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Carol Perkins: Down Home
Going "Down Home" is different now. My grandparents are gone, and the place is quiet. There are no more crops to harvest, playhouses to design, kids to bang screen doors, or dogs to chase cars up the hill. When I do drive down the hill and the pond opens up in my view, I marvel at the farm I once took for granted. - CAROL PERKINS.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins. Old School Cafe a reality in Metcalfe Co., KY
By Carol Perkins
Down Home. When I was a young girl, my mother would say, "I'm going down home for awhile." That meant for my brother and me to get in the car. "Down Home" was the location of her family farm located only a half mile from our house. "Down home" and "down the hill" were destinations.
When my cousins Roberta and I ended up "down home" at the same time, we veered to the wood yard where we made chairs from sticks of wood that had not yet been ricked, looking for shapes suitable for couches and chairs. Planks became tables for dining, and if we could find old dishes in our grandmother's cupboard, we borrowed them for the day.
To prepare a spot for this playhouse, we swept the dirt clean with a tree limb we robbed from one of the many lining the wood yard. Just when the creation was complete, my mother would say, "Time to go." I knew no one would tear down our playhouse, and that it was there for us until we grew tired of playing. Being "down home" enhanced my imagination.
The ride "down the hill" was one filled with nature's beauty. In the fall, turning leaves of yellow and gold with the sun peeking through them led visitors to a gorgeous end where they would often ask to fish in one of my grandpa's many ponds. He never turned away fishermen, but they could only fish in the front pond in front of the white two-story house with the porch swing that kids like to push too high, and the slick sidewalk where many of us learned to skate on a pair of men's shoe skates that belonged to one of our uncles. Many young men spent comforting afternoons at Papa's pond. He enjoyed the company.
Down Home was a gathering place for local farmers during harvest. Men "swapped" work until their tobacco was in the barn. My brother and other boys earned spending money by helping in the tobacco, but mostly older family and neighbors completed the process. One summer, I wanted to work in the tobacco (I thought) so my grandpa let me ride the setter. I was more interested in tanning than putting the plants in the turnstile promptly.
My grandmother cooked for work hands and never complained. Among my memories of my grandmother was her love for dogs. The one that I was fondest of was Spanky. One time my grandpa couldn't find his glasses, and he (and everyone else in the path) was looking all over the yard and house for them. In a short while, Spanky came to my grandpa's chair with those glasses in his mouth. He had found them in the tobacco barn. (There are witnesses!)
Going "Down Home" is different now. My grandparents are gone, and the place is quiet. There are no more crops to harvest, playhouses to design, kids to bang screen doors, or dogs to chase cars up the hill. When I do drive down the hill and the pond opens up in my view, I marvel at the farm I once took for granted.
Your memories of your grandparents' farm are probably much like my own; happy ones mixed with a bit melancholy for what once was. I must be feeling nostalgic today.
(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on Amazon.com) Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756
This story was posted on 2016-10-07 05:01:15
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