Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grandma's Grave

(Click picture to enlarge.)

My grandma, Rose Zanna Brown Creasy, is buried in her beloved mountains in the cemetery at Alderson Church in Nicholas County, West Virginia, not far from where she raised her 10 children. This is me a few years back visiting during a family reunion. (Also see the 11/03/10 post.)

Graveyards were more important in the past. They were a place to visit the memory of family members that have crossed over, to reflect on the circle of life, to rest and meditate and pray, to mourn, to tell family stories, to recharge. And they were right there - not set apart, but outside the church window as you worshipped each Sunday. Just part of life...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Childhood in the Mountains

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That's me in the center at eight years old with my hand on Snowball's bridle and my arm around my sister. And those are the neighborhood kids, Becky and John Miller. This is what we did for fun on my grandparents' Nicholas County WV farm - hung out and messed around. No TV, no phone, no handheld games, no computers. Just us and 50 acres of rolling hills and farm animals. It was a ball!

Looks like today it's pony time and John gets the first ride. I'm guessing this was after church and we begged my mom and their mom to let them stop and play. My sister and I changed clothes but Becky's still in a dress and her good coat and it looks like it might be late fall but a sunny day. In the background, you can see the little house I wrote about last time.

This is childhood at its best. I'd love to jump into the picture for one more lovely day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grandpa Making Molasses

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How the heck do you make molasses and what is it anyway? First you grow sugar cane, of course, then the stalks are fed through a mill, the liquid drained off, cooked down and put in glass jars. It makes a sweet, syrupy, dark liquid that can be used as a sweetener. Here's a great WV blog out of Beaver with people that still keep up the tradition: (You'll need to paste this in your URL.)

Notice their mill was turned in the author's childhood by a mule walking in circles and today is powered by a tractor. I'm wondering what my grandpa used. I do remember molasses, though...on biscuits and pancakes and in gingerbread and cookies. Yum!