Sometimes autumn decides to paint an individual portrait wherein she calls us to aid her. She stirs within us a desire to blend her colors with our memories on the palette of time.
So, we go back to a place in our past. Perhaps it’s a road or an old house; perhaps our childhood hometown. Autumn provides the outline. We brush in the sights, sounds and aromas.
Hills are filled with smoky autumn morning air as we revisit Jackson, Ohio. Childhood home of my mother and her grandparents, there is much the same; much changed. Autumn begs us not to be disillusioned, but to only enjoy the moment.
Wild purple asters fade into roadside fence rows. Reddish-orange poison ivy leaves are brush-stroked into the woods. As we stand on the ridge that once was Mother’s path to school and home, autumn’s cool sunshine touches goldenrod in the fields. From up here autumn has laid a soft pastel yellow and brown gauze over hill tops. She has cleared the sky to a pristine winter-is-coming blue.
Mother’s old home is no longer there. She can fill in the canvas though. Along with the house comes the sound of Mamaw calling her in for supper. Fried chicken, the last tomatoes, fresh bread coated thick with black raspberry jelly. Fried apples with cinnamon linger in the iron skillet on the back of the stove.
Floured smeared faces of two children with cookie dough cutters on the big kitchen table comes into view. Apple pies, hot, but not too hot to eat.
Pumpkins are as big as barrels in a field outside of town. The path to school fades into sidewalks leading to friend’s homes. All familiar places, touchstones presently there, in reality or memory.
A gentle breeze touches us. Autumn whispers, “It’s time to go.” Her canvas is complete. We are satisfied; our past is gathered; our tomorrow is waiting.
In memory of my mother, Evah Lytle Lewis, and her grandparents, George and Elizabeth Leach, Jackson, Ohio.
Elizabeth’s Sour Cream Drops
1/2 cup softened butter (one stick)
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dairy sour cream
Raisins or pecan halves
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
2. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.
3. Mix well. Batter will be thick.
4. Drop by tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Dough can be pressed down a little. Put raisin or pecan half on top of each cookie. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.
5. Bake about 12 minutes or until edges are browned and middle of cookie is set. Remove from cookie sheets and cool. Makes about 7 dozen.
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