Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
Me and the She and Johnny and Jaimie met for Saturday Morning Breakfast in the same restaurant where just the day before I’d had hot bologna, eggs and gravy for the morning meal. A breakfast for the Gods, some may say. I’d be one of those saying. This day the buffet was the way to go. It was an eat and go kinda day.
As I walked out of the restaurant and across the open banquet hall in the interior of the hotel, I remembered that the last time all my sisters and Mama were together was in this very banquet hall several years back. We had a birthday party for my oldest Sister Thelma.
Setting amongst the chickens of the EastWing is a picture of myself and the girls of my family. Mama, Thelma, Sharolette, Barbara, Kaye and me. Now that same picture, if taken today, would only be me and Sister Sharolette. Precious memories in these mountains. Right in this banquet room they linger.
I’d decided to visit the grave of my Sister Thelma at the cemetery high up on the hill at Salyersville. I’d not been there since Sister Thelma passed away. An interesting fact about funerals and cemeteries in the mountains. Not all cemeteries are accessible when the need arises. Weather conditions may determine access to the cemeteries, not death.
That seems like such a strange thing to say. Living in northern Indiana we never worry about access to cemeteries based on weather. Many cemeteries in Kentucky are high on the mountains. Some of the roads leading up those hills are not paved. And when it rains…. and the soil is clay. Well, if you’ve never had to try to get up a slick road in the mountains, you’re lucky. Ya mostly get muddy. Really muddy. One time me and Johnny got the 4 Wheel SUV stuck in the clay mud out there on Burning Fork Road. It was such a time. By the time we were out of the mud, you’d think we’d been off roading. Guess we were in a fashion, we were off the drive way by about 30 ft.
The weather was clear. It was a perfect day to visit the Salyersville Cemetery up there on the top of the hill. The gravesite was all the way to the other side of the cemetery from the entrance. It was not an easy trek. And so we parked and walked the last little bit.
The final resting place of my beloved Sister and Brother-In-Law Arthur. Thelma and Arthur had two sons, Pete and Steven. Both of my nephews names are engraved on the backside of the stone marking the grave of their parents. It turned out our lives were such that we never spent enough time in each other’s company. But that did not make us love each other any less, my Sister Thelma and me. If anything, more.
I sat alone on a stone bench up there in the Salyersville Cemetery for quite some time. Remembering, just remembering family that had gone away. Sisters three, dad and mama, two brother-in-laws, and nephew Pete. Just missing love ones while setting high on the mountain at the Salyersville Cemetery, on a seat made of granite.
As I looked around this cemetery, I didn’t see a single name I’d not heard before. Dates of life and death covering 200 years were recorded in the standing stones here on this mountain. It was then when it dawned on me, the very bench I’m setting on will still be in this place a hundred years after I’m gone. Melancholy thoughts of life and death and a bench of granite. I said another goodbye to Sister Thelma and Brother Arthur, then left the Mountain Cemetery of Salyersville.
We set our sights on the Bull Creek Traders over at Prestonsburg. No GPS travel this day, we all knew the way. Yesterday they told us the Bull Creek Traders would be in full swing. They told us right. Parking was a problem. Finally Johnny did find a place to park at one of the far ends. The game plan was up one side then down the other. And by that time we’d be back to the car.
The flea market seemed to sale everything you could think of. At a booth offering whisky shot glasses, Johnny asked if he could get the shot glass filled with moon shine. The ole boy didn’t even bat any eye, he just said “I don’t know you long enough”. I believe he meant it. Johnny didn’t pursue the timeframe. We did assume the acquaintance requirements exceeded our time available to be in the mountains. After all, we did have an afternoon date in a river town the next day.
By late afternoon, I for one, had enough walking at the Bull Creek Traders. It was a fun time at the flea market. Of course chickens were bought for new EastWing decorations. Speaking of chicken, the girls had a taste for, and off we went to see if Prestonsburg KY had a KFC. And sure enough there was a KFC in town. We dined in. Then off to Paintsville to get a Kentucky finish on the nails of Jaimie and the She. When they were finished there were pretty fingers all around.
As a grand finally for the fun day of playing in the mountain sunshine, the Paintsville Movie House was playing a first run 3-D Movie. It was a cowboy type theme. You know the kind….. Good guys, bad guys, then some of the bad guys see the fallacy of their bad guy ways and turn to the good side.
The hero gets the girl in the end, but not before it seems that all is lost. And then at the very last second, the good guys save the day and all’s well. Then the cowboy ride off in the sunset with the pretty girl. Yeah, that kinda movie.
Oh, I almost forgot, the movie name. TRANSFORMERS! Me and the She have a new hero: Optimums Prime……
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Family In The House, A Cemetery Road & A Bench Made of Stone, Bull Creek Traders, KFC, Finger Nails & Optimums Prime
I Wish You Well,