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Hickory Teabushes

Category: The Daytime of Life | Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:46 pm

In the Sherrill's Ford section of Catawba County, NC near the old gold mine, there is a section of property still fondly remembered by old-timers who still abide there as the "Old Barnes Homeplace."

I am told that the house caught fire one day while Elsie Barnes, my grandmother, was roasting peanuts.

Not long after, the family moved to Newton. My father, John Douglas, was still serving in the Korean War at this unfortunate time.

Not so many years ago, if you walked up the overgrown lane, you could see the huge cedars that Daddy and Aunt Elaine planted as saplings ions ago. My dad told me the year they were planted and how old he and Elaine were during that time period.

Unfortunately, this tidbit of information has been lost to an ailment that I fondly call "Old-Timers Syndrome." The chimney to the old house still loomed in the midst of tangled trees and honeysuckle vine. [IMG] And if you went in the late spring, and had a very keen eye, you would see purple irises, my grandmother's favorite flower, and daffodills still competing with the weeds. She loved flowers, and I recall that everyplace that she lived, flowers adorned her yard.

If you looked to your left, tucked snuggly in the tall weeds and brambles by a pigpath of a road, you would see an old coupe, once driven by Uncle Wayne, abandoned where it "gave up the ghost" decades ago.
During my childhood, Daddy would take us there, from time to time. I remember looking around, and prompting him with a question, "Daddy, where are those Hickory Teabushes?" He turned, and gave the question considerable thought,"Hickory Teabushes?" I elaborated on my honest question, "Yes Daddy, Hickory Teabushes. You know, you said when you were a child, Granddaddy Barnes would cut a switch from a bush, and make the hickory tea run down your legs." My dad laughed and then went on to explain what he really meant. Needless to say, I was very embarrassed at my own limited point of view.
Years later, after my mom and dad moved to Clearmont, Florida, when they came up for the Christmas holidays, he always made a point to drop in and pay a visit to the Edwards' Family, old neighbors from an era gone by, and to bring them some Florida sunshine (citrus fruit) as a gift of old friendship.
I returned to that section of the county, about a year ago, but could not access the road. There are private property signs and a new sawmill barring the way down memory lane. I couldn't see the ancient cedar trees, daffodils or majestic irises, but to my amazement the hickory teabushes were still thriving in abundance, and seemed to be screaming out, "Beware, to all children who don't listen to their parents!"

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Droopy wrote on Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:28 pm:

Awww, what a lovely trip you just gave me.


Frank wrote on Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:31 pm:

I'll pass on the Hickory Tea thank you very much :)

Looking forward to the photos SOJ, it sounds like a fantastic location.


Netty wrote on Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:39 pm:

I enjoyed the walk down memory lane. I could just picture an over grown lane way with beautiful Iris' blooming beyond...


glendann wrote on Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:38 am:

Thank you for your memory lane as I was reading I had pictures of my days gone by and my own memory lane.


eileen wrote on Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:08 pm:

Thank you for the trip to your past. I love to hear stories like this. Your pictures are lovely but what a pity that you can't wander down 'memory lane' any more.

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