Sunday, March 25, 2018

Carolina Waves

God is our refuge and strength,

  a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
  though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
  though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Psa. 46:1-3)

O Lord God of hosts,

    who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
    with your faithfulness all around you?
You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them. (Psa. 89:8-9)
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you. (Psa. 139: 17-18)

Your way was through the sea,
    your path through the great waters;
 yet your footprints were unseen. (Psa. 77:19)

Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
    mightier than the waves of the sea, 
 the Lord on high is mighty!
(Psa. 93:4)

[Carolina Beach FBC Women's Retreat, 2018--ESV]

Friday, February 9, 2018

Granny's Pantry # 47 Life at High Rock in 1941

A letter from Freda Cole to her daughter, nicknamed Biddie, on May 15, 2941. Freda (Granny Cole) was at High Rock and Biddie was at Pfeiffer College. 
A small window into life at High Rock in 1941.
                                                           Thursday Morn.
Dearest Biddie1,


Just a few lines this morning, we are so rushed, The roomers have gone for good2 and we are trying to get the house back to normal. Ruth3 says she has no bee material here, its all stored at Odell,4 so sorry. Dady said he would like for you to come home but since you hafto go back Sat, perhaps you better stay,5 you know it wont be long any more. Any way we haven’t anything good to eat yet  The strawberries all went to grass last summer but Brooks6 is starting some new  I will  have plenty of fried chickens by the time you come home. We will come to see you as soon as possible and I will send you some money soon. I haven’t got to buy my chix7 yet, put my money all in bed, springs etc. ha
       Be real sweet and Ruth and I will try and have the house cleaned when you come
       Love & kisses
1Martha Virginia—Freda Cole’s youngest child
2Not sure why Freda and Albert took in boarders in the early 40's---maybe related to persons who guarded the High Rock Dam, as Albert did, or possibly railroad workers maybe for income—Freda was very industrious
3Ruth Elizabeth Cole—Freda and Albert’s oldest child
4The place in NC where Ruth had her first teaching job
5“Biddie” is in college at Pfeiffer Jr. College, Meisenheimer, NC (about 15 miles from High Rock)
6Albert Brooks—Freda and Albert’s middle child
7Baby chickens
8Freda Mae Morgan Cole (Granny Cole)—married to Albert Milton Cole (Granddaddy Cole) of High Rock
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, 
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
(Colossians 4:6)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Winter White

I'm stuck in colder weather...maybe tomorrow will better 
[Zac Brown et al]

Old Kitchen
snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter, long ago
[C. Rossetti]
The Pit
  The very fact of snow is such an amazement. [R. Ebert]     
"Come now let us reason together, says the LORD; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool."

[Isaiah 1:18]

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Granny's Pantry # 46: Christmas Train--2017

We've been passing the gates of the Denton Farm Park for weeks taking care of business at High Rock. And the anticipation was building...even including the night we were stranded in the  parking lot of the Park and got to meet Brown Loflin, the founder, who stopped to see if we needed help, while we waited for AAA.
Truth is...the Denton Farm Park Country Christmas Train is the most fun some of us have all Christmas season! (Just saying!)  

And finally, it's time! Country Christmas 2017! Tickets bought,waiting "Dickens early" outside of the gates as family gathers, and ...! [Mike missing-gone to Ukraine to pick up V]
We have this thing down to a science...
1. Gingerbread cookies and apple jacks first while we  
2. Wait for the old HPT&D Christmas train to arrive--all decked out with lights and sound! 
3. Savor the train ride, complete with a stop to see the Christmas story  
4. Supper in the Craft Barn  
5. Quick side trip to browse the crafts and find a new ornament  
6. A stroll down the village street to the Country Store 
7. Stop by the Petting Zoo
8. Listen to the story and singing at the Church---best part of all---"Beautiful Star" like you've never heard it before!  
9. Peek into the Bobby Myers Racing Shop
10. Catch the trolley to the Reid Plantation for a welcome visit with relatives and meeting a new author 
11. Stop in to check on the cotton candy and anything else we missed....and then
12. Goodbye---see you next year (if not before!)  
The Denton Farm Park Country Christmas Train...the only thing around better than summer!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
(Romans 15:13)
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Granny's Pantry # 45 Strange Happenings

Sometimes--and in some places--strange things happen. Such is the case around the High Rock area where Granny and Granddaddy Cole lived. Here are some of those strange happenings--some sad...some just plain strange.

