Remember to Write

The leather-bound notebook sits on top of my night stand. I like the gold edging on the bottom and top of each page. I especially like the feel of the book in my hands, and oh, the quill and pen etched into the cover reminds me of the writing profession. The words etched in the folded section has these words written, Remember to Write.

That book with the lined pages I purchased a couple of months ago, because I had an attack of writing/journalist withdrawals. In the weeks that followed, well I intended to write. I meant to journal each night, but mostly I forgot to write.

In the past few weeks though, I have helped a friend with his writing project. The more I read and edited and offered suggestions, the more I realized how much I miss writing. I can’t count the unfinished writing projects I’ve started and stored in my computer.

I’m not making any promises or resolutions, but as much as I can, I want to make 2015 the year I returned to my writing.

Perhaps, I’ll journal some, or return to one of my projects I have already started, but whatever I do, I think I will do as my book says…

Remember to Write.

Darlene Snyder

A Shot Gun Story, Two Guys and a Diner

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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I left work early Friday afternoon so Mike and I could ride our motorcycle again, after deciding that the upcoming week-end weather forecast was for much cooler and rainy weather. We thought this might be our last chance to ride for a while. It was a bit windy, but riding on the back roads, the wind didn’t bother us to much. Actually, Friday was a gorgeous day in Kentucky.  We stayed pretty close to home, and I took several pictures. 

One of the first places we went was to a little side road in Madison County that dead ends at the creek. The part of Paint Lick Creek that ran around the small farm where Mike grew-up, was a great place to stop, take pictures and listen as he reminisced. He told of playing on the tree covered hillsides, in the creek and around the farm that we could see from our vantage point. The following is a story about a shotgun, cowboys and Indians that he told me today. Too funny not to share.

After watching several Westerns with shoot-em-up cowboys and fighting Indians, Mike decided to try his hands with a shot-gun. He was somewhere around the age of ten. His mom was at work in the factory, his dad was on another farm down the road, working. Mike took the loaded shot-gun from its resting place inside the house, jumped onto the old mare that the family used as a work horse, and went riding down the woods next to the creek. The woods were on a hillside.

As he looked for Indians to shoot, he spotted movement just ahead and pulled up the shot-gun, pointed it in the direction of the Indian and pulled the trigger. At the moment that he pulled the trigger, the gun resting against his shoulder kicked back and made a loud BOOM! The blast scared the horse, who began jumping and bucking; Mike landed in a heap on the ground. The shot-gun’s barrel went deep into the damp ground and immediately filled with dirt, mud and damp leaves. After pulling himself up and off the ground, he saw that he was alright, other than a really sore shoulder; he pulled the gun out of the ground. His first thought was how his father was going to kill him!

Mike spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the gun the best that he could. Afterwards, he put the gun right back where he got it and never told a soul what happened until about ten years later.

I enjoyed listening to Mike’s stories, but soon we moved on and rode over to Garrard County and then Lincoln and Boyle counties. When it came time to stop and rest, we stopped at the Country Diner in Lancaster.

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The Country Diner

 We met two of Lancaster’s finest citizens while eating at the diner. I didn’t get their names, but I did get their picture. Maybe they will leave a comment in the comment section and tell us who they are and about their town and job.

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Lancaster's finest

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We enjoyed our time spent with the fine young men, and we wish them well in their job, keeping Lancaster safe.
 

Here are a couple of the scenery pictures from our ride.

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Mike as he is looking across the creek into the wooded area of the shoot out! Maybe I should say the shoot off!!

There Are More Ways Than One To Preserve Memories

 

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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One of my goals for this blog is to encourage you to preserve your memories in whatever way is most comfortable to you. In past articles I’ve spoken about audio or video recording older members of your family. I’ve encouraged you to write your memories and preserve them through your written words.

Photography is also another area you could use as a means to preserve memories. At almost every family function for years, I had a camera in hand. I now have photos in which  family members have requested copies. If I attended a church function, I took my camera. Regardless of the setting, I was the one people ran away from -I suppose it could be that I’ve caught a few of them with thier mouths open as they were eating food.  Oops. I’d like to believe my photographing habits have changed drastically. I try to catch the would be photographed person at thier best.

