Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig

June 22, 2007 at 1:36 pm | Posted in 4th of July, blogging, country living, dogs, faith, family, food, knitting, love, marriage, pets, relationships, romance | 17 Comments

When I was a child, my family lived on a dead-end gravel road off of Independence Highway, some miles outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Our little street was situated by a stand of woods that I spent many, many happy hours in playing alone in the trees and running barefoot on a thick woodland carpet of pine needles and brown leaves.  Our house was a two-story red brick on about a half an acre of land (as best I can recall).  We had a stand of pines running at an angle in our backyard where my mother had a clothes line strung because we had a washing machine, but no dryer.  Beyond that stand of trees was a large flat area a perfect size for football, soccer, and baseball games.

Most every home on the street had at least one child resident, but many had three or four children … five in our case.  There was always someone to play with, any day of the week, any time of day.  Little kids, not-so-little kids, teenagers, and even some college aged people.  I remember one college age neighbor who “baby” sat for us one evening when our parents went out.  This guy made all five of us sit in a row on the sofa and be quiet all night.  It was so weird to us, we didn’t object too much because it seemed such a funny game.

Often on a summer night someone would start phoning around the neighborhood getting up a game of kick-the-can.  We would all meet, usually in our yard, and the game would begin.  Kids of all ages would scatter here and there, hiding in their favorite spots.  I was particularly good at hiding, and had a particular spot up inside a shrubby tree in our front yard where no ever did find me.  After everyone else had been found, I would quietly climb out of my spot and creep around the corner of the house then run around the back and let the kid who was “it” catch sight of me as I made a mad dash for the can.  I must say, it was a perfect execution on my part each and every time.

I never did disclose that place, my best-ever hiding place of all time.

Both of my grandmothers had farms up in Mt. Airy and in the summer my brothers and sister and I would spend some time at Grannie’s farm (that was my father’s mother) most likely to give our parents a vacation.  We would have a wonderful time playing in the sun, helping to bring in crops, watching my grandmother can vegetables and make jams and preserves.  I loved hot summer afternoons sitting on the porch snapping beans into metal bowls, listening to the gossip and other conversations of the adult women.  Sometimes I would pluck a hot tomato off the vine and eat it like an apple.  Then there was strawberry day, when we were sent off to the strawberry patch with bowls and buckets and stern instructions not to eat a bunch of the strawberries.  I wonder now if my grandmother truly believed you could prevent an unsupervised child from eating a tummy full of strawberries in the sweet summer sun.  Watermelon afternoons were gracious reprieves from sweaty work, when my two older brothers could go out and fetch any watermelon of their choosing for us to chow down on out on the lawn.  The dark green melons split open easily with a big knife, cut into long wedges from end to end and passed out among the five of us.  We would salt them liberally and eat away getting watermelon juice all over our faces, arms, and legs.

Each and every time we would arrive at the turn to our little gravel road after visiting up in Mt. Airy, we would say together, “Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig.”  I loved that little ritual recital because it meant that soon I would see our dog, feel my bare feet on our own floors, and feel the comfort of my own pillow, and covers, and bed as I drifted off to sleep remembering the good times at Granny’s or Grandma Johnson’s place.

This week after my husband picked up at the airport in Buffalo after my ten day trip to Los Angeles, I quietly said it to myself when we turned onto our street and I saw our farm … our home.

“Home again, home again, jiggity jig jig.”

~firefly

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  1. Welcome home!! What sweet memories…and what memories the opened up for me as well. I grew up in VA on the coast and we did some of the same things. I loved it when my parents would take us to the strawberry patch…to this day I can’t eat cold strawberries. We had a friend with a small farm and he would let us pick the tomatoes and eat them off the vine. Sweet corn too, but we would cook that first. Usually he had some fresh peaches or strawberries mixed into his old crank ice cream freezer. We’d all take turns cranking, littlest first since it was easiest at that point. Since I was one of the youngest, I got to share the paddle with his grandson, just a couple of years younger than I. We would happily sit on the porch while the adults laughed and ate inside.

