Thursday, December 11, 2008

Going Home Again

I got to go home once more this fall the week before Thanksgiving.  I had to drop off Gayle at the Atlanta Airport Monday night to fly out to Oklahoma and help Garrett drive home from Fort Sill.   Since my parents' house is only two hours north, we spent the weekend with them.  It was very leisurely and restful.  

Sunday afternoon, Gayle, Daddy, and I went around to some of the cemeteries where my ancestors are buried.  They are all in North Carolina.  My Daddy's parents' house is on the Tennessee-North Carolina line. My Aunt Flossie lives in the house now.    Both of these photos of headstones are of the Walker family.  My Daddy's Mama was a  Walker before she married.  Laurel used that name for Landing, Walker Landing.  Someone once said that sounded like a subdivision; a nice one though!

We had such a good time listening to Daddy tell stories about our relatives  as we walked between the tombstones.  We found great-great, great, and grandparents,  aunts and uncles, cousins, and neighbors.

Daddy told me about my Great Aunt Vivian who was so reviled that at her funeral, her own son said awful things about her.  Another Great Aunt, Vivian's sister, died of diphtheria when she was only twelve.  Great Grandpa Collins (my Daddy's grandpa) died of complications from an appendectomy with he was in his thirties.  Great Grandma Collins had to raise four boys and two girls by herself.  I don't know how she did it.  Daddy said she sold eggs and other small things to make ends meet.

The other two photos are of my sweet Daddy.  Gosh, I love that man.  I love his humble, gentle spirit.  He was  and is the best daddy ever!  I savor every minute spent in his company.  The photo of him dipping into his "chew" shows a flat stone next to his feet.  My Uncle Hershel Barnes is buried  there.  I feel a special affinity to him even though he died before I was born.  I'm sad that I never got to know him.  I think we would have been kindred spirits.  He used to traipse through the mountains digging up roots and plants for medicine.   I've always been interested in making my own medicine too.  Must be genetic!

Uncle Hershel never married.  He would rotate between relatives staying with one for a few weeks and then going on to another.  My Daddy used to follow him around as a little boy.  He learned how to repair tin pots and rebottom chairs.  He learned how to use yellowroot and lady slipper to cure simple maladies. 

They would go hunting together in the mountains.  Daddy said that they were supposed to meet one day, so Daddy started out walking on the trail to meet him.  He found Uncle Hershel dead on the mountain.  He had died of a heart attack.  I know that was very hard for Daddy especially since he was a young boy. 



3 comments:

laurel said...

I didn't know that about Uncle Hershel. Poor pee-paw. It is amazing the things that he has seen and done, and had to deal wit...and to still be the sweetest person we know, through it all.

Valerie@travelingthrough2 said...

I'm glad you got to spend time with your daddy. I was able to spend a little time with my daddy this summer, I treasure the time. My sister is very good at remembering his stories, wish I could say the same! I hope your son stays safe and enjoys Oklahoma. We lived in Guthrie, a very cute town a little north of Oklahoma City, husband is still there selling the house and working.
Valerie

Sian Draycott said...

Thanks for the interesting insight into your family history!