Clark Hollow Ramblings: Fall is in the air

Last week I was outside in that terrible heat a lot more than I wanted to be. A nice young man from Sperryville, Mark Sanborn, was putting a new roof on the cabin, and I tried to help him a little bit. And I had three gigs with the little bluegrass band I pick with, and they were all outside. Then that fresh breeze blew in Sunday, and I was very thankful for that.

I wanted to get my sweet potatoes out of the ground this week, and Monday morning it started spitting rain. Linda and I went to the garden anyway and got the job done. We did get a little wet, but it was well worth it. I realize I have been writing a lot lately about the garden, but it has really been something this year. The sweet potatoes were no exception.

We had about 20 plants in a deep, raised bed, with very light soil. We got more than two five-gallon buckets of sweet potatoes. Some of them were huge — the biggest one was almost 3.5 pounds. Truth be told, I would rather have more medium-sized potatoes, because they bake quicker, and that’s the way we enjoy them most.

It looks like we are going to have to dig out the recipes for sweet potato pie and the dish my mother used to make in a clear, glass baking dish. I think she put brown sugar on them and some of those little marshmallows. Gosh were they good.

One other indication that fall is right here on us is the smell coming from the kitchen as I write this. Linda is making her first batch of fresh vegetable soup, with fresh tomatoes, fresh lima beans and ground venison. There is really no reason at all that I don’t weigh about 400 pounds. My bride cooks just like her mother and my mother did, and I sure enjoy sitting down at her table.

I want to end this on a very sad but uplifting note. The last aunt that I had passed away last week. Edna Pullen Lillard was married to my mother’s brother, Aubrey. Like my mother and my mother-in-law, Edna’s life was her family, her husband and her children. She was a little quiet, but she was a wonderful soul and a beautiful person.

And what is uplifting about this? Her funeral was last Thursday (Sept. 4), at the Methodist Church here in Flint Hill, where she was a long-time member. You can say there are no good funerals, but, dear reader, the church was packed with family and friends who were there to pay their last respects. Edna would have been 97 next week. God bless her and her family. We should all be so blessed.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 150 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.