Scrapbooking is another way to preserve your memories through the use of photographs.  I’ll leave this subject to folks more qualified than me as I am not much of a scrapbooker. I have plenty of photo albums, but they aren’t pretty and decorative. For more information on scrapbooking from professionals, check this site, http://www.everything-about-scrapbooking.com/

Some of you may ask, “Why do you believe preserving memories is so important?” This is a good question and I found a great article that answers that question. The folks at thelegacyguide.com  offers a book and downloadable forms to help you preserve your legacy. The link to the article is here,  http://www.thelegacyguide.com/why_tell_your_story.html

Kirksville Kentucky – One Great Place

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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I completed my book on the Kirksville Community and now I wait patiently for the publisher to complete the printing process. For information on how to get your copy of the book, you can go to my website. It is www.darlenesnyder.com

I want to share some details about our community to just wet your appetite for some great reading. I can say that because I’ve invested a whole lot of time into the book as well as had several readers to critique and offer creative solutions for my areas of weakness. The final product will be awesome, if I must say so myself.

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  • Mrs. Croucher, as well as others with whom I spoke, told me that revivals were always held for two weeks at a time. There was usually more than one revival per year. When revivals were held, nothing interfered with the services. For instance, there were two services, one in the mornings and one in the evening. If the men were working in the fields, they would leave the fields; go to church just as they were–work clothes and all. They would go home after services, eat, and go back to work. They would always stop working in the evenings in time to go to the services.  Dorothy Spurlock, another veteran member, remembers when there were no screens in the window of the Sanctuary. People would come to services, revival and Sunday services alike, and would stand outside of the windows and listen to the preaching and singing.
  • “Kirksville is unique among thousands of similar villas, especially in the succession of individualistic characters who have trod these hills and rills for near two centuries. The essence of history must be the personalities around whom it revolved and evolved.” Eugene Spurlock Jr
  • My grandmother shopped and traded in one of the stores located in Kirksville during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  She’d take hens, eggs, and cream to trade for coffee, flour and sugar.My grandfather raised meat hogs, usually twelve or thirteen each year. They cooked lard from the hog fat to use at home, sold the hams, and kept the shoulder and jowl meat for themselves.After raising over two-hundred pounds of corn, they’d take it to Lige Tussey’s mill in Kirksville to be ground as meal. He would keep half the meal for grinding the corn.A man that my father referred to as “Butterhead Tussey” owned a cream station.  Mr. Tussey’s wife, Florence didn’t have any way of testing to see if the cream was sweet or sour except to dip her finger in the barrels of cream and then lick them. If it were the sweet cream, which was sold to make butter, they’d receive more money for it. My grandmother made homemade cottage cheese from some of the cream.  She skimmed the cream off the milk, let it clabber then boiled it.
  • Each year on the fourth Saturday of September, the Kirksville community comes together for a day of celebration. Venders set booths up along the main road of the Kirksville community as well as in front of the community center located in the former school. People from all around the County travel here to enjoy a breakfast of homemade biscuits, gravy and ham that  the masons and lodge members cooked.  Early in the morning of Kirksville Day while most are still in their warm beds, the cooks arrive and spend several hours getting the grub together. On those early mornings when I walk out my front door, the smell of country ham as it cooks assaults me. The delicious odor hovers over the area like a cloud.  It isn’t until I follow the smell in my trance like state and order a plate of food that spell is broken.  This breakfast is a fundraiser for the lodge to help them in their community activities. It is a fun time of fellowship and it gives us an opportunity to spend a brief few minutes talking with friends and family that have gathered.
  • There is an ancient Indian Burial Mound in our area. Pictures are included in the book.

Don’t forget to check my website www.darlenesnyder.com for information on getting your copy of my book, Casting bread Upon the Water

Mistaken Identity – A Vacation Memory

 

 

By: Darlene G. Snyder

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 The trip to Virgina Beach a few years ago was long and endless, but we arrived safely. I wasn’t happy about driving underwater via the tunnels as I am a big chicken about many things with water, bridges and tunnels near the top of the list.  The week with the family at the beach went well enough with no major catastrophes or problems.  I refused to go over the Chesapeak Bay Bridge, but after leaving wished I hadn’t been such a spoil sport. I always seem to have unreasonable excuses for not doing something then later wishing that I had done whatever it was that I didn’t do. Make sense?

