Tuesday, January 20, 2009

(Not) My Old Kentucky Home

Since the last post seems to be raising a lot of questions, let me see what I can do to clarify:

They were chicken eggs.

I don't know how they got there, but my recollection is that that they weren't down in a pit, but on some sort of nest on boards at floor level. Which is weird, but it's what I remember. And once I'd been sent out to the chicken house to snatch eggs from underneath the chicken’s butt, a task with which the chickens were NOT on board, and then ridiculed for being too much of a city-girl-scairdy-cat to bring back any eggs for breakfast (because I’m terrified of birds), anything seemed possible. Heck, for all I knew, the outhouse was an annex to the chicken house. They appeared to be of the same architecture and vintage.

It was on that trip that we also established that my wimpy nine-year-old hands could not wring milk from a cow’s teat. Which may be why, even though Grandma and Aunt Ease just went on and on about how great the fresh country butter tasted, I thought it tasted like sour milk.

Unfortunately, all the folks in this story except me have passed on, so there's no one I can even ask. I suppose I could send a note to my second-cousin, Janie, who now lives in that house, but she was grown and married and away when this happened, and I doubt if she'd know.

In her later years Aunt Bertha moved into a trailer with indoor plumbing and her son, George, inherited the house, which eventually passed on to his daughter after he died, in his early 50's, of a heart attack, just like my mom. (The Porters always did have bum tickers.) Which is also kind of interesting because everyone in Rockcastle County would have bet money that somebody's husband would have killed George long before that heart attack took him, because the Porter men are just dogs. (Seriously – years before, someone took a pot shot at him one morning when he was dropping his son off at school.) Which is probably why the Porter women have no truck that foolishness, after watching their brothers and daddies cat around the whole time they’re growing up.)

As far as it being a horror movie, except for being razzed about my city ways, and the outhouse, of course, I loved going down there. I got to ride around on the tractor with George (who always smiled right into my eyes and called me “little one”). I got to look for geodes in the creek, and then crack them open and marvel at the crystals inside. One time Uncle Casper took me up the hill behind the tobacco patch and let me dig up a little evergreen and take it home. The last time I passed our old house, it was still growing between the front windows.

Don’t know if this makes anything any clearer, but it was fun to recall.


  1. whew!! I've been worried about that!!!

  2. Reading your post is a nice way to start my day! You get up early.

  3. Oh God yes. Thats cleared up a lot. It was mostly the snake slithering up one's nether regions that got me going, but chickens can't get very far can they?

  4. This is nice to read stuff I also went through...and most of my family is gone to...my 89 year old aunt is the only one left...

    The others are right, I like reading this in the morning...

  5. It was great fun and of course, reminded me of my youth which I had to post today. Thanks.

  6. I too was terrified of birds till we raised our current 5. I didn't already comment about that did I? I hope not.
    You should certainly write a short story about your time with Aunt Bertha.

  7. That's for the clarification.

    Glad they were chicken eggs.


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