Saturday, July 02, 2011

Seeing the Countryside and the Family

Rocky Comfort Road, Water Valley Road, and Buffalo Gap. These road names are indicative of the terrain and the atmosphere we enjoyed as we traveled to and from the annual Glasco gathering at Gerald’s cousin Troy’s farm. This gathering originated as a birthday party for Gerald’s Grandpa Ben, his cousin Patsy, and cousin Paulie’s wife Stella. Ben and Patsy are no longer with us, but Pat’s daughters and granddaughters come long distances to be present for this occasion.

I’d had a frustrating morning discovering that I did not have enough eggs in the house for the cake and meat loaf I had carefully planned a couple days before. I had bought the ground chuck, checked that I had the right cake mix and icing (German chocolate) but never once considered my egg supply since usually there is an extra dozen or so in the little fridge in the garage. There wasn’t, and I told Sadie all about my sad story as I went in and out of the kitchen with her lying in the garage doorway blocking my entry whenever I came out.

I had no other meat thawed, so I had no choice but to jump in the car and drive as rapidly as I could to the little grocery on our side of town. I watched that I did not drive too rapidly because holiday traffic means extra cars and necessary police on the road. Fortunately, the grocery was almost empty and I was in and out quickly with a dozen eggs in my hand.

I had already cooked potatoes and carrots to add around the meat loaf, and I’d started both the cake project and the meat loaf mixture before I realized the egg shortage. Soon both were in the oven. Gerald had unexpectedly helped Brian move some farm equipment down to Brian’s leased land, so I was almost ready to pack up the food when Gerald was able to leave.

I was looking forward to the drive through tree laden hills on both sides of steep roads that lead to Troy and Bobbie’s farm. Often the trees meet overhead, and short bushes and vines beneath the trees fill one’s vision with green, green, green. When we were not in forest areas, there were black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s lace, and tiger lilies at roadside.

As usual Troy and Bobbie were prepared for a crowd with multiple picnic tables under their towering maples and a garage full of tables and chairs along with the tables there for potluck offerings and soft drinks. As always, there was an abundance of food including someone’s home-made chicken and dumplings and a delicious selection of cakes and other delicacies.

And later in the afternoon, there was two freezers of home-made ice cream. Gerald’s cousin Wilma had made the freezeer full (the one I sampled)at l0 that morning. After emptying all the ice and repacking it, she had a firm and delicious cream for us to enjoy all those hours later in the 93 degree heat, which fortunately was softened by the shade of the trees and sometimes a touch of a breeze.

Coming home I was delighted when Gerald decided go a different way and to take Buffalo Gap. Here the black top road is replaced with gravel, the hills are even steeper, and you wonders what you’ll do if you meet another car on the one-lane road that goes on for miles. It made me think about what the early Glascos had felt when they traveled that same road in wagons and buggies. Troy’s grandson Spenser had brought out the original large Glasco family photograph in its ancient scarred ornate frame that hangs in Troy’s house. There was William Price Glasco and his third wife Lucretia from whom our branch of the family descended. In addition to their children, there were also children and grandchildren from the first two wives. Our Grandpa Ben was the youngest son and just a young teen when this family with multiple branches gathered long ago probably around 1890. It was likely that they ate together around loaded boards held up by carpenter horses that day when the photograph was taken. We are thankful for a continuation of that family fellowship and love.

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