Anyway, before leaving for home, we strolled through some of the shops looking for souvenirs. I purchased two Virginia Beach tee-shirts and a few other cheap key rings and such. Once it was time for us to return home, I decided to wear one of the shirts. I especially liked the color of one in particular and I also liked the style. Very Cute, I thought as I finished dressing.

The traffic was especially horrendous, but to keep from having to drive through the underwater tunnels, I let my son drive. I sat in the backseat and complained about his driving, but I definitely didn’t want to take over and drive myself.  After we’d made it through the worst of the traffic, we decided to stop and take a break.

While sitting in a McDonald’s, my son started laughing. “What is it?” I asked. He barely could get the words out through his laughter, but he said, “Did you intentionally buy a tee-shirt with a Playboy bunny logo on it? I gasped and looked down to see what he was talking about. He was right. The tee-shirt I was wearing had the Playboy bunny ears plastered prominently on the front. How I missed seeing them, I’ll never know.

All of us had a good laugh at my mistake. I went to the bathroom and turned my shirt inside out to hide the bunny ears. What we laughed about the most was how that we had gotten out of my SUV that has the Christian logo on the back, sat at the table and prayed before our meal and all the while I sat there wearing my Playboy tee-shirt.

I burned the shirt when I got home. Some thought I should save it and at least wear it to bed sometime, but I think I’d be too embarrassed. What if something happened in the middle of the night and I had to go to the hospital wearing that shirt?

I’ll be more careful in the future when I purchase vacation paraphernalia.

SLEDDING AND OTHER SNOW MEMORIES

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)
Snow Covered Hills of Kentucky

Snow Covered Hills of Kentucky

The rusted out Coca Cola sign that used to hang at the filling station up the road was the perfect sled for our winter fun. My siblings, cousins and friends gathered behind the barn and took turns jumping onto the upside down sign. When turned upside down, the ends ran upwards making a lip just enough to keep the snow from coming inside the ready-made sled. Usually there was room enough for two or maybe three of us pile onto that sign. We’d squeal (the girls) and laugh all the way down.

The bottom of the hill often found us toppled into a heap. We’ve used other makeshift sleds such as cardboard, garbage can lids, and anything found around the house or barn that we could get to slide on the snow. Back inside, we trekked snow all over the house, drank hot chocolate and told mom all about our escapades. Usually the boys were happy to see us girls go inside so they could continue the sledding without us.

Later in the day, we would talk mom or dad into making snow cream. We’d take a large pan or container outside, look for clean snow and scoop the container full. Mom added milk sugar and chocolate to the snow. Yum, there was no better treat than snow cream. Not too many years ago, my brother-in-law hooked a feeding trough to a tractor to use a sled. A whole gang of us piled into the metal trough while he drove the tractor through the snow, I don’t know how safe it was, but we saw no danger.

What are some of your snow or sledding memories?

What ingenious things did you do or discover in order to go sledding?

Share your memories here.

The Old Water Pump

By Darlene G. Snyder (find me on facebook)
Ice on the old water pump

Ice on the old water pump

Today we had an ice storm here in Central Kentucky. It was bad enough that it kept me hostage at home.  I’m not complaining at all, now I have a chance to catch up on my blogging. The photo above shows ice, much like what was on the roads. The water pump stands in my flower garden with beautiful flowers growing around it during the warmer summer weather. Today, it stands alone, but strong against the ice.

We had an outside water pump when I was a child. If we needed water for the house, mom would send one of us outside to pump a bucket of water and bring it in. I don’t recall seeing ice on the pump, but my guess is that when it was that cold and icy outside, mom or dad pumped the water and brought it in. The water pumped from the cistern was always so cold and fresh to the taste.

Sometimes, and I don’t recall why, we had to draw water from the cistern with a bucket tied onto a rope. I suppose the pump was broke or something was wrong – maybe it needed priming. We had to pour water through it sometimes to get the pump going. I think I played more than having success trying to get water in the bucket with the rope. Never was too good at it. That is what my big brother was for anyway. Sometimes houses we visited had pumps attached to the sink and we’d pump water that way. That was always the big shots who had pumps on the inside of their house – at least we thought so. 

These are just some random thougths on this cold winter day.

You are welcome to comment regarding memories you may have of old old pumps and cisterns.