Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Early Morning Chores




Life on the farm, you might say settled into a routine after awhile, early morning chores  being at the top of the list.

Early morning chores was, essential to farming.

As a young boy, dad always woke me up early in the morning to help milk the cows... and feed... the rest of his livestock.

Like most teenagers, I disliked early morning chore's  immensely .

I knew dad's views on the matter,  was way  different than mine.

 His view and recommendation for early morning chores, were get-er done boy with a capital D. 

Seems like when the teenage years come your way , and you're at the peak of growing, you need a little more sleep...at least...  that's the way I felt about it.

One morning while doing my chores, I made a  unusual and most shocking discovery.

Gathering corn from the crib,a black snake managed to get into my basket while filling it up with corn .

I wanted to destroy that thing so badly.  But could hear dad in my head saying .

Don't destroy black snakes son.  Because they are your friend, they catch and keep mice away from the barn.

At the moment I wasn't sure if that was good thinking or not,  I  thought maybe mice were better to deal with, than the snake .

I did spare the snakes life, and let it go against my best wishes.  All the while hoping it would just leave the barn, and never come back.

  From then on, my early morning visits to the corn crib,became more cautious .


Maybe the  black snake sensed I was afraid of it when I let it go.

And never came back anymore, Don't know, I was well pleased  with the out come.

Until this day,  I have never developed a liking for black snakes.     Page 199


Until next time.   God Bless.

My Meditations by,  Coleman



Friday, April 21, 2017

Soap Making



Soap Making

Yup ! we made our own soap back in the olden days before modern soap making took over.

Dad (Veltie )and Mom (Jewel Schell) made their soap in the fall of the year when it got cold enough for butchering the hogs, usually after a frost or two .

Because lard was one of the ingredients needed.

On soap making day mom and dad  started by pouring  lye into a pot of water stirring it with a wooden spoon or paddle, until the lye would sizzled and heat the  water up to about 85 degree.

While that was going on  dad heated the lard in an iron kettle to about 90 degree.

Then he poured the two together, stirring the mixture until it was like a Slurpee.

After about 30 minutes it was poured it into molds and let set for a few days or until it was hard enough to slice into bars.

There you have it... Lard and lye... that was all you needed to make soap, plus some elbow grease of course.

From clothes and stains to dirty dishes and floors — even to poison ivy and bug bites — lye soap was the answer for the family’s daily cleaning needs.

Until next time,  God Bless.

Coleman  Schell

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What a suprise



Late in the evening, the day before my eighth Birthday.

 Mother ask me to go to the store for her, to get some  baking soda and baking powder for bread making .

 She was completely out of the two, and it was something she needed desperately to finish  with her baking.

The little family store wasn't far away and was owned and operated by Willey Sherman, a close family friend.

Willey would let you buy things on credit when cash was low.

Mother said to tell Willey to put the items on our tab she would pay for them latter.

And for me to hurry back, it would soon be dark.

Yes Momma I replied , as I hurriedly  left for the store.

Barefooted and with my trusty little sling shot, my choice of weapon if I needed one along the way.

I ran all the way to the store , hardly breathing hard in doing so.

I couldn't do that today.

 Willey gathered the items I needed, I signed for them and was soon on my way home.

I was running along at a pretty good pace through the wooded area that I had come through earlier.

By now it was much darker, making it hard for me to see.

I heard something break a tree branch, and coming straight toward me, I  froze in my tracks .

Low and behold it was Reni my German shepherd dog who had followed me to the store, with out my knowledge.

 My heart was in my throat for awhile, as he ran up to greet me.

I was so thankful it was Reni, instead of a bear or something else, of which my sling shot wouldn't have been any match for.

When I reached home and told mother about it, she was thankful all ended well, and promised not to send me to the store anymore so late.

This was one of the stories I still remember today, some 67 years after it happened.

Reni my best buddy, I loved that dog.

Even though he scared me half to death that day.

Until next time, God Bless.


My Meditation by,  Coleman





Dog Patch Zoo located in the community of Flat Lick, Kentucky, some  seven miles north of  the city of London.

The Zoo and the  adjoining Trading Post was established,  maybe around 1950 and grew to be a well loved stop for travelers,using U.S. 25 .
 


