Written by Reese Whitaker and Emma Swan
It is Sunday and I am busy preparing dinner for my family. It is a tradition we hold dear to our hearts, as the whole family gathers for dinner every Sunday after church. Today is a bit different, though; my great-grandkids have asked to interview me about my childhood.
The door opens and my tiny house is filled with the joyous sounds of children. I have two boys and a daughter visiting, along with their families. My only granddaughter, Elizabeth, has three gorgeous kids. The twins, Grace and Brooke, are doing a research paper about East Tennessee. They have chosen to write about my experiences as a student attending the Greenbrier Schoolhouse. I cherish this opportunity, eager to pass my enthusiasm for history on to their generation.
The sounds of their voices filled the room as soon as they trotted into the kitchen. I couldn’t help but smile as they talked about their project. At times, it’s hard for me to imagine how much the world has changed since I attended school. I’ve seen the invention of numerous items, lived through wars, visited every state in the country, and traveled to other parts of the world. Through the years, I’ve lived in various areas of the Southeast, but nowhere felt like home until I returned here.
Today I’ve chosen a typical Southern meal to prepare for the family: fried chicken, pinto beans, and cornbread, along with fresh veggies from the garden. The smells and tastes of this simple meal have my mind drifting to the past, and memories flow through me like fog flowing with a stream.
My eighty-seven years seem to be catching up to me, and I sit down at the table while my daughter, Lucy, takes over the cooking duties. She brings me a cup of tea and I try to gather my thoughts about what I would like to pass on to my grandchildren. I want them to know how different our lives were back then but also to know how very blessed we were. (more…)