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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)

TITLE: The Great Room
By Mildred Sheldon


My Dad was a story teller, and according to Momma I inherited Dadís ability to spin a yarn with just enough truth to make it interesting. According to Momma I am my fatherís son through and through. My Dad talked real slow with a deep southern drawl, and he always had his pipe close at hand when heíd tell us stories.

Times have changed as well as people. Everybody is rushing around, and the sad part; they donít seem to have a clue to where theyíre going or what theyíre doing. They no longer sit in the kitchen sharing with their family, reading the Bible or inviting their neighbors over for a cup of coffee.

Itís a sad, sad situation the way things are today, but the one constant in my life is the fact I can still tell my grandkids all the stories I grew up with. My one son loves to spin yarns, and some of the stories Iíve heard him tell his kids is so much funnier then the way I told the stories to him. Life goes on and I still love sitting at the big kitchen table where my Momma and Dad sat a long, long time ago reading my Bible with my beloved wife of 65 years sitting next to me.

I still chuckle when I think of this one particular story Dad loved to tell. My Dad passed away quite a while ago, and if I sit quiet I can still hear him tell that story. He called it,

I grew up in the country, and the one room in the house where everybody gathered was the kitchen. I guess you could say the kitchen was the meet and greet room, and the kitchen table was where everybody sat and discussed all the goings-on with family, friends, and thatís where we did our homework. We use to take our baths right there in front of the stove in that great room in an old tin tub, and we got our comeuppance there as well. Ma and Pa didnít believe in sparing the rod and spoiling the child. We were taught right from wrong according to the Bible and Pa use to read the Bible to us youngsters every evening before we went to bed sitting around that big kitchen table. Yep! Those were the good old days.

Our house consisted of a living/dining room, bedrooms, and of course a big kitchen. If you were blessed you had a small parlor which you used when the preacher stopped by for a visit. We got our water from the well, and there was a pump right next to the big kitchen sink which Ma used for cooking. We didnít have city water until I was a young man The city finally put in sewer and water pipes, and we built a room just off the kitchen for a toilet, sink and shower. We thought it was wonderful to be able to use indoor plumbing, and not have to run to the outhouse. We left the old outhouse as a reminder of bygone days.

Ma, prepared some of the finest food God put on this good earth there in that big kitchen. Yep! Fresh vegetables from the garden, fresh milk from the cows, fresh eggs from the chickens, and fresh meat from butchering a hog.

My goodness, just thinking of it makes my mouth water. Maís fried chicken with all the fixings on Sunday was a meal fit for a king, and her biscuits with sausage gravy for breakfast was out of this world.

Our kitchen was well used over the years, and all the business that was decided while sitting at that big table sure helped my family. When Ma and Pa were older, and needed help around the farm my brothers and sister all sat down at that big table, and decided who would be responsible for taking over the farm and seeing to Ma and País needs until the Lord called them home. Everybody agreed since I was the oldest Iíd take over the farm. The big room remained the center of all business transactions and gatherings after Ma and Pa passed away.

Yep! Those surely were some of the best day in my life, and all the fun we had in the great room will bring joy to my old heart until the Lord calls me home, and someone else takes over running the farm.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/20/12
Thank you for this lovely and touching story. Your dad's story will remain in your heart as an important memory and treasure until you meet again.

God Bless~
Helen Curtis07/23/12
That sounds like a wonderful room, full of memories, full of love. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/25/12
This is a sweet testimonial to your father and it took me back to a simpler time. Though I'm sure the memory is very special to you, I wonder if it might have drawn your readers in more had you made your father a character and have him retell his story with the kids interrupting, anxious for the next line.You did a fine job of writing on topic and I believe this story will be something that many generations of your family will enjoy. Nice job.