Posted by: Amy | December 1, 2009

Family History

As I was browsing through my photo album from this summer’s pictures, I came across a few pictures that got me thinking.  I have written before about how my father-in-law and his siblings grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, but today I want to take the time to think about what it was like to celebrate the holidays during life there.

The homesite now.

 My FIL has told me stories about growing up in this little house.  There were many children raised here.  There were two bedrooms in the house- a boys’ bedroom and a girls’ bedroom.  I imagine there wasn’t much privacy, but I am also sure there were many memories formed to be cherished over the years.

 I have been told about how their mother had to milk their cow every morning for fresh milk, as there was not a store in sight for many miles.  There is no running water here.  Before the well was dug, the boys were responsible for going to a spring nearby to collect buckets of drinking water.  No running water also meant there was an outhouse.  Some of the food was stored in a cellar that was built outside.  I am sure that their mother and sisters were responsible for canning a lot of food from the garden.

The homesite then.

It takes us about an hour to drive our vehicle up the mountain, and that is in good weather.  I can only imagine what it was like in the winter.  I remember a story told to me about one of the brothers who acquired polio one winter.  The ground was covered by snow, and the only way down to reach a hospital was by sled!  Lo and behold, he did make it to the hospital and is with us today!

This leads me to the holidays.  My imagination creates an image very much like that of Little House on the Prairie.  I see a small Christmas tree that had been cut down from somewhere on the mountain.  This tree is standing in a small room  that is lit up by the light from the fireplace.  On Christmas Day I bet each of the children living in the house was very excited to surround the tree to see what treasure they may have been left by Santa.  But, most of all, I am certain that they must have been left with wonderful family memories.  When you are around my FIL’s family, you can feel the love between them even now.  I am so thankful that my children are part of such a wonderful family heritage!

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