Really Old Stuff

When I was in Burkesville the weekend before last, trying to do some super sneaky research for my barn quilt square, I asked Papa if there were any old cast iron skillets that I could have.  He had mentioned that there might be some in the basement that had come from my great grandparents’ house.  We went down to the basement to investigate.

Well, find a cast iron skillet we did not.  But, we did unearth a bunch of really old stuff.

This is an old hand plane that must have been my great grandfather Daddy Barnie’s.   Papa mentioned that my Dad would probably really like to have this since he is into woodworking.

I’m not really sure how old this is, but I think it’s hilarious.  I need to find out the scoop on this “antique.”

Some of my dad’s old trophies.

8-Track tapes.  This form of technology was phased out before I existed.

This here was Papa’s pointer when he was in the army, training soldiers at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas.   Apparently, if you were in charge, you had a pointer, but not just any pointer.  The body of this pointer is made from a hackberry branch that had been overtaken by a vine, thus leaving it grooved in a spiral shape.  The ends are a bullet and a casing from a 50 caliber machine gun.  I would take that pointer pretty seriously if I were you.

This little contraption is a butter churn.  Mama Bersie, Papa’s mother, made all of her own butter.  Often, it was Papa’s duty to churn the butter, a job he says he did not much care for.

Papa’s report card from a few years back.  Looks like he was a good student.

Papa pulled out Mama Bersie’s trunk and showed me some really neat and REALLY old treasures.

Mama Bersie’s first watch.  This must be at least 75 years old.

Letters that Papa wrote to Mama Bersie and Daddy Barnie while he was in college at the University of Kentucky.  I will have to read these someday.

Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum that Daddy Barnie gave to Mama Bersie when they were “courting.”  This stuff is older than Papa.  I wonder if it still has any flavor…

Papa’s housing fee at UK for the semester: $51.00.  I’m not sure that would cover one night of housing in a dorm these days.

Tuition certainly has gone up over the past 61 years.  There are very few textbooks these days that cost as little as $61.50

This is what Papa really wanted to show me.  It’s Mama Bersie’s blue silk wedding dress from over 80 years ago, ordered from the Sears catalog.  Papa requested that if/when each of us granddaughters gets married that we sew a little piece of Mama Bersie’s dress into ours.  Not only would that be a great treasure on such a special day, but it would be something old, something borrowed, and something blue.   I suppose if we were to sew it into our dresses in a functional way, such as a pocket, it could also be something new, too.

This book belonged to Papa’s uncle Nile, who I believe would have been my great great Uncle.

So I went home without a skillet, but Papa cooked up quite a family history lesson for me.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

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60th Anniversary Party

This year marks my Granny and Papa’s 80th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary.  A celebration was most definitely in order.  We put together an “open house” type party at their church and served cake and punch.

The happy couple in front of the treats.

Aunt Vickie had the cake and cupcakes made.  They were beautiful and delicious.

As we were setting up for the party, we had a bit of an incident.  I was in the kitchen with Lauren and Aunt Vickie and I was looking for a lighter to light candles in the function hall.  I opened the drawer on the left to find a lighter for the candles.  As I opened the drawer, a mouse popped out and ran into the back of the cabinet.  Cousin Lauren, Aunt Vickie and I shrieked as I nearly jumped out of my skin and back about 5 feet.  I don’t remember how it happened in my state of shock, but the drawer was then somehow closed.   Aunt Vickie, Cousin Lauren and I agreed that we had not hallucinated, that the tissue paper in the drawer had been shredded by the little creature, and that we would pull it together and carry on with the festivities after this traumatic event.  That is all I would like to say about that.

All we could find to light the candles was a box of small matches.  I wasn’t about to open any more drawers in the kitchen.   I already said enough about that.

We nominated Uncle Brian to light the candles since he seemed to have more of a handle on how not to burn himself instead of the candle.

Caramelized mums.   Approximately 9 minutes after poor Uncle Brian lit all 24 candles, we had to blow them out so we didn’t burn the place down.  So much for the ambiance.

Aunt Vickie had a beautiful throw made with pictures of Granny and Papa when they were first “courting” and married.  I know they will treasure it.

Nobody wanted to sit at the tables until cake was served.  We had a full perimeter.

Before we served the cake, my dad thanked everyone for coming and decided to ask Granny and Papa a few questions about getting married.  My Mom had been asking them about it before everyone arrived and we all thought the stories were worth sharing because my grandparents actually eloped.

The Wedding/Elopement:

The story goes that Granny and Papa were out and about in Burkesville on a Saturday night as was typical.  Granny’s parents had even seen them around town and were pleased to see that they were having a good time (little did they know what was cooking…).  Granny and Papa knew of a minister in the county who would marry them so they took two of their friends as witnesses and had the minister marry them that evening.

My dad asked Granny to talk about what the minister said at the wedding and Granny said she can’t remember because she was just focused on saying “I do.”

