresh-churned butter. although i'll bet some of the old mountain folk around here still do it by hand for tradition's sake....