It was a beautiful Fall day just over a week ago and my sister and I drove up to the mountains to spend the afternoon with our parents, a family friend, and my mom’s brother, sister-in-law and their 3 daughters. As time passes, I’m continually reminded of how grateful I am for this family of mine. Time keeps marching by and as we have these family gatherings, we all remark on how much longer it will be like this. We know that one by one, these parents of ours will no longer be with us and it is sad and sobering. How does time fly SO fast? I heard it said growing up that each decade seems to fly by faster and faster and I’m convinced of it now. It really does. It was wonderful to sit with our 3 girl cousins and reminisce about the good old days that our families have experienced. But, it’s bittersweet too as we know that those times are in the past and we are all growing older.
We looked at each other and said, how did we get to be middle-aged women? It just doesn’t seem possible.
I walked around and took a few pics of the house and property of the mountain house my parents have owned for over 30 years. This place holds some dear memories for our family. I’ve shared it with you before, but it’s always worth another visit.
The house is nothing fancy, just a rustic mountain house that my dad built with a little help all those years ago. He built the bridge that goes over the stream down to the garden that he loves so much. His hands have touched every bit of the house and land they own here in Western NC.
A meandering mountain stream flows softly in the front yard, a mesmerizing sound for us every time we are up there.
Lauren grew up playing in this stream and her baby, Parker, got to experience that back in August when my sister took her up for the day. She loved it as much as her mama did.
Is there anything better than wading in a cool stream during summer? I used to love this too. The culvert pipe under their driveway is a fun place to play.
Little miss having a great time in that stream.
When the stairs became slick with algae, dad nailed shingles to them to keep people from falling down. He’s always got a solution to a problem, even if it’s practical and not particularly pretty!
The leaves were beginning to change colors and we noticed it more and more the further north we went that day. There’s nothing like Fall in the NC mountains, it’s truly beautiful.
In the distance is Dad’s pride and joy, his mountain garden, which is even bigger than the Marietta one. Mom has given him orders that this was the last year planting a garden here. It’s just too much for them to do both. We will see if that order sticks next year. We love that he wants to garden, we just think he should slow down a bit and not try to grow for the whole community. His Georgia garden is sufficient for all their needs, but he sure loves this brown dirt that grows things so well in his beloved mountain home.
Walking up the driveway, I’m reminded of all the times we have gathered here as a family and enjoyed the coolness of the mountains. Sitting on the porch is always a highlight for all who visit this place. It’s always about 10 degrees cooler up here than it is in Atlanta during the summer months and it’s a refreshing place to be.
Nothing fancy, yet it holds so much love and sweet memories. Fish fries and endless meals of vegetables fresh out of the garden.
A sweet family homestead that we all grew to love. It hasn’t been decided what will happen with the house. My parents are definitely hearing the call that it may be time to sell this place. We’ve all been talking about it for a few years now, but no one really wants to face it. Dad sure doesn’t. It is likely to break his heart when he drives away for the last time. He would love for us to keep it in the family, but none of us have embraced the idea of being caretaker for this special place. We will see what the future holds, we don’t have it all figured out right now.
The porch that we all love beckons for some sitting. This is where we always gather during our visits and this time, it was the cousins that went out on the porch, while our parents stay huddled around the table.
I’ve taken many naps in that lounge chair with the navy cover. So relaxing!
The mountain laurel grows just outside the porch and during spring, it’s a beautiful sight to see it all blooming. Many hummingbirds hang out at the feeder that mom keeps filled for them.
Dad’s tractor stays housed in the garage he built for it and this is his prize machine that helps him with his gardening.
The moss and acorns are plentiful and the memories are deep.
On the front porch, this long ago etched wood sign welcomes and states just who lives here. In case there is any doubt, Lauren has always been a part of this house. She spent much of her growing up years here with her Nana and Grandaddy, during long summer visits and I have no doubt that the memories are sweet and run deep for her as a result of that upbringing.
