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Posted On 01/22/2015 09:51:24 by Notgrnyyet

When I was about 6 yrs. Old my Papa Thomas asked my Daddy to take him to see his Aunt Samarah. I'm not sure if she was his Aunt or some other relation but he called her Aunt. Papa called her Sa-mari. She was 90 yrs.old and lived in the home place in Swain Ar. with her Daughter Rhoda (RODY) and one of her sons. I can't recall his name. The house was way up in the mountains across hills and around curves. I remember thinking that we would never get there and if we did we would never find our way home again. The roads are paved now but then they were dirt roads full of pot holes and ruts. Daddy had an old Chevy. It was summer and of course no AC in cars then so the windows were all down. Daddy of course was driving and Papa in front with him. Mama sat in the back with my little Brother Norman and I. Papa had a dip of snuff in his mouth as usual. He would spit out the window and it would spray me through the back window where I sat behind him. Mama rolled up my window and cleaned me off best she could. I was hot and fussed about my window not being down. Norman was only two and he was squirming and being fussy. I know now what a terrible trip that must have been for Mama.
We did finally get there of course. I was fascinated with that old house. It was long with a hallway right down the middle that was open at both ends. Inside it was hot. Rhoda was cooking dinner on a wood cooking stove. Aunt Samarah was sitting in the other part of the house in a rocker. Her hair was snow white and hung down to her waist. She was still a spry lady with a smile that lit up her face. Boy did she keep that rocker going. The room seemed huge to me. Lots of windows and no curtains. Papa had said they were so fer' down in the holler no one to look in their winders' ceptin' maybe a bear. I had asked Mama many times that day if we were gonna' be home before dark and she assured me we were. The floors were wooden with no covering but I remember that floor shining like a new penny. The ceilings were high and I mean high. I don't remember seeing a light hanging from them like we had at home so I guess they had no electricity. Well heck we hadn't had it very long ourselves. On one whole wall was the biggest fireplace I had ever seen. A bear rug was lying in front of it. I wasn't too sure at first that thing wasn't real but finally sat on it and even ventured to pet it on the head and even took a nap on it before the day was over.
I ventured in the kitchen and was watching Rhoda. I was a picky eater but I ate that day for some reason. Rhoda asked me if I wanted to go with her to the smoke house. Sure I did. We went out a side door and down kind of aisle connected from the house to the smoke house. I remember thinking it was a tunnel. Rhoda opened the door to the smoke house and it smelled smoky. There was meat hanging from the rafters. I knew about the sugar cured meat. I don't remember what meat Rhoda got but I remember thinking it was good when I ate it. From there she opened a door in the floor and we went down in to the root cellar. Rhoda asked me what I wanted from there. I really didn't want any of it but I selected a jar of corn and one of pickled beets which I did eat later. Rhoda made biscuits and I watched her for a while but grew bored. I asked if I could go in that hallway down the middle of the house. I loved it there because a nice breeze was coming in both ends. It was a wonderful day that I will never forget.
Years later I became familiar with the stories of my Aunt Samarah and her Daughter Rhoda. Aunt Samarah was married four times and outlived them all. 
Aunt Samarah had been a fisty lady and worked like a man even when she was carrying her three children. They had to be tough back then. When I saw her she was very skinny and had wasted away. She died in 1955.
I will never forget that visit. Just a few years ago I was back at that old house. No one lived there and it was very run down. There were lots of houses down the road to that holler where before there were none. It looked sad and neglected and burned down recently. Oh what stories that old house could have told. Bushwhackers had come to it one night. They had floods and were poor but lived a rich life in that house. I wish I had taken a picture of it when I was back there. It held a part of my history.

Tags: Papa Aunt Snuffhouse Cellar


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