The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

That Old Bed

By Rose Parmer © 2014

Online: November, 2014

I grew up on an old dirt road on Timbertree Branch. The little three room shack was surrounded by a small clearing and mountains and woods on all sides. The creek ran in the front yard, making for many hours of splashing and playing, hunting for minnows and crawdads. When we got tired of that, we hit the woods, swinging on grapevines, making our "campouts" at the bottom of a big old tree.

In that three room shack, the small bedroom had two full size beds. Now there were four girls and two boys. After Grandmaw died when I was age ten, we had to adjust the sleeping arrangements. The boys got to sleep long ways in their bed, but us girls, after we got so big, laid sideways in that old bed. After a while, our feet hung over. Talk about hours of laughing, giggling, talking and snuggling with the sisters, hollering back and forth with the brothers. Looking out the window at "my" star; watching it rain and storm from there. Lulled to sleep by the sound of Timbertree Branch singing to us, the crickets, frogs in the creek, hoot owls, whippoorwills, and my Daddy's snoring. We were safe and secure. The wolf was at the door many a time, but us kids didn't know it.

Blankets and quilts my Momma made adorned that old bed. In the wintertime, there were so many quilts; it was hard to turn over.
That old bed, however, had a hard row to hoe. Remember we had some friends over, and we were jumping on that bed. Down it went! So it got propped up on blocks; there were always extra kids around.
Momma and her six babies liked to read, and still do. We would lay across the edge of that old bed, and read whatever we could get our hands on. True Stories were taboo to our Daddy, and they would disappear if he caught us girls reading them!

Up under that old bed was a great storage place for the stuff Momma canned. Remember one year, there were probably 120 or so cans of blackberries and raspberries she canned, along with the other things like corn and beans, pickles, etc. Sure did taste good when the snow was flying. Especially those blackberry pies!

Life was simple back then. We could go off into the woods, play in the creek and have good clean simple fun. There was no one watching over your shoulder every second. But the best part, we had a Momma who let us jump on the bed.

There is a song out there that says, "Loves grows big in Little Houses!" Reckon that is so very true!! My sisters and brothers are, and have always been, my best friends. God blessed us well!