Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)
- TITLE: The Old Home Place
By Michelle Mitchell
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My father-in-law speaks incessantly about “The Old Home Place”. I love to hear his stories. Pop will be eighty-one this month, but even still, the old home place remains in his family and has been, for more than one hundred years. My husband’s Aunt Bunch lives there even today. This weekend in fact, “Mitchells” will travel from all over the country, their destination being, you guessed it, the old home place!
The festivities will begin on Saturday with “The Mitchell Open”. The men folk will gather at a local golf course just as they have for the past 15 years or so. They will spend more time reminiscing about the good old days than they will on the game. In keeping with tradition, last year’s tournament winner will bring his trophy to the covered dish picnic on Sunday and reluctantly pass it along to the winner of this year’s tournament.
There will be two very long rows of tables, lined up end to end. Ones eye can hardly behold the amount of food that will cover every square inch of each table. As we wait for the preacher to say grace, it is very easy to identify that stare, the intensity of that look. I need to know by the time the preacher says “amen”, how it is that I am going to get from here to there, in arm’s length at least, of Aunt Merlene’s Lemon Meringue pie! Oh, how we all miss Aunt Blanche and her Red Velvet Cake. As for me, my mouth waters at the very thought of my mother-in-law’s baked ham.
Under one of the many big shade trees, you will find the gifted and talented. Some will sing together a gospel favorite while others pick a tune on the guitar, banjo or fiddle. It is a lazy summer day and no one wants to see it come to an end. There is something so sacred about just being there, at the old home place.
Pa’s family moved to the old home place when he was just two years of age. Pa would never leave. Ma and Pa had thirteen children including Pop, each one of them born in the home. Pop and his brothers and sisters worked the farm along side Ma and Pa, raising and storing up all that they would eat. There was the patch of peas that they harvested, but only after they dried in the field. Once the peas were dried and picked they would fill a fertilizer sack and hang it on the clothesline, beating it every so often with a broom. The dried peas were to be stored up for the long winter that lie ahead.
Tobacco was their money crop and paid for the things that they were unable to raise. Pop says that with some of the money Pa made selling the tobacco, he would buy a big round box of cheese and a hundred pound bag of pinto beans.
It goes without saying, that life back then must have been tough at times but, despite the hardships, there is much to be nostalgic about. As I look to the future, I am reminded that the great prospect or our Hope as Believers is in the coming of the Lord. This life is but a vapor. What we have in Christ which will last for all of eternity, will surely be, the very best part.
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