With the creation of Interstate 75, the trading post was relocated to exit 41 of Intestate 75, in London, Kentucky...its current home today.
I remember going to the Dog patch Zoo while it was in Flat Lick, to see a large Alligator they were advertising they had.
I wasn't the only one interested in seeing the Alligator it seems,  shortly after I arrived, a School Bus load of Kids  pulled up.
The kids were having  an enormous amount of fun getting off the bus, and thrilled to be attending the Zoo  it was oblivious by the excitement on their faces.
Arthur Chestnut sort of a vagabond to the area; had appointed himself to be acting director to the Zoo that day.
Arthur was directing traffic to the Alligator site,  seems like he was about as excited as the kids and my self, to be seeing a large real live Alligator up close for the first time .
Since moving to London....  The Dog Patch Trading Post...  became known as... "Dog Patch Barn"... and has been home to some of the most unusual gag gifts and hillbilly tourist tack imaginable .
There are those who embrace "Dog Patches" hillbilly heritage and then there are those who would seek to ignore it.
Guess I'm in the former group I've always enjoyed visiting the Barn to see the latest gifts and gags.



Until Next Time.  God Bless.
My Meditations by,   Coleman






Dog Patch Zoo located in the community of Flat Lick, Kentucky, some  seven miles north of  the city of London.
The zoo and adjoining Trading Post was established,  maybe around 1950 and grew to be a well loved stop for travelers,using U.S. 25 . 
With the creation of Interstate 75, the trading post was relocated to exit 41 of Intestate 75, in London, Kentucky...its current home today.
 I remember going to the Zoo during the time it was still in Flat Lick, to see a large Alligator they had there.
I wasn't the only one interested in seeing the Alligator it seems,  shortly after I arrived, a School Bus load of Kids  pulled up.
They were having  an enormous amount of fun , excited to be attending the Zoo  it was oblivious by the excitement on their faces.
Arthur Chestnut sort of a community vagabond had appointed himself as acting director to the Zoo.  Arthur was directing traffic to the Alligator, he was about as excited as the kids to be seeing a large Alligator up close for the first time .
Since moving to London....  The Dog Patch Trading Post...later  became known as... "Dog Patch Barn"... and has been home to some of the most unusual gag gifts and hillbilly tourist tack imaginable .
There are those who embrace "Dog Patches" hillbilly heritage and then there are those who would seek to ignore it.
Guess I'm in the former group I've always enjoyed visiting the Barn to see the latest gifts and gags.  As well as my visit to the zoo when it was in Flat Lick.

                                                          Page 134





Possum Trot church was what you would envision if you were told to imagine a country church — white, wooden, and with a roof coming to a point on the top.
 Inside were wooden floors and wooden pews, the place smelling like old wood and old Bibles.
 Behind the pulpit hung a board where someone had tallied weekly attendance and offerings.
 The congregation , made up mostly of grandmothers,  grandfathers, and a few young people met  there to worship, when they had services.
Possum Trot  Church was located on top of  a  hill in the Laurel River and  Campground  community of Laurel county Kentucky .
In the 1940’s, most church restrooms were still outhouse, including Possum Trot's.

But that was no big deal for people living in that era.

They didn't miss something they'd never had.

I was about grown before we got plumbing and a inside Potty for our home.
Dad and Mother took us to Possum Trot for a week-end revival one time.
We filled up one of the small pews ,on the Friday night we attended.
The preacher proclaimed in his message; "We were all born sinners, and needed to repent ,or we would face gloom and  doom in the days ahead if we didn't."
Needless to say he didn't get to many "Amen's" on the subject but  everyone enjoyed his  preaching.
Possum Troy Church has been established  for a number of years  as, part of the Laurel River and Campground community .
Much could be written I suppose about  Possum Trot's, quaint little Church and those early congregations, like the one  we worshiped with .

Perhaps one day someone will write about the Churches history, its Legion, and how it got its unusual name.

I hope so, and that they will share it; with the rest of the world.

I can attest; to the friendly people there, and the warm reception we received on our visit .
They treated you like family, and that made Possum Trot special to me.
Until Next Time.  God Bless.
My Meditation by, Coleman






Saturday, April 1, 2017

June Meeting




The first Sunday in June was a special occasion for our home Church, Union Baptist.

It was called "June Meeting" by everyone in the community, and hardly any one ever  missed going .

The special thing about this Sunday, was after the sermon had been delivered, there was a foot washing service.

