Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family ... Sweet Family

Today I will wrap up my visit to Ohio with some family memories. Because I was raised in California and my cousins were all in Ohio we never really "new" each other until I became an adult. When I joined the Longaberger Co. 17 years ago I found myself visiting Ohio quite often and my family was a mere half hour away. I wanted to know them better so I would stay a few days after a Longaberger event to spend time with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Over the years my youngest female cousin, Mary Ann and I have become quite close. We enjoy the same hobbies, foods and sharing family stories.

While driving through the state my girlfriends we found ourselves in one corn field after another.

 This conjured up memories my mom would share with me about her childhood and meals of corn and tomatoes. Her aunt Rose lived in the country on a farm with a dozen or so kids! During the sweet corn harvesting season my mom and her family would go to the farm for a visit and dinner. The "boys" would pick bushels of corn and the girls would shuck it. Aunt Rose had huge pots of boiling water and would prepare huge platters of sweet corn for dinner. On the long, farm style table would sit platters of steaming fresh sweet corn, bright red fresh tomatoes and lot a home churned butter! Oh my mouth is watering! Mom would laugh and tell me "some of those boys could eat a dozen ears of corn by themselves!" That's a lot of corn!
While out site seeing Mary Ann asked if we liked corn, of course we all did. She stopped at a farm stand and bought some corn and tomatoes and Sunday night we had an old fashioned sweet corn meal. I could feel the presence of my mom in the room enjoying the corn with us.

Beautiful bright red and orange tomatoes, oh they were so delicious ....

Sweet corn and tomatoes on my plate ... we also had some of Amy's homemade bread, so yummy.

I'm done!! Corn was wonderful, red tomatoes are completely gone ... orange ones, not so tasty.
After dinner was sat out on the front porch and watched the world go by. On Mary Ann's porch is a wonderful metal bench. It too has a great story.
Our great-aunt Hilda lived alone on a hill in Lancaster not to far from Mary Ann. In the early years she would feed to Hobo's traveling through the state. Her home was "marked" as they say and hobo's new if they tapped on her back door they would receive a good hot meal. Aunt Hilda had special plates and flatware for these men. They would patiently wait for her to serve them while sitting on this bench.
This bench is lovingly known as the Hobo bench.
After Hilda's death the bench would live with my Aunt Jay, Mary Ann's mom. When she passed 6 years ago the bench became Mary Ann's. It now sits on her front porch making a comfortable spot for visitors to rest. 
If this bench could talk it could tell some fascinating stories. How many hobos were served a hot meal there? No one will ever know. But in our family history it will always be a fascinating tale.
Rest in Peace sweet Hilda ... we love you.

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