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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Love Letters- Part 2 Big Paul & Little Joe

"If you want to be with somebody you love, aren't you already there?"~Richard Bach

October 23rd, 1918, Guntersville, Alabama..
"Dear friend, I received your letter something like a week ago and it was two days before I could read it.
Paul we have all had that dreadful disease, "Influenza." There were eight of us children in bed at one time and dad not able to sit up. I was the last one to get sick. Today is my first day to stay up. Just been sick five days over a week.
Paul there is over five hundred people sick in town and some dying every day. Four of our leading Doctors died in town last Friday.
There is forty seven cases within one mile of us and some not expecting to live any length of time.
Paul I will close, I haven't any news atol, I am almost ashamed to send this. Your friend, Little Joe"

Oct 1, 1920, Sewell, West Virginia...

"My dearest Little Joe,
By heck Joe I have had the blues for several days because I had no mail when I would come in from work at night. I was beginning to want to see Xmas come so I could leave this hollow, but I don't care now if it don't come for two months, if I can get some letters from Little Joe and I spect I will for she is going to town where Uncle Sam (Clark) pays someone to pack the mail around on the streets and not take it to a D. little old box stuck up on a stick ten miles from anywhere. I don't care if you ever go back to the old farm for it causes a fellow to think things sometime that are not true over time.
Well Joe, what do you think I could do and who could I be with that I could have more pleasure and enjoy myself more than to take a horse back ride with you any where or anytime! I would not care if I had to ride two old Gentlemen cows, it would be Pleasure to Paul M. just the fun and lots of it would be a good idea to try me out if you have any doubts about it. No Joe, I don't think there is any one who would enjoy your little ohl Presence more than your big friend would even if we have to take the top rail off of some ohl farmers fence and Poke it through the fence crook and one get on each end of it and take an ohl childhood ride. Your big boy, Paul M."

Reading my grandparents love letters takes me on a journey through space and time like no other I have ever been on. I can be in Pyatte, NC in 1914 one minute and in Orange, Texas, 1922 the next. I have laughed and I have cried as I am doing now. Their love for one another can be prepared to the likes of Romeo and Juliet, or Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
I was raised in their home and that is where my love of cooking came into play. My grandfather Paul had large gardens on each side of the house and in the good old summertime , Mama Joe's Formica topped kitchen table always groaned with the load of fruits and vegetables that always graced it. .They canned everything they grew in one form or another. Cucumbers became pickles which were prized possessions amongst the town people of Newland, NC. Tomatoes might become relish or spaghetti sauce, cabbage turned into sauerkraut magically inside of an old-timey crock. Apples and peaches showed their pretty colors in preserves, butters, and sauces. Pickled beans and corn permeated every nook and cranny of the old house with their sour smell. The coral red beets looked especially lovely lined up in jars on every counter. Peppers of every color and heat were turned into sweet relish. Plum jam, squash pickles, rhubarb chutney, and green tomato jam all looked especially lovely on the shelves in the cellar which was under the house. The grandchildrens job was to carry the finished product to this damp and musty space which always gave me a sense of wonderment.
The love letters have given me a deeper appreciation, not only of their love for each other, but for the amazing people that they were both before and after they were married. The journey still continues because of these amazing letters. Their story deserves to be told.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Adele, this was absolutely wonderful to read. You are their immortality all wrapped up in a sweet, talented woman. Thank you so much for sharing.