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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)

TITLE: An Autumn Memory
By Carolyn Palmertree


An Autumn Memory

“Here, chick, chick.” I called as I scattered feed on the ground. I loved to watch the chicken's running, to eat.. The brisk fall air felt good after the sweltering heat of summer.

After gathering the eggs, I took a minute to look around before going in to start breakfast Leaves turning to the reds and gold of fall. The asters next to the back door beautiful in their splendid blooms .

Breakfast was on the table when Bud came in. His day started an hour earlier than mine. Doing chores in the barn, feeding the livestock and milking the cows. He stopped in the mud room and washed his hands before coming into the warm kitchen.

Bud kissed me good morning before we sat down to eat. He thanked GOD for our meal before saying. “I was reading the farmer's almanac. It predicts a killing frost for the rest of the week. I going over to see if Billy Bob and Jake will agree to come over Friday. We might as well get our last hard job of fall behind us.”

“I'll get my part ready. I know Carry Jo and Anna Belle will be eager to get this behind us.”

Bud's brother's Billy Bob and Jake came over early to help Bud get started. Hearing the blast of the gun I knew it was time for me to get out of bed to start my day. Wood was piled in the mud room wood box for the cook stove. Another stack ready for the out side fire for the large cast iron pot to be used.

I got the fire started in the kitchen stove before going out to feed the chickens and gather the eggs. This morning I didn't stop to enjoy the view. I hurried back to prepare breakfast..

Carry Jo came in with two apple pies. Billy Bob carried in a basket of Apples. Jake brought in a bushel of sweet potatoes from their patch. Anna Belle had a pan of candied sweet potatoes in her hands. The set their loads down. They would stored in our fruit cellar later The men hurried out to continue the work started before they went back home to do their morning chores. Carry Jo, Anna Belle and I put on a pot of stew for our noon meal.

“It will be wonderful to get this chore behind us. I want to make a quilt. I can use your help” Carry Jo proclaimed.

“Sewing will be restful after the hard work we have been doing..” Anna Belle stated.
“We'll be thankful for the hard work when winter comes. We won't have to worry about having enough food.” I added as we picked up some containers to go help the men.
The carcass of the hog was hung on an A frame scaffold. The men already had it scaled and scrapped. Bud gutted it. “Hey, Jake, you want to clean the chitlins? I promised Henry he could have them.”

“I'll do it for Henry. He was a big help last week when we picked the last of the cotton. I tried to pay him but he refused.”

Billy Bob took his shape knife and started carving. He laid the meat on the table as he cut it from the carcass. My sister and laws and I started salting the meat used to aid in preserving. It would be hung in the smoke house to be smoked with hickory wood.

I cut the fat into pieces then dropped it into the cast iron pot to cook down for lard. Anna Belle set some of the fat aside for the lye soap we would make later.

The work continued, we were teasing and joking. When I heard some one call my name.

“Miss Grace, Miss Grace, you need to wake up” I opened my eyes to see a nurse's assistant standing by my bed.

I was disappointed to wake up and discover, the wonderful day with my husband and in laws was only a dream.

“Grace you must have been having a great dream. You had the most pleasant smile on your face. If it wasn't time for your dinner, I would have let you sleep”.

“ I was looking out the window at the beautiful fall day. I must have dozed off. Yes, the dream was sweet, A memory of a fall day long ago.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 09/07/09
I remember my mom talking about hog butchering days of her childhood. It must have been the signal that fall was ready to come!
Helen Dowd10/05/09
Very good story line. I like the "homey" content of your story. You have great potential as a down-to-earth story teller.