Whitesburg KY

Imagine living on an old homestead

If you enjoy just letting your mind wander as I do, find an old abandoned homestead with a house still standing, preferably one out in the sticks where the occupants likely had to scratch a living out of Mother Earth.

The garden patch would no doubt be partly or totally reclaimed by nature, but you could still tell where it once was by the size of the trees growing there.

You could imagine getting up long before the sun was up and having a hearty bite to eat and still be headed for the fields by the first light, and coming back for the noon meal.

After the noon meal you would head back to the fields until darkness overtook you.

About everyone had critters to care for, and this was usually done by lantern light, except for Sundays. Sundays were set aside as the Lord’s Day, and only the everyday chores were done.

Just think of all the milk which came through the doorway from the barn and all the churning that was done to produce that delicious country butter.

Then there was usually a hog pen a decent distance from the house where a hog or hogs were fattened up for winter. I always enjoyed feeding the hogs and just standing there awhile and watching them eat. It seemed as if they didn’t chew anything, swallowing it whole instead.

We could also imagine the many hours spent in the corn crib, which was usually on one end of the barn, shelling corn to feed other critters.

Then there was a chopping block where the kindling was split to get the fire going in the old cook stove. We can always imagine ourselves sitting on a big chunk of wood while we split a sizable stack of kindling.

If we let our thoughts drift toward the cook stove, we can almost smell bacon frying, biscuits baking, and coffee perking.

We can see the old handmade table with a long bench behind it with chairs for the opposite side.

The youngsters usually sat on the bench to eat. We may inspect the smooth surface of the hearth at the fireplace and almost hear the subdued voices of the grownups as they sat and talked or wonder how many bushels of black walnuts had been cracked on the old hearth, or smell the walnut shells burning as they were cast into fire. We may imagine how many little fingers got cracked instead of the walnuts.

We may envision getting up on a cold morning and standing in front of the fireplace and turning around and around, trying to warm front and back, which never worked very well.

There may even be some hooks to hang a pot of beans for supper with a goodsized chunks of fatback floating in them with the aroma drifting through the old house.

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

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