The women sit on one side of the Church, and washed  each other feet,  while the Men sit on the other side washing the Brothers feet . 

For me as a youngster I didn't fully grasp the Biblical association of this and ask Mother what it meant for them to do that. 

She read me this scripture found in the Gospel of John to help me better understand.

Jesus poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the servant’s towel wherewith He was girded.  Jesus said, If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you

Don't know if they still do the foot washing ceremony at "Union Baptist Church " or not.


Don't know if they still have "The June Meeting" day  or not.

Been so long ago since I attended.

But until this very day I can remember attending this little country Church at Union,  and watching the foot washing ceremony.

Until next time,  God Bless.


My Meditations by,   Coleman  

Homecoming

 The Laruel County Homecoming  got started in 1935  at the Levi Jackson Wilderness State Park near London Ky..

 Our family looked forward to the event each year.

 The homecoming  presented family's a opportunity to have a fun filled week-end,  just before school started.

The Homecoming was scheduled in August on the week-end of the full moon.

Russell Dyke was the founder of it .

 By the time I'd  reached my teens  the home coming was growing in leaps and bounds.

And was  being attended by hundreds from the Laruel County area.

One of the main features of the homecoming was, "The Re-enactment of the McNitt Massacre" which had taken place in the park in 1786.

The play was performed on the stage of the amphitheater by local talent.

Family's gathered around the theater to see this breath taking show. 

Using blankets on the ground for seating  and to keep them warm from the cool night air.

 Gospel singings were conducted  on Sundays, and were a special part of the homecoming, to many of its goers.

Walking with your family and friends  in the park  under a big full moon was a teenagers delight.

Looking back on the events we attended,  and the fun times we had, no wonder it left an impression on me.

As well as the many others who attended.

Until Next Time. God Bless.

My Meditations by,  Coleman

My Barlow

 A  Barlow is a must for all young boys growing up on the farm.

I received my first one on my 10th birthday.

 I had been wanting a knife for  a long time, and it came at just the right time.

  For doing a project I was working on; making  myself a sling-shot.

I borrowed Dad's sharping  stone to make sure it was sharp and ready for the task.

I'd watched Him sharpen his knife's before and I was pretty sure I could do it.

Must have taken me a good half hour to get my Barlow to pass the sharp test.

The test dad used to prove a sharp was sharp.

 Was when completely sharpened the knife had to shave the hairs on your arm, and cut  through a sheet of paper with out tearing it .

After my knife was  finally sharp the next thing was to find  me a dog-wood tree with just the perfect fork .

After some careful consideration I found just the right one .

With my Barlow... I was able to whittle it into shape in no time.

Now  my forks were ready for the strips of rubber , I'd cut from an ole inter tube .

Attached to the strips of rubber were a leather pad.


Made from the tongue of a discarded shoe to hold the stone or marble I would be using with my sling-shot.

 I  cut the strips of rubber with Momma's new scissors, with out asking  permission.

 I had no Idea rubber would make them dull.

  Soon found that out,  when Mother  tried to use them for something.

 It was at that time I fessed up to my mistake .

Dad bailed me out, and re-sharpened the scissors for her .

As I finished up my project I was  proud of my work , (except for the dulling of Mothers scissors).

Don't know if any of you have ever owned a Barlow  knife or not... if you have... you can probably identify with the excitement I had using and owning mine. 

Until Next Time.   God Bless.

My Meditations by,  Coleman



Livestock and Feather Pillows




A farm is incomplete with out livestock.

Our farm had a diversity of animals.

The purpose of owning livestock was much different  fifty years ago than it is today.

Livestock  back then was raised mostly for home consumption.

Other than  the horses, mules,and oxen, who were our source for doing farm work.

Pigs, chickens, and  the ducks, were high on the consumption list, nothing ever went to waste on the farm.

Some families sold derived products from them, such as eggs, cream, and  cured meats.

In town to cash in for  things they needed, that they didn't grow on the farm .

Dad tried to minimize buying things at town, by growing everything he could and using what ever we had on the farm.

The feathers from the ducks and chickens made the best pillows and feather beds you  ever slept on.

I slept many a night on one of those.

And still have one of the pillows from childhood today, I wouldn't trade it for the best pillow on the market .
.

Until next time,  God Bless.

Coleman Schell