Thursday, November 28, 2013

Memories of my Childhood

I woke up thinking of Thanksgivings and holidays past.  I'm thankful for memories from my childhood.  It was a good one.

Every holiday was spent back home in West Virginia at my Granny and Grandpa's.  We usually arrived very late in the night or early in the morning as you would see it.  Mom would have us change into our jammies sometime during the drive.  Back then there were no seatbelts in cars so the three of us would snuggle up together on the back seat.

It was a long drive which took about ten hours.  There were no super highways.  It was just rural winding roads.  My sister and brother always got car sick.  Dad always had the radio on.  He and mom would sing if there was a channel playing music.  That was a treat because during the spring and summer trips it was always tuned to a baseball channel.  AM radio had a lot of static and you missed a lot of what the announcer was saying.

I remember turning off Route 20 and starting up the road which would take us back to Granny's house.  The name of the road has changed from time to time but has always been referred to as River Ridge.  In reading land patents from the 1700-1800s it was called the River's Ridge because that part of the mountain overlooked the river.  Now there is so much tree growth you can't see the river below.

We'd pass Carlean Keaton's house and make the first turn.  From there it was about an eighth of a mile before we got to the kiss your arse turn.  Mom always started crying when we got there.  Thank God daddy drove at night so we kids couldn't see the turn or how far it was down over the side of the road!  This was rural living at it's best.  There were no guard rails to keep you from going over.  So we made it past the turn and kept going to the next turn.  In my mind I can see each and every one.  There were large potholes in the road.  No gravel to fill them in either.  Dad did the best he could to miss the holes.  It was five miles from the main road back to the house.

When we finally arrived at Granny and Grandpa's someone would come out to carry us into the house.  We'd be put to bed underneath a pile of quilts hand made by Granny or passed down from another family member.  I'd lay awake listening to the voices in the front room trying to make out the words they were saying.  Eventually falling asleep in absolute peace that was our childhood.

We'd wake up to mommy calling us to wake up and coming to get us out of the big bed.  She'd take us outside to the outhouse so we could go potty.  If we had to potty in the middle of the night we would use a chamber pot which would be dumped out in the morning.  Nighttime was the coldest for an outhouse run!

Breakfast was set out on a long farm table.  There were two chairs.  One at each end, for Granny and Grandpa.  Everyone else sat on the benches.  Biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, ham and beans plus cornbread.  If you didn't find something you liked to eat at that table you went hungry.  There was two kinds of milk; sweet milk for us kids and buttermilk for everyone else.  Mom and dad loved cornbread stuffed into their buttermilk.  Everything at the table except for the coffee was grown, harvested and prepared by the family.

After breakfast Grandpa would get out his can of Prince Albert tobacco and roll a cigarette.  I remember watching him roll the paper just so, then sprinkle out tobacco onto the paper, roll it up after licking the edges of the paper and pinch the ends.  It smelled so good.

{Time for a break to the story.  Hubs came in to say Elsa's pups have been born.  I missed it all and there's seven of them!!}