The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Table on Timbertree Branch

By Rose Carter Parmer © 2014

Online: November, 2014

Setting here thinking about that old kitchen table we had growing up in the 1960s and 70s on Timbertree Branch! So many memories in that little old three room shack with a path to the little house out back.

It was the gathering place for those awesome meals Momma made. So many taters and beans, and beans and taters, the best cornbread I have ever eat to this day, biscuits and gravy (Gary Mc called them "heaped up Bell biscuits cause they were so large), the pies and things that Momma cooked; all of us drinking coffee in the mornings out of that old ceramic pot that belonged to Grandma Zell, and maybe even Grandma Fleenor. While we didn't have a lot, she sure did make what we had taste good.

It is garden time now, and I can remember her canning green beans, blackberries and raspberries, corn, whatever we had she put up for the wintertime. Poke greens early in the spring. Brother Dan ate too many of them! Me and Millie eating hot peppers after we were told not to, and drinking cream and water to get rid of the burn!

Mom could make the best chocolate pies, my mouth still waters thinking about them! We did our homework there. Can still recall setting there doing Algebra and Mom helping me; Mom trying to figure out my school problems. She was so happy to learn new things, or to remember things she had in school! Remember when I was a little girl; reading from my first grade reader and telling Mom that breakfast was pronounced break fast. I am sure she got a kick out of that smarty pants little girl; several of us doing homework there, together.

Remember setting there playing all those games of checkers, Brother Dan playing chess, and all those card games we all played. We didn't know it at the time, but she was teaching us math, social skills, how to solve problems. Of course, she was the best teacher we had.

Gathering around the table for birthday cake for whichever one of us was the lucky one that day. Remember Millie's 18th birthday party, and we got a picture of all of us. Dad had his pocket knife out, joking, like he was gonna cut the cake with it! And Mom standing there, smiling! How I treasure that picture of all of us!!

I can see Mom opening that old oven door for the heat; while the water was frozen in the water bucket. The dipper we all drank out of; the old white red rimmed ceramic wash pan. Next to that old kitchen table

Dads chair breaking and his chin ending up on the table, and him grinning and all of us laughing! Dad licking the jelly spoon after he had just quarreled at Dan or Willie, not sure which one, for licking the jelly spoon; him grinning and all of us laughing!

Mom standing beside that old table and making sure our plates were filled, always putting everybody ahead of herself.

What I would give to go back in time, just for a little while, and be at that old table again with all of us! Part of our family is in heaven now. One of these days we will all hear Mom say, come on, it's suppertime! And we will gather around that old precious table again, together!