One strange event took place at the Cow Palace, a farm in Rowan County, NC,  where Granny Cole (Freda Morgan) grew up. Inside of the house is a set of stairs in the hall leading to the upper bedrooms. Granny said that when she was young, she heard a strange moaning sound as she was using the stairs.
A theory was that her brothers were playing a trick with a string causing the  sound, but  they denied it. She never found out what made the sound. Could it be that the Morgan house was haunted? If so, wonder where that ghost  lives now? 

Did you know that Granny Cole also saw a UFO one night at her High Rock house? The details are lost, but I think she was outside in the side yard of her house when she saw it. Who is to say it didn't happen? [She is not the only one I know who has seen one.]

Granny Cole had a nephew who sometimes stayed at the Cow Palace after the house was empty. He had some hard times in his life and was a bit different. Granny and we all cared about him, but he also had a reputation for having a temper and being a bit difficult in some circumstances. Later in his life, he stayed at the empty home of a lady who lived down the road and around the corner from the Cow Palace.  This nephew told a family member that if he were ever found dead, it was because he was killed by someone who had a grudge against him.   
And sure enough, he died in a fire in the house where he was staying. The house was totally destroyed.
Of course the death was ruled accidental, but who knows? 
[And in a side story, the father of the woman who once owned the house where the nephew died, was killed many years earlier in a house over on River Road that is no longer standing. He was killed on the porch and some said you could still see the blood stains. Legend has it he was killed by the Mafia... but all who would know are long dead.]

Just down the road from the Cow Palace is the site of another strange happening. There is a part of the road on which you will find a lot of graffiti, likely left by local folks or kids eager to try out the phenomena that has been told will occur if you drive north toward what appears to be a little hill on this part of the road. 
According to, on this  part of the road, "you can stop and put your car in neutral and it will roll up the  hill."  There's more to this tale I had never heard before, and it is very sad, but if you are curious, look it up or go try it out for yourself. 

On a country stretch of road in Davidson County, outside of Denton, NC (just a few miles from Granny's), there is a little parcel of ground fenced in and containing a handful of graves. If you look carefully, you will see what appears to be a cemetery that contains both members of a local family and also the graves of slaves--both clearly marked. What stories behind these long departed individuals?  Who can tell their tales?

There are 2 sad stories of happenings to people from this area during or right after the Civil War. 

There is an old farm site close to the Cow Palace where one happening is supposed  to have occurred. The story goes that a young man from the area had just returned  from the Civil War..having made it safely through all of the horrors. Some time after  his return, he went to a nearby farm to a social event, maybe a wheat thrashing or  a  corn shucking.

According to the story, he ate so much that he died...could he have been so starved  that he was overcome when there was plenty to eat?

There is another coming home story; this one was located at the site of the old Reid Plantation across the Yadkin River in Davidson County, near High Rock where Granny Cole lived. 

The plantation house and buildings are no longer there. [They were moved for preservation to the Denton Farm Park.] But the house was situated on a hill  overlooking the river. 
According to legend, one of the Reid sons was coming home from the War and decided to swim the river to reach his home on the other side. War had not harmed  him, but the river took his life, in sight of home. How very sad is that?

There are doubtless other strange tales which took place around High Rock...but there is one more that just was told to me...last week...and happened within the last year.  This story came to me from the person who experienced it...and I believe him. He was at Granny's High Rock house getting ready for a group of people who were coming to shoot a movie on site there. The story teller was in the process of opening the double wooden front doors to be ready when the film crew arrived.  
As he struggled to unbar the doors, which can be a bit tricky, he heard a knock on the outside aluminum door.   "Just a minute," he called, as he worked with the bar, which can only be removed a certain way.  He heard the knock again, very clearly. When he finally removed the bar and opened the door....there was no one standing there. No vehicles were parked in front of the house. Nothing. Thinking that some of the film crew had come early and left when they couldn't gain access to the house, he waited for their arrival at the expected time and asked them if anyone had come earlier. 

No one had. It happened, I believe it. Can you explain it?  
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you." (Isaiah 41:13)