The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Memories From Yesteryear

By Edith Cox © 1992

Issue: June, 1992

I grew up on a small farm with two brothers and being the only girl I usually had to do most of the chores. In the fall there would be an apple cutting to make apple butter. Early in the morning Dad would get a fire going under a large copper apple butter kettle. The apples would be cooked and stirred all day with sugar being added when the time was right. When the apple butter was cooked enough it was dipped out of the kettle into crocks and jars for spreading on biscuits for breakfast. We didn't have light bread then.

After the apple butter was taken care of, Mom would empty half gallon fruit jars of blackberries that were left from the year before into the kettle with sugar and cooked until thick enough for blackberry jam.

In the spring when everyone wanted a new dress Mom would go to the hen house and catch a large dominicker hen that wasn't laying eggs. She was always sure which ones were loafers and we would tie her feet together with a twine string so she couldn't get away. I would tuck her under my arm and carry her up and down hills to the store and sell her for money. Then Mom would order me a new summer dress from Montgomery Ward for $1.98. That was the only new one I had all summer except for maybe one made from a print feed sack.

The only time I ever got to ride in a car would be when one of my uncles or aunts would come to visit from town. While they were visiting I would go sit in the car which was a great treat for me.

One lovely Easter Sunday when I had turned 70 years old, my daughter-in-law surprised me with an Easter basket complete with bunny, eggs, and candy. It was my first Easter basket in all my years.