Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sharing a Slice of Life, The Harvest

Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The challenge at Sharing a Slice of Life this week is "The Harvest".  After some contemplation, I decided to share this photo, even tho it is in horrible condition.

The Harvest:  Carrying bags of walnuts,
ready to be shucked by David.

To the left is my great grandfather, David Halterman. (Middle is my brother, right, Moi.)

David was born 16 Mar 1876 in Brocks Gap, Hardy County, West Virginia.   He died 15 Nov 1965 in Harrisonburg, (Rockingham County), Virginia.  I remember him well. I have fond memories of this old farmer with the largest hands, fingers and knuckles I had ever seen.  I always figured he worked hard and that was why his hands and fingers were so large, I suppose he could have had arthritis, I will have to ask my mother about that.

I was raised in Michigan, but we made trips back to Rockingham County to visit my grandparents, great grandparents and other kin.  I loved most everything about those trips (except trying to fall asleep those hot muggy summer nights pre-air conditioning days), the smells of a particular weed (still have no idea what that weed is called, but, I have rarely found it in Michigan, odd thing, when I have found it, it is growing in cemeteries).  But, I digress, as I frequently do - -

I loved the mountains, the Shenandoah Valley and River, and I have lots of memories of visiting David and his wife, Ida Matilda (nee Whitmer) Halterman at the "farm".  I felt (as I still do) the pull of my ancestors home lands, my family roots here go back a LONG time, way before 1800.  This is my heart's home.

David would gather walnuts and shell and shuck them.  He always had a small linen bag full of them for his grandchildren.  They were delish!  And, we were always warned, be careful, there may be some shells mixed in with the nutmeats.  Those shells would be sharp, and could break a tooth if you chomped down too hard.

Another strong memory is of Ida's dinner table.  She grew an extensive garden and canned and "put up" so much of it.  She canned, she pickled, she made jellies and jams.  When she had company, she pulled out all the stops and ALL the varieties of vegies she could dig out of the garden or her stash of canned goods.  She would FILL a large table with bowls of all these goodies, bowls and bowls of vegies.  And, one small (maybe 2) platter of some kind of meat.  I can honestly say, I have never seen anything like it since.  So many vegies!!  I wish I had a photo of that table to share.

The harvest in Rockingham County, rich in walnuts, vegies and poignant and vivid memories, and one photo in less than stellar condition.


Michelle Goodrum said...

I'm glad you shared it anyway. It does tell a story of its own.

I'll bet you could get some really good photo repair experience with this one :)

Nolichucky Roots said...

Great post, Carol! Love the picture - even in it's worn condition. It and your words/digressions have give us a vivid sense of a very special place.

I have to ask, what route did you take on those journeys? I drove down the old US 11 from Connecticut to Tennessee every summer and loved the drive through Virginia. But not sure that would have been your route from Michigan.

Carol said...

Michelle, that photo is the results of some basic photo editing. I don't have the skills to make much more of it.

Nolichicky Roots, When I was a child we did indeed drive 11. It used to take 2 days to drive from our home in Michigan to Rockingham. That was prior to the days of I77 from Breezewood and I81 south through the Valley, on my, reminds me of another story, Route 77 and the trailer home. Better jot it down before I forget! LOL

Carol said...

MMMM, shoulda looked at the map first, make that I 70 from Breezewood to near Hagerstown, then I 81 south.

Texasblu said...

I love that she'd pull everything out for a guest - that's what I want to do when I grow up! =) And the photo may be poor quality, but it yields the perfect backdrop to this delightful tale!