Friday, September 22, 2006

From the notebook of...

(the following was clipped into the notebook, and it was written by my Grandmother's older sister in the early 1960's and describes a time around 1895)

Pleasant Memories

The two-story frame house with a picket fence all around it, and with a front upstairs and a back upstairs, was on North Union Street in Concord, North Carolina. That was where Grandma Susan lived and to me, her granddaughter, it was a wonderful place. It held many interesting things, but the most fascinating was a room in the back upstairs with trunks full of dresses, hats, shoes and finery of by-gone days. There was nothing I would rather do on a rainy day than to be told that I could go up in the back upstairs room. I always waited for an invitation to go and was disappointed if I didn't get it.

Then there was the long grass in the front yard we would plait and unplait, naming each plait an imaginary character; the rose garden in the side yard; the wistaria vine across the entire front porch making a lovely sight when in bloom; the grape leaves forming a walk through the vegetable garden; the smoke house with hams, sausage, red pepper, etc. hanging from the rafters; and in winter always a barrel of sauerkraut. We used to run in and lift up the rocks and the top and grab a handful and then scamper out to eat it.

Grandma Susan, as well as I remember, was never without pies. Her specialty was apple and berry pies. I used to watch her make them and there was no doubt about it, she was an expert, never a drop of juice oozing out to mar their beauty. In the summer she would roll the crust on a long table on the back porch and say "I know I have rolled enough pie crust to reach from here to Cuba". She was famous for the "good table she set" and well deserved the honor.

Another pleasant memory was her fruit cake. She could cut it mighty thin, as there were many grandchildren, but every bit was delicious with a flavor all its own. She iced it "to hold the moisture" she would say. She always had some from one Christmas to the other and loved to see people open their eyes wide when she would ask them to have a piece of fruit cake in the middle of the summer.

Grandma was of small stature but with quick movements, having no patience with lazy people. Her leisure moments, however few, were spent sewing and darning, her darning basket always handy.


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