|bell at DD's farm|
|bell at DD's farm|
In the mid 1980's, Aunt Ruthie bought a house in Misenheimer from the Culp family for the incredible amount of $6500 dollars. She renovated it, set it up as her art studio, but only spent one night there. [See Granny's Pantry # 37, December 11, 2016, Finding Misenheimer ]
One of the outbuildings, the granary that may have been the original house, is also the home of a mother turkey vulture.
In the South, the common name for this large and strange bird is Buzzard.
Buzzards have never had a very good reputation. William Faulkner said:
"If I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything."
We've seen this mother buzzard, or perhaps she has been replaced by her grown off-spring, for years. She may be sitting in the window of the old structure or she may fly from the window to a nearby tree when she hears a "people invasion" in the yard of her home.
This buzzard, or returning offspring, have raised their babies in the upstairs of the abandoned structure for years.They are not charming young, and we give them and their mother wide berth.
For some reason, the surrounding area appears to be prime gathering area for the buzzards in the neighborhood. Just down the small, quiet street, are trees and a tall metal tower where they come to roost in the evenings.They have even been know to congregate even closer in trees around the house.
Spooky sight, those buzzards.
The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures. (Proverbs 30:17)
A fun thing to do with Granddaddy Cole growing up was going to the hardware store in Denton--Denton Hardware.
The owner was Mr. Albert "Hill" Penry Sr.
Now, during this time (1959-1966), there was a well-watched TV Western called "Rawhide. You may remember cowboy, Rowdy Yates--played by a young Clint Eastwood. The trail boss on the Rawhide cattle drive was named Gil Favor (played by Eric Fleming).
So, what does the Denton Hardware have to do with Rawhide?
Well, one of the special things about Mr. Hill Penry that I remember most was that he looked so much like Gil Favor. That made going to Denton Hardware with Granddaddy special indeed. It was a bit like seeing a celebrity in the flesh.
One didn't go hungry at Granny Cole's house. To being with, her cooking was legendary. From classic country cooking to special holiday favorites, Granny could do it all...from scratch...no short cuts.
Hearty breakfasts for Granddaddy Cole could last him in the field until dinner time at noon, the big meal for the day. Supper might be leftovers, but it was all good.
But between meals? There was always a snack waiting "under the cloth" on the kitchen table.Under the cloth was a usual way of storing leftovers for a day that didn't require immediate refrigeration.
One of the favorite things to do, then, when you got hungry before the next meal was to l.ook "under the cloth" and see what delight Granny had left for you to discover and devour.
I don't know that this practice has continued very much into the present day. But it made the common practice of between meal snacking a treat to behold.
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
This year, 2020, we almost missed it. We had decided not to make our annual trip to the Denton Farm Park for the Christmas Train event. Normally, this is our favorite outing during the Holidays. It's right down the road from High Rock and reminds us of Granny and Granddaddy Cole.
But this being 2020, and due to the changes required as a result, we decided to skip the whole thing.
But then Duncan took matters into his own hands.
He was so upset to miss this part of our Christmas tradition, even without the usual train ride, that we caved and bought tickets to go. On the very last evening it was open.
And aren't we glad we did! Some traditions just aren't meant to be missed. It took the tears of a child to remind us of that.
Thanksgiving Day. Quiet, cool, overcast.
A good day to clear the pasture fence.
Good to be outside and active.
Beside the big chicken house and behind the corn crib at Granny Cole's house there was a grape vine.
Judging from the color of it's products, it was probably muscadine by variety.
One of the tasty offerings from Granny's pantry was homemade grape juice. It was both sweet and tart and a lovely deep purple color. Nothing commercial is its equal I am certain, both in taste and because Granny made it.
Another outcome of that grapevine was Granny's wine. While that was a delicacy best left to adults, I do remember how sweet it was. Delicious. I also remember that her daughters, Ruthie and Bid, tried to re-create it after Granny left us...without her recipe. I don't believe they were very pleased with the results.
While going through recipes gathered from High Rock houses long after Granny was gone, I did run across this related treasure...and maybe one that Aunt Ruthie and Bid would have found beneficial.
It was their brother, Brooks,' wine recipe.
I haven't tried it, nor am I likely to. Some of Granny's posterity didn't inherit her pioneer genes. But the memories we hold very close.