Whitesburg KY

‘Granny Grace’ Nichols took in cold kids

Well, I have been thinking again, and I am unpredictable when I get my thinker kicked into gear.

During all of the cold weather we have been having, I thought of all the times we kids walked a mile to school in weather such as this. There were no school buses and the only way to get to school was to walk.

I was in the first grade when we went to school at Blackey, and there was a wonderful lady who lived directly below the school who would take us in and have us sit in front of the fireplace and thaw out before we went on up the hill to the school.

Her name, which I learned later, was Grace Nichols. We knew her only as ‘Granny Grace’ and at the time she wasn’t really old, but she was older than we were, so we called her Granny Grace, which seemed to please her.

She took us in and thawed us out, and asked nothing in return. She didn’t have much in the way of earthly treasures, but she had a heart of gold.

I would say we were a sight to look at, red noses and all. We never did have any mittens or gloves, so our hands got awfully cold.

We didn’t have any electricity at the time, so we didn’t have to worry about the power going off at home. We had coal oil lamps for light, and for the life of me I don’t see how we saw enough to do anything.

I still have one of the lamps we used, and when it is lit it is about the same as a 15-watt bulb in a 50-foot square room. No doubt anyone could see more by the light of the fireplace than they could with a coal oil lamp.

I have always heard that it was all in what a body got used to, and I firmly believe that now. We didn’t know about bright lights, therefore we never missed them.

We didn’t know we were poor because no one told us, I guess.

Even today, after working since I was 16 years old, I still don’t have much in the way of worldly goods, but we have food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over our head, and what more do we need?

We may not eat too ‘high on the hog,’ as the saying goes, but the hocks taste pretty good too, and a kettle of beans is just not the same without a chunk of salt pork floating around in them.

When we kids would sit down to a pot of soup beans, we forgot all about the cold weather howling outside the door. The weather we have been having is nothing new, just forgotten.

And that’s all from the funny farm until next time.

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