Mama kept the wood stove going all day

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I’m sorry about being without a column lately. I was “under the weather.” So I will make a stab at it this week. However, I am without much news. Congratulations to W. H. and Barbara Ashburn as he recently turned 80 years young. They are such good neighbors. He was a very good director at school. My oldest daughter was in his class when she was in school in Madison. She liked it. He seemed to be loved by many. At his retirement he had directed music in churches. He and Barbara sing well. They have added so much to our community. We thank you all for what you have added to the lives so many.

George and Laura Lohr celebrated their 50th anniversary on July 29. They went to Cherokee for a few days. They had a small celebration when Elizabeth, their daughter was here from Colorado. Hannah Johnson and Sara Ford are visiting Hannah’s grandparents Chuck and Miriam Foster. They are from Southeastern University in Louisiana. Jim and Sylvia Moon celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on July 28. Congratulations! John and Gail Wade had all of their family during the weekend. They celebrated the birthday of Elise Coberly for her 20th birthday.

There was an ice cream supper at the Buckhead Baptist Church on Sunday night. About 50 people attended. Everyone enjoyed it very much. AA begins at the Buckhead Baptist Church on Wednesday. The church will have homecoming on the second Sunday in September. Hunter Moon celebrated his birthday on July 29. A belated happy birthday wish for you, Hunter! Jim, Sylvia, Jay and Hunter Moon went to Johnny and Penny Messer’s house Sunday to celebrate Jackie Messer’s birthday. Her birthday was July 28. Happy birthday to you Jackie! All of her family was there. We have two more birthdays – Nicholas Denning had a birthday on July 28; Ashlyn Smith had a birthday on July 29. Happy birthday to you all!

I have enjoyed some peaches this year that I bought at the grocery store. I have also bought grapes, plums, bananas and other things. I’ve tried to eat much fruit lately. When I was younger we lived in a community that had peaches growing nearby. They knew that we had a large family at the time. They had a bountiful crop of peaches. They told daddy to bring our two-horse wagon with added bodies, which he did. He came back with the body all full. Mama had jars ready to fill. After daddy got the wagon all stopped under the big oak trees in our yard all the adults came out with pans, sharp knives, an apron and a chair. They went to the wagon trying to find the riper ones. Those are the ones that they each tried to get first. I was about six years old. I kept raiding the dishpan where they put the sliced ones. They fussed at me about doing that but I did eat quite a few. I held up for a while, but later I got into them gain. I think that they all ate much.

Mama kept the wood stove going all day so she could can the peaches. This was well before there was electricity in the country. She used the water bath method to can the peaches. Can you imagine a half-gallon jar of peaches canned? That’s what she did mostly. They were so pretty. She lined up the jars in the dining room on a hearth where we did not use for fires in the fireplace. They were so beautiful! They were lined up one beside the other until the whole wagonload was gone. Even while she was stuffing jars to can, she cooked lunch each day. She used the old black dinner pot to put down in the eye of the woodstove, where the fire touched the bottom of the pot. Back in that day most people, including mama, put fatback in their dinner pots. She cooked wonderful fresh beans, along with fresh potatoes in that pot for lunch sometime while the family peeled peaches. For an extra treat sometimes she made a fresh, large, bubbly peach pie that came from that oven of the wood stove with butter having been on the crust. Did I make your month water? And I won’t leave out the big pan of cornbread that she made using homegrown corn for the meal and fresh buttermilk. There was a pork roast that had cooked in the oven that came from pork grown at home. There were fresh sliced tomatoes that came from the garden. They were put out soon so as to have a large crop of tomatoes. Now, if that wasn’t a treat for any family, large like ours, or whatever. But praise God daddy, my brothers and sisters got the whole load used up of peaches. We all had our fill of peaches. How thankful my family was to have the peaches and the entire garden that was a blessing for a large family! Those half-gallon jars of peaches filled the need for one family meal!

Elisha Walden graduated sometime ago from Athens Tech with a degree in Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Congratulations!

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