Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where I Come From

"I said where I come from
It's cornbread and chicken
Where I come from a lotta front porch sittin'
Where I come from tryin' to make a livin'
And workin' hard to get to heaven
Where I come from"  by Alan Jackson.
I don't know how to say it any better.  I come from hard working people that never give up. They know hard times.  Many have lived through the Great Depression and made it.   I feel so fortunate to know these people, much less carry their DNA.  We had a family reunion in Starke, Florida.  My mothers side of the family.  I just didn't appreciate these folks when I was a child. I guess we take such things for granted. So many have left us now.  Come along and meet my Great Aunt Retha.  She is now the Matriarch of our family.  This lady can still cook a mean pot of collards and chicken and dumplins'.  You know what I mean with, "slap yo mama good".  She is so sweet and everyone knows and loves her. I named my daughter after her mother, Susan Rebecca.  As a child we always called her Maw. I didn't know Maw wasn't her name.
Our contribution to the reunion.  Niece Sarah, my sister Connie, Mom and nephew Joe. The youngins are my sisters grands, Abbey and Maggie. The family keeps growing and growing.
Many kids that I don't even know. They were on the swings, pushing cars, and meeting their cousins for the first time too. They are the future of our family. 
Tables of home cookin'.  Everyone brings out their best recipes from near and far.

No way to go home hungry.

After eating it was time to roam around the yard a bit.  This yard always seemed so big when I was a kid. I remember  a big field back then. Now the trees are mature and take up most of the space. They have kumquats,  a small orange like fruit with a powerful citrus taste. You eat skins and all.

Pecan trees are everywhere. Pecans remain  a major crop of the South.  Where Northerners use Walnuts in so many dishes, we use the pecan. Do you say pecaaan or pecan? 
The orange trees are so loaded with fruit this time of year that the limbs hang down. 

This is commonly misnamed "Spanish Moss".  It is neither. It is actually an air plant/parasite.  Never, and I mean never hold it close to your body.  There are little red bugs that call this plant home. Known to Southerners as chiggers.  They bury under your skin and make you itch like crazy.  If you must bring some home with you put it into the microwave for a short time and watch it closely so it doesn't catch on fire.  That will kill chiggers. Mean critters.

This tree.  This tree. I remember this tree from my childhood. I would climp up and sit in its arms and watch the cars pass by.  Oh, it has grown.  I meet an old friend again.  Time has passed but it is still strong.

It's so good to come home. Something special, warm and fuzzy.  Memories are what will fill our days when we become the matriarch of our families. Memories of children who now have grandchildren and great grandchildren. Memories of the ones who came before us.  We still hear their laughter and feel the warm embrace of their love. Coming home. Where I come from.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


Melodie said...

What a blessing to come from such wonderful people!Your reunion looks like a really good one!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

sweet! i loved reading this and seeing the photos. i never had a family and now there are just the 4 of us so 4 is a big family day for us!

Eggs In My Pocket said...

How wonderful to have a reunion and I live for that food! I have not had a case of chiggers since long way back when I was a child. I used to go down to a creek behind my Grandmother's house. By night fall, I would be in misery from those itchy chiggers. My father would take kerosene......sounds horrible, and rub it onto the chigger bites. By the next day, they would be gone. I would never suggest kerosene on any child, but it did work. LOL. Blessings,Kathleen

Marigold said...

Now that is a fine family and they all have a fine head of hair. Oh, my mistake. All except that guy on the end. :) That 'feed' looks wonderful. Did they have any Peanut dishes? The Goatmother grew up in Oklahoma. She misses the pecans, but she said to tell you she DOES NOT miss the chiggers. :) A fine herd you have, Kelly!

Michaele said...

I just love post of family reunions. It says so much about "you".

Lili said...

Oh I bet you had such a wonderful time, this was such a great post Kelly! ~Lili