How fortunate I was to grow up in Wolffork Valley.  Never in a hundred years will I ever forget the joys October brought when I was a child.


    First there was the acceptance of summer being over and the anticipation of much cooler weather.  Even though school was in session there were still hours in the late afternoon to watch my busy parents as they planned ahead for winter and holidays with feasts galore! My father had to get the many acres of corn pulled and placed into the crib. The corn tops were bundled together to feed the animals later in the year.  The barn loft was full and running over with soft hay.  How precious the memories of finding a mama cat with a nest of little kittens hidden away in the hay.


    Some family in the valley would be having a Tacky Party; everyone who attended dressed as funny as possible for there were prizes for the tackiest dressed person, along with much laughter and wonderful treats.


    October meant my older siblings coming by to share my birthday cake.


    Basketball season was in full swing at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School.  How exciting those games were, I would never have believed that I would someday marry a fellow from our arch rival Clayton.


    Then there was the Halloween carnival.  As we rounded the curve of the road, just the sight of the old gym at RGNS made my heart skip a beat; lights and decorations everywhere and wonderful smells of foods we didn't have on the farm - hot dogs, popcorn, so much to buy and money so scarce for a tenant farmer's 12th child.


    There were cake walks and all the cakes were made by mothers who labored over wood burning cook stoves.  With no electricity, all of the ingredients in the cakes were beaten with a hand turned rotary egg beater.


    One cake had a surprise which had to be guessed with the payment of a coin.  How great the moment when I guessed a dime and won the cake.  Every bite had to be examined by my cautious mother until the dime was found.


    There was the haunted house that I didn't dare enter without an elder sibling holding one of my hands.  My other small hand got dipped into cold raw chicken livers and I was told this was a dead person's brains and there were big white ghosts whooing in every corner.  I didn't close my eyes until almost dawn and only then if my mother had come to sleep with me.


    Last but not least was the hayride in a mule drawn wagon and I was dumb-founded "why did those older boys and girls hold each others' hands?"


    Young people today can have their television, compact discs and cars. None of that would replace my Christian heritage growing up in Wolffork Valley.

2000 by Carolyn Carnes Brewer

 

Rabun Ramblings