As always, Mom is in the kitchen. Any of our visits here revolve around a meal and she is still churning them out. Fried speckled perch was the catch of the day with all the fixings to go with a fish fry. She is amazing that she still can do all of this. A family friend was there with them this visit, Miss Sue, from Phoenix City, AL, so she is such a help to mom with prepping meal time. I’ve got a video of the fish frying that I’m trying to get uploaded to share with you all.
Fried fish, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, and hush puppies, that was our feast of the day.
Oh my goodness, was it delicious. We all enjoyed every bite.
Mom’s kitchen in the mountains is well worn and used regularly. Like her Georgia kitchen, it is nothing fancy, but she can churn out some of the best meals from her kitchens. It’s homey in this kitchen and takes me back to my youth, where mom has always taken care of her family and cooked for us so lovingly.
As we usually do, we took a few photos of the family. Mom with her brother, Edward. Uncle Edward is a retired pastor and mom is a retired pastor’s wife. They are both such loving people and don’t they look so much alike? No doubt these two are related.
So many family members have gathered around this table over the years and we don’t take it for granted. We have lost a few in recent years and that saddens us every time we think about it. Those that aren’t with us anymore. We know that we can’t take these times for granted. Another year could bring more change.
Mom and Uncle Edward on the left, Miss Sue on the far end, dad on the right (of course you know that!) and Aunt Frances closest to the camera. They all have ailments now and we just hope to keep them around for many more years, but we don’t have that promise. We just trust the Lord for His timing in all things.
We girls sat at the kitchen table and really enjoyed catching up. We have 2 girls in our family and there are 3 daughters in that family, Joy, Jacque, and Jan and we all had fun together growing up. There were several times that we went on vacation with them and I love them dearly.
We all don’t get to see each other nearly often enough, but we sure had a nice visit this day, sitting on the porch and catching up. L to R: Me, my sister, Renee, Jan, Jacque, and Joy, my beautiful cousins.
Dad came outside to check on us and I snapped this pic of him, in his element.
We took time to get one more family photo, can never have too many of those.
Me and my sis.
It was a one day visit, up there and back, but we are so glad we all came together for a little family time. It’s not nearly often enough, they all live in SC and are not that far away, but you know how schedules are and they all have big families too. Those girls had a bunch of kids between them (9 if I’m counting correctly) and now there are grandkids and great grandkids, so they multiplied like crazy. It’s always fun to get their Christmas cards and see new babies in there.
Since you all love my family stories, I wanted to share this special day in the mountains with all of you. We do treasure our family times so much and as time passes by, cannot miss the opportunities to get together with each other. Families are a treasure and I hope that you all have that too. I know that not everyone has a wonderful family like mine and if you don’t, I really feel badly for you. Family for us is too important not to nurture and spending time together is part of that.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing in my family time today!
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This post reminds me that it is not how Fancy a place is but the love that makes it a real home. I see that in your parents home in Marietta and in the mountains. Your parents are just so gracious and giving. I would love to sit down and eat with them one day. Your mom is an amazing cook and I bet your daddy has some good stories to share. You are one blessed lady!!
What a sweet time we all had together! As difficult as it is to get us all together, I want a repeat as soon as possible! Loved the food, loved the many stories that were shared, loved the laughter, loved sitting on that big porch in that amazing swing your daddy built, loved the beautiful view, and most of all, I loved just being with my wonderful family. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Jan, it was such a fun day, can’t wait to see you girls again!
I enjoyed this post so much. It reminded me of so many fish fries at my Mamas home and grandmothers. I love their mountain home. To me it is what a mountain home should be. Not fancy but comfortable and inviting. That house says it all! I would love to have it. And that stream running through the front yard is so pretty.
