The Old Homeplace

My travel trailer is located by the house built by my Grandfather, Acie Smith, in 1946. The house is now uninhabitable, but still standing. How long it will stand is anybody’s guess. For now, it evokes many fond memories of my childhood.

My earliest memory is a painful one. I had a bad case of Shingles, and my back was one huge scab. The house was new, and did not yet have steps at the kitchen door. I got too close to the threshold, slipped and slid down the raw edge on my back, ripping the scab off and taking with it dozens of what we called cores. It left behind holes in my back, and 70 years later, the scar is still visible. After that, I healed quickly, but to this day I am careful about getting too close to the edge of a dropoff.

More pleasant memories are of lying in front of the blazing fireplace and reading the Sears, Roebuck catalog. As the years went by, I progressed from roller skates, to bicycles, to guns, to motorcycles. Somewhere in that progression, I started taking peeks at the women’s underwear pages, but we won’t talk about that.

The kitchen was my favorite place. There were always good smells, and I got my first taste of very sweet coffee with lots of milk there. My Grandmother “Nanny” made the best biscuits I’ve ever tasted, topped with home-churned butter and sprinkled with sugar. My brothers and sisters can attest to the fact that her Coconut Cake was the best ever. It was a vanilla cake with either hickory nuts from the front yard tree, or black walnuts from the back yard. We kids were often tasked with cracking and picking the meat from the very hard shells but never complained because the reward was worth the effort. Sadly for us, the recipe went to Heaven with her, but I’ll bet the angels love it.

The old house should be torn down, but none of us want to do it. We all have wonderful memories, and when I look at if I can still see my Grandmother in her kitchen, mixing her wonderful cake.