July 1, 2010
A JULY OF LONG AGO - GARDEN BLOGGERS MUSE DAY
Growing up on a farm the word vacation was not in our vocabulary . When school was out for the summer our work began in earnest. Weeding the cotton , corn , peanuts and potatoes, gathering the vegetables as they ripened , canning the excess, churning butter and making buttermilk filled our days. We toiled in the hot Alabama sun and thought nothing of it, turning almost as brown as a pecan.
Evenings we would sit on the porch and make peach ice cream from scratch. The taste of it is still to this day on my tongue and I love all things peach. There was no TV but we had an old radio that we listened to the Grand Ole Opry on and we'd sing along with it. Life was good and we thought we were living " high on the hog. " We'd often jokingly ask "Wonder how the poor folks are doing?"
I'll never forget one day in July when our cousins from Michigan visited us for the first time. They had never been to their Mom and Dad's hometown and being from Detroit were really amazed by what they saw. We picked Okra, Corn, Tomatoes, Green Beans and Squash from the garden to fix supper for them, and killed our prize plump chicken to fry up and served with homemade cornbread and buttermilk. Of course, homemade ice cream for dessert. They declared they'd never had a better meal.
The next day as we were about to pick cotton our cousins, with fair skin and red hair, begged us to let them try it. My sister and I threw them our sacks and lay back in the shade of the back porch waiting. About 10 minutes later they appeared, exhausted and bright red from the sun.
Little did I know then that I would leave the world I knew as a child and young adult and settle in the North. But I'll never forget that summer when my cousins came for a visit and discovered things that children growing up in the city could never hope to experience.
After moving to Chicago I visited them years later in Michigan and we talked and laughed about that summer they spent their vacation in Alabama.
Written by Carolyngail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago All rights reserved