Sandy A says
What wonderful family time you were so blessed to celebrate!! Your family’s home, lovely scenery, a delicious fish fry, all shared together, in my opinion a perfect day! Keep posting these precious family moments…they are as beautiful to read and look at as a pretty decor post! My parents and so many of our older aunts and uncles have passed, so seeing yours brings back to me our precious family times…thank you so much for sharing…
What a special blog you write.Reminds me so much of my own family except we are an Oklahoma bunch. I love your family and food posts especially. That ole time southern cooking is the best! Thank you for sharing your family with us. Your appreciation of them is remarkable and so appropriate. Becky in Ada
How wonderful the food looks, always! I am going to be 70 next year and still cook a lot for our family, and I love it. It’s inspiring to see your Mother still cooking, gives me inspiration to never give up trying! Sometimes I feel like my food’s not that tasty anymore, but my kids seem to still love it!
I am wondering why an irritating video plays now whenever I open your blog? It doesn’t last long, but it’s there!
Hi, Myra, I’m not supposed to have any auto play videos going, so thanks for letting me know. I’ll have my ad guy check it out.
Thanks for sharing. Love the picture of all the girls at the “kids table” 🙂 I really enjoy your blog.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful family and mountain home. While I was reading this wonderful story, it hit home with me. We have had many, many beautiful wonderful homes but the biggest regret we have is selling out mountain home where we had many family holidays and wonderful times (our getaway home). We can never get that back, so take it from me. please keep this home in the family. We wished we did and have those thoughts more often than not. You can make it work!!
A wonderful family time for you. Your parents have been wonderfully blessed in this life, and for sure, in the next!
You’re very lucky to still have your parents on this earth. I know you’re treasuring every moment with them. Sofia said it all beautifully. I remember one time a couple of years before I lost my parents, my father was apologizing to me that the nursing home (my parents doctors put both of them in a nursing home at the same time because they needed around the clock medical care) used up all their savings and they had nothing to leave me. I told him they gave me the most precious gifts of all every day of my life by their encouragement and example – a strong faith and love for God and they taught me what real love is. It sounds like you have the same kind of parents. We are truly blessed.
Thank you so much for sharing with all of us your sweet family. So enjoy reading about them and seeing the pictures. I have made some of your mom’s great recipes from your dad’s wonderful garden. What a lucky girl you are! I wish all of you the best of health.
Rhoda this was absolutely the most beautiful post!
Rhoda, if you have not already done so, set about writing down all the recipes your mom has in her head. One day this treasured collection will make a wonderful gift for Parker and Iris. Maybe you could make books for them and feature photos of them cooking with their great grandmother? In turn, one day, they can pass it down to their children. Recipes like your mom’s are a family treasure!
thanks for the wonderful post…I also loved it!
Rhoda, I just love your blog! Although I am considerably older than you, our background is very similar. Reading your family blogs always take me back to my family memories. You have such a gift for sharing, you make us a part of your experiences. Please don’t stop, I look forward to your blog everyday and they never disappoint!
I love this post. It really made me nostalgic. Those little sunbonnet girls in your mom’s kitchen? I had a quilt made out of them when I was a child. I wonder whatever happened to it.
Thank you for sharing the pictures and comments of your special family times together. It’s such an honor to your parents how you were raised to love and appreciate your family so much. I think the comment above about writing down recipes of your Mothers is a great idea, plus write down stories and family info while your parents have clear minds and memories so you will always have them. Having lost my own father and now a mother with dementia, I regret not writing down things I’d love to know. You keep enjoying those times together and don’t waste time dreading future loss. “Don’t be anxious for tomorrow….”
“The memories are sweet and run deep.” Truer words were never spoken. I think of our little songs of childhood and how true they are, such as “row row row your boat…life is but a dream…” Gratitude and living for Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, makes life worthwhile. Thank you for your dear stories.
I grew up in Fayetteville just south of Atlanta. My parents took vacations in North GA and NC. They retired in NC. I moved up here to take care if them. They are both gone but I stayed. I loved reading your blog. Such wonderful memories to cherish.