    Gosh, long comment, sorry. Fun memories for sure.

    Again, welcome home!!

  2. Welcome home- jiggity, jig, jig 🙂
    What precious memories you have- thank you for sharing with this “city girl” who didn’t have those opportunities. Though, I did spend summers with my grandmother in TX, who lived in town, but had a pretty decent garden- only problem, she grew squash & orka- not favorites of younguns’

  3. Welcome home Firefly.

  4. Welcome home, we missed you!!!!!!

  5. Welcome home!
    I also remember goin’ to the country for summer vacations as a child. They are some of my fondest memories. I hope that you were able to TCB while in LA.
    Is Rhoda still in bloom?

  6. How is the Pikes Peak Project coming along? I just finished my first draft for California. Are there links yet? Let me know what you need and when. Thank you.

  7. A beautiful, reminiscent post…

    I am glad you are home.

    Blessings,

    Sherri

  8. my father-in law owns a farm and he tells stories of when it was really something to see the “one” car they’d see a week. Unfortunately it’s nothing like that anymore which is a real shame. I hope you can keep those memories a reality

  9. I’m glad you’re safely home. We don’t live too far from Mount Airy, so I know just where you’re talking about and how neat is up there. We do the jiggity jig thing too!

  10. Firefly,
    Welcome Home! I love the sweet memories of childhood there is nothing like them. As always it takes me back to the days of playing with my sisters, sitting under the oak tree with Walter, visiting my Bigmama (my dad’s mom) and watching the world go by thinking that every thing was just perfect.
    I’ve enlisted my sons to help me with the pike’s peak project we’ve just got to get rolling on it!
    So glad you are back from L.A. I hope it was a successful trip. We all missed you!
    Ann

  11. Isn’t it amazing that you are able to say those words regarding your present living situation? You must really be “Home”. I envy you.

  12. So glad you’re finally “home”, I’m sure you were well missed by your dear husband and the sweet Mr. Blu! Of course WE all missed you, too! I’m sure you’re going to be busy for the next few days just catching up, but it will be a pleasant busy, I’m sure.
    Welcome Home!
    Pam

  13. Glad to have you back. My memories were of berry picking with Grandma (my Daddy’s Mother)in Northern Michigan and then later eating canned goodies including Jumping Beef (Deer meat in gravy).
    In fact the afternoon before my daughter was born I was out picking strawberries with a friend. She used to say she could see a little hand reach down ever once in a while for a berry. ( I doubt that one).
    Yesterday hubby and I picked 16.18 lbs of cherries which I have to start pitting right now. So enjoy being home.

  14. Dear Firefly: I just really wanted you to know that I started and am successfully working on the Biscuit Blanket!! For some reason I had difficulty working out the pattern. . .BUT I have it now and am in LOVE with the way it is working out. I can’t thank you enough for the little Baby Gift Bag (with the duckie, soap & washcloth) and Biscuit Blanket patterns!! They are fabulous! I have given away 2 Baby Gift Bags as gifts & the folks loved them. (The gals at Chandler Soaps are so nice, too!!)

    I can’t wait to try the Butternut Squash Soup this fall. I’ll be moving to Fla. in 2 weeks (am finally retiring!) and will make the soup on a cool evening this fall or winter! I also plan on making the biscuits to go into the Biscuit Blanket when I give it to my daughter! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! (Am glad you are back home safely from your trip) I also have to start on the Habitat for Humanity Squares soon! Kathy S.

  15. LOVED this post! Thank you for writing it.

  16. I accidentally deleted the email reply you sent because it wound up in my spam box and I was too diligent! Please re-send it if you don’t mind. I’m so sorry!

  17. What a great post!!

    I used to spend Friday’s with my Grandmother….I would pick her up and take her to the “beauty parlor” to have her hair “done”! LOL!! Then it was off to lunch, shop, grocery store, then home….and when we would pull up….my grandmother would say the same identical thing…..and of course now….all these years later….I too find myself uttering those same words anytime I return home from out of town, etc.


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