Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, I am sharing my photos from the Sorghum Festival at the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, Tennessee. Y’all know I couldn’t resist a Sorghum Festival *wink* Oh, my! It was an absolutely gorgeous day filled with the sweet smell of sugary syrup, and it was a day that brought back many sweet childhood memories *big smile*
As I walked around the grounds with the hubby, my mind was filled with memories from days gone by. I remembered Grandmother Fulcher in her kitchen frying the chicken that a couple of hours ago was running around in her yard. I remembered Grandaddy Fulcher sitting on the porch swing smoking his pipe. I remembered “hog-killing” day–which was always the coldest day of winter. I remembered riding in the horse-drawn wagon while my dad pulled corn from the stalks and how I always managed to get cockleburs in my hair.
I grew up on a small farm in Mississippi–in a community called Ellison Ridge, which had a small general store (which had everything from Coca Cola in a glass bottle to sewing supplies) and a Southern Baptist church (which used to be the community school). My house was separated from my grandparents’ house by a rolling pasture and a dirt road. I made the trip from my house to their house multiple times daily. I knew my grandmother would have biscuits for me to snack on (my favorite snack was a biscuit with sugar on the inside). I knew my granddaddy would take me on an adventure and tell me stories. Times were simple, and life was good.
Because I grew up in a small community in the middle-of-nowhere Mississippi, I had no friends. All I had were my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and a few scattered neighbors (which were only accessible by an extremely difficult bike ride on a dirt road with patches of treacherous gravel). Well, to a youngster, who had fallen off her bike more times than she could count, it was a treacherous trek.
So, I used my imagination to create a world filled with adventure. I spent countless hours listening to my uncle’s tall tales and my granddaddy’s stories about uncle so-and-so and cousin so-and-so–and those uncles and cousins always had nicknames like Rat and Boots. Hmmm, I am not sure, if I ever heard their real names spoken. From all of this, I learned how to listen, how to tell stories, and how to communicate through various art forms.
I didn’t realize it at the time; however, all of the stories, adventures, and hard work I witnessed would create the person I am today–the person who values hard work, who loves the land, who respects all creatures and persons…the list could go on. As a child, I thought life on the farm was good–it wasn’t until I started school I learned not everyone felt the same about living on a farm. Because of my less-than-desriable school years, I suppressed my young days on the farm–not wanting to remember the taunts of classmates and teachers. Now, as I have gotten older, I realize those days were good days, and I shouldn’t have to hide my roots because of a few shallow folks from town.
It was nice to walk the grounds of Tipton-Haynes and remember times I spent with my grandparents. As I stood there watching the mule go around and around, I could feel the warmth of their hugs, and I could almost taste my grandmother’s biscuits.
It was an absolutely sweet and delightful day at the Sorghum Festival at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site. It was a great reminder of my childhood days on the farm and of the fruits of hard work.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on some of my favorites from my visit to Tipton-Haynes. If y’all are ever in the area, it is a must-visit place *big smile*