Monday, July 25, 2011


I think I'm homesick.  I awoke this morning thinking about summers in Pigeon Roost...about the many weeks I spent back in the mountains each summer with my grandparents and cousins - - -before the developers moved in to purchase and alter the land of so many of the original family homesteads....before I realized life had its complications and twists....before I "came of age," as one would dub those days now.

At Grandma and Granddaddy's house at Pigeon Roost, I was indoors only to eat and sleep.  At all other times, I could be found exploring the rhododendron thickets that were my pretend jungle or looking for deep red trillium alongside the little creek that flowed into the woods by Grandma and Grandpa's house. That creek water was cold (!), but I couldn't resist splashing around in it as much as I could and turning over every rock in the branch in search of salamanders...( we called them "lizards" back then).

At other times in the early morning,  hundreds of bumblebees buzzing around the morning glories growing up the side of the Grandma's house piqued my curisoity, and I would catch one with a clothespin so I could examine it closely.  The bees didn't like that at all.  More than once when I came in for breakfast,  Grandma took her dishrag to my head to swat bees out of my thick hair...I had no idea they had latched on and were ready to sting me in retaliation for depriving them of their morning nectar.

The particular picture above would certainly not win a prize in any photographic competition, but it's one of my favorites because it transports me to my time with my grandparents....The back door at Grandma and Grandpa's was always open in the summer to let in the breeze. As clear as if I were emerging from the woods at this very  moment, I can hear Grandma calling me in for lunch - frequently fried chicken, gravy, green beans, fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy.  Many times I would head in before she called, for I could smell lunch on the stove.  I can see her standing in the kitchen as I walked in the back door, her apron tied around her waist with biscuit flour sprinkled down the front.  I can see Granddaddy walking in from the front room, taking off his hat, and sitting down at the table, and I sense the love I felt as I joined then at the table to eat before heading back outside for my afternoon adventures. Grandaddy always chuckled at my escapades and imagination.

I also associate the back door at Grandma's with  morning milkin' time.  I wasn't so good at milking, but Grandma was patient with me (as was the old cow). Grandma milked on the edge of the woods, just about at the spot from which I took this picture.  As she milked and talked to me, I sat on the ground and fiddled with little rocks from the creek's edge. The steady rhythm of her milking was soothing....something one would describe today as a "zen-like" experience, and I realize now that precious morning time was my special alone time of the day with Grandma, for when we were done, she was off to do her chores.

The back side of the house was my view from that vantage point.  When she finished filling her pail, Grandma would pat the cow on the rump and head  back to the house with her bucket of frothy milk. I'd watch her go indoors, and then I took off on the path back toward the barn, to a little galax patch where I had an imaginary world of my own, or I'd run across the lower pasture to see if my cousins who lived down at "the old homeplace" site were up. 

I include the other photos just for nostalgia's sake....milkweed flowers ready to pop open bring back memories of their sweet scent...and a birdhouse my dad made and put up on the edge of Grandma's yard years ago when he was still able to get about and make a few things in the basement still stands. 

I could live in Pigeon Roost.....I could live back in the mountains where my blood runs strong and every cell in my body connects to the love I felt there. For now, however, I live there in my mind and feel just fine.

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AthensRomantic said...

Sweet, sweet, sweet. I'd love to spend some time there with you!

Cpyles said...

Tanya..Love this takes me back to memories of my early days spent on my grandfather's farm.

Cpyles said...

Tanya, Love this article..takes me back to my early days on my grandfather's farm.