What wonderful feeling of joy and peace waking up in my Grandparent's very large home, that grew small as I grew big. The humble yellow house that my grandfather built has a tall chimney as white as the mountain tops and sits on top of one of the highest majestic Blue Ridge Mountain in the state of West Virginia.
From the squeaky front porch swing you can see the Blue Mountains touching the bright blue sky. Looking to the left you can see where we would play King of The Mountain on the dew covered hill after sunset, of course I being the smallest never won!!
Knowing if I lay in bed long enough I would soon hear my grandmother's heavy feet rushing down the hall opening the back porch door. The door made a squeal almost a wine then a slam! I was sure the door was responsible for waking me up every morning in that house. Her feet would almost stomp as she rushed back to the kitchen with apples from the freezer for the perfect breakfast.
Soon I would hear my aunts and uncles laughing, teasing and enjoying the company of one another. Although loud voices they sent a message of peace and love. My Dad, a man of few words would always say "Mother" he always called her "no one makes a biscuit like you." Normally as I child I would launch myself from my bed but not there. I wanted to bask in that atmosphere as long as possible.
The family history around the house is everywhere you look. Not to far from the front of the house you can see the hollow where my great-grandfather walked his family from Virginia and bought the property. The great aunts said "Granny never came out of that holler" they never call it a hollow in West Virginia. The aunts seemed to hate the holler. Great Granny and my Great Grandfather lived down there for years and raised 11 children down in the bottom of that holler with no electricity or water that is probably the reason.
Yes the times were different I was blessed to enjoy the fruits of my ancestors labor. I only saw the beauty in the mountains the laughter of playing by the ponds and chasing the cows and the memory of my Papaw pulling us up out of the holler with his tractor. To him we were more precocious than any cargo he had pulled and we knew it from the smile on his face and the look of love in his eyes as he laughed at us all the way up the bumpy road on the mountain.
On the other side of the house with the squeaky door you can see where my other great grandfather lived and my dad as a boy. If I close my eyes I can see my dad as a young boy in his denim overalls helping tote water or work in the garden. Dad one of the wisest men I know even if he had to quit school in the 8th grade to help his mother and family survive. My grandfather had to go to war leaving them with no electricity or running water.
As I stretch and turn over on that hard floor, the kids always had to sleep on the floor. We never minded, for some reason that hard floor was the best place in the world to sleep. Soon the smell of homemade biscuits, apple butter, and fried apples would be calling. Not to mention my grandparents and aunts and uncles whom always ready to hug you and tell us how funny, cute, talented you were. No matter what to them we were future doctors, preachers or maybe president. I was the favorite, but we all thought we were.
I was blessed with years of waking to that squeaky door slamming and the sound of my Grandmothers feet rushing back to the kitchen. Ruby Louise, my grandmother was a very small woman stronger than any woman I have ever known. In fact for years she was a midwife. If you know anyone born in Fayette County she probably met them before you. In her strength and determination she taught herself to read and went on to become a nurse.
Another family lives in the house now and when I drive by I wonder if that door still squeaks. I still visit the house in my thoughts and hear that noisy door. I miss those times dearly and know that soon my aunts and uncles will be a memory like the squeaky door. I will forever be thankful for the squeaky door and the unconditional love behind it.