Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Little House in Nicholas County

(Click to enlarge.)

Look at this cute little house. One year when I was a girl, my dad built a house down in the low meadow on my grandparents' property. It was maybe half a block from their farm house. I say "half a block" because I live in Chicago but no one said that back then. Maybe they said it was "down aways" from the big house. Because I was a girl, I thought it was farther than it actually was, so I might have said it was a "fur piece" from one house to the other.

But imagine this, that my dad built this house on his own - wired it, put in the plumbing. Amazing! Just whipped it up. I remember it had a "breezeway," an open area between the main house and the garage where we had a swing and where breezes would actually waft through. And we seemed to always have kittens frolicking there too. Not to mention that I could go out the back, climb the fence, jump the little creek and go up the hill to visit grandma.

It's still there today.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Grandma's Bible

(Click to enlarge.)
My Grandma's faith was an inspiration to her 10 children and 25 grandchildren. My sister has one of her bibles, marked at the top of each chapter with a number of hash marks - one for each time she had read that chapter. The Bible I remember had a stub of a pencil hanging out of it by a ribbon so she could underline and keep track.

I'm sure her faith saw her through tough times, raising kids on a WV farm. I remember her up before dawn making biscuits in the kitchen, preparing breakfast for the men who would come in after milking. I remember seeing her canning enough fruit and vegetables to hopefully see her family through winter. She made lye soap and fashioned candles, sewed everyone's clothes on a treadle sewing machine. Makes me tired just to think of it!

One of the best things she did, though, was to pass her faith on to us, so during tough times we have it there to lean on and the Bible for comfort and inspiration. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Visiting the Cousins

(Click to enlarge.)

I loved visiting my Uncle Dan's house near Craigsville, WV. It's funny how visits were back then. There wasn't a phone at grandma's house so we just got cleaned up and drove the few miles to their house. And they were always home. My Uncle Dan in this picture looks like all the Creasy boys did - handsome, tall, lean. He worked in the mines but at home did a lot of woodworking and at one point made gun stocks from scratch. That's Aunt Lena beside him.

Those are my cousins on the right. Ruth was know as The Marilyn Monroe of Richwood High when she was in high school because she looked so much like her. Sue (second from the right) was closer to my age so we hung out more. She taught me to Jitterbug in their living room and I always went home with one of her hand-me-down dresses. I loved putting up hay with her at grandma's and she was the model for "Cousin Patsy" in my book Mountain Girl.

The living room here is near and dear to my heart. The flowered wallpaper was just like that in my grandma's house. The blankets, pillows, curtains and heavy, dark furniture are so familiar from that time. I recognize the picture on the wall as one by that famous cowboy artist. (Do you know his name?) I'd like to step into the photo and hang out for a while.