My dad then asked how much the wedding cost, to which Papa replied that it was “very expensive.”  The minister didn’t officially charge anything to marry them but apparently would take $10.  Papa has decided that that $10 was “money well spent.”

Given that my Papa was such an obedient son and respectful person, it’s still hard for all of us to believe that they eloped.  When asked whose idea it was to elope, Papa pointed at Granny and everybody just laughed. 

The story gets even more interesting because they kept their marriage a secret for 6 weeks.  One day my Papa walked into Granny’s parent’s house to see Granny and Mammie, Granny’s mother, confronted him, saying she knew he would put off telling them as long as he could (evidently, Granny had spilled the beans but neglected to let Papa know that the secret was out).  Papa said he didn’t know if he should “faint or go blind.”

It was great to hear them tell those stories.  I hadn’t even heard some of the details before. 

And then it was time to eat and visit!

Quite a turnout as you can tell by the cake.  And Granny was worried no one would come.

I was in charge of cutting this cake.  Didn’t I do a beautiful job?

(Not.)

Granny and Papa and their boys, Uncle Brian and my dad.

Granny and Papa and the full squad: sons, daughters-in-law, and grandbabies (3 out of 4).

Only 3 of the 4 grandchildren have been at each their 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries.  At the 40th, Kristen wasn’t born yet, at the 50th, I had just started high school and couldn’t miss that much school to travel from Boston to Kentucky.  And during the 60th, my sister, Eugene, was missing because she is currently studying abroad. Let the record show that cousin Lauren has perfect attendance.

Apparently, we were in need of some bossing.  It was her party after all.

She realized I had caught her in the act.

This is so adorable, I can’t stand it.

This is equally adorable.  Clearly, if there’s one thing my family knows how to do, it’s how to laugh.

The party was full of reunion of old friends and extended family, storytelling, and laughter.   Granny and Papa seemed to have a great time and really enjoyed seeing everybody who came. 

Congratulations on 80 years of life and 60 years of life together, Granny and Papa!  We all love you very much.

Y’all give each other some sugar,

Sugarlump

Back to Boston

I went back to Boston this weekend for my friend Lindsey’s bachelorette party and bridal shower.  I don’t have any pictures of the shower, but I do have several shots of the bachelorette party, where there were many kinds of shots taken.

I would like to clarify that there were no guns involved.

Here is Miss Lindsey modeling her Minnie Mouse veil.  She’s going to Disney on her honeymoon.

Here she is practicing acting like a mature, married woman.

And this is how I snuck all of the food and decorations into the hotel.  They didn’t suspect a thing.  Ha.

I think it’s safe to say that no one went hungry.

Everyone survived the evening, so all in all, I think it was a success and Lindsey seemed to enjoy herself as the second photo in this post confirms.

Even though it was a short trip, I did get to spend some time at home with my parents.   Almost one month had passed since I moved to Tennessee and what a difference that month made in the yard.  All of the trees were filled out and my garden had grown up considerably from my first pass through the yard at the end of March.

The rock wall bed is looking very green and fluffy (to use official horticultural terms), but no colorful blooms yet…

But don’t worry, there are a few things blooming back by the hammock!

(I’m sure you were worried sick).

I was nervous about my bleeding hearts coming back this year.  They kind of looked a little bit dead as they lay helplessly on the ground last summer.  They sure had me fooled!  Little tricksters…

PEONIES! I’m sad I will miss these in bloom.  They’re so pretty and fuchsia-y.  I might add that they are doing a good job of holding themselves up.

Here’s a look back at the big rock wall from the edge of the patio.  This bed on the left is a little behind.  It has lilies and black-eyed susans that need some warmer weather to give them a boost.  I should send them some 90 degree days from Nashville because I have some to spare.

Blue fescue!  My dad thinks it’s hilarious that I have these balls of grass in my garden.  Over the past few years, he has on several occasions asked me if I realize that there is already a lot of blue fescue in the lawn.   I tell him that this is different and thus warrants being in the garden.   I was usually saying this while digging up little clumps of grass that showed up in my garden uninvited.

Another bleeding heart that had me concerned last summer.  Purty.

Here’s a look at the peninsula opposite the main rock wall.  Still looking a little patchy, but it’s early..

Here’s the view from the driveway.  See that big tree on the right with the sunlight shining on it?  Well, the top of it croaked during hurricane Irene last summer.  Somehow, when it fell, it only killed one of my plants because my little rock wall to the left broke its fall.  This was good news that there were almost no plant casualties; however, the great news is that my shade garden has become a sun garden!

I realize it doesn’t look so sunny in this photo, but it was taken late in the afternoon.

Azaleas in the front yahhhd.  I need more of this color in my life.

And here’s a look at my bountiful garden at my apartment in Tennessee.  Very similar to the garden in Boston, don’t you think?

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump