Meal Time


In the story “Without A Country” meal time was family time.  The food on the table came from the hands of the family back in the 1860’s.  Will and Suzanne didn’t go to the grocery store to stock up on green beans and corn meal.  They didn’t head to Quick Trip for milk.  And they didn’t swing by McDonald’s or Subway on their way home from work.  Their meals and their survival were the result of sweat – their sweat.

Lizzy and Caroline worked along side their mother Suzanne in the garden.  Pulling weeds and helping with the harvest put food on the table.  Will plowed the field, tended the animals, butchered the hog and hunted up on the mountain ridges.  Everyone played a part in producing the meal that was on the table.


Each meal was the reward for all their hard work.  It was a time to fill their stomachs.  They grew to depend on one another.  Life was good when they all pulled together.

The Golden Arches didn’t exist back then – but, Lizzy and Caroline enjoyed many Happy Meals in the cabin two miles up the valley from Valle Crucis, North Carolina.




2 thoughts on “Meal Time

  1. It’s so true Brad, when I was a child spending time on my grandparents farm (the summers) everyone sat down at the table for meals (3 times a day). No one arrived late :-)…such a splendid story teller you are and a beautiful blog you have here.

    • Thanks so much for your comment and your continued interest in my blog. My trips to visit my grandparents back in the Tennessee mountains allowed me to enter into another world. My grandmother and several of the other old men and women in the Tennessee and North Carolina mountains were keepers of the old stories. When I was young, many of these stories were scary. As I grew to be an adult, I learned these stories were the telling of the family story. Each visit revealed another painful and tragic tale about the lives of the old folks back in the 1800’s. I collected stories, took notes, tape recorded visits, saved old newspaper articles about the time, etc. Then I added additional research about the area and the times. Eventually, I connected all of this into a narrative that remembers the experience of a few families going through the tumultuous years of the Civil War. They were Southerners but they did not fit it. The had no slaves and they were pro-Union. They lived a long way from Union lines so in the early days many of the men went along with the Confederate cause just hoping the war would soon end. It did not. When they abandoned the Confederate cause they were truly Without A Country. Many Southerners died at the hands of other Southerners. The tragic nature of this time echoed in the voices of the old story tellers. I hope I am able to capture some of that…

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