Wednesday, July 04, 2007

From Sea to Shining Sea, Kentucky

Kentucky, my home sweet home. Welcome! I hope that I can honor Dan's memory and give you a taste of Kentucky. When you are through, my hope is that you will thirst for more and maybe want to visit our humble little state.

I have lived my entire life within a small Kentucky county. I lived in the same home for 34 years of my life, from the time I was two until I was 36. I had many childhood memories in that home, and th
en raised two children of my own there. My children and I now live on my family's farm. Sixteen acres of land that my parents, my two brothers and their families and my children live on. It is different, not like today's way of thinking. But it is very nice to be surrounded by family and love. Our farm has seen a lot of changes over the years. Homes that were built at the turn of the century are now gone and new ones have replaced them. There are two old barns still standing, housing the remnants of tobacco stakes and old tractors. Ponds that were once Sunday afternoon fishing holes have been drained and filled. Wild honeysuckle still drapes the fence lines in the late spring. A thick bush of blackberries grows along the back of the property line in the summer, most of them luckily hanging on our side. My dad grows a garden and always plants pumpkins for the four granddaughters to have at Halloween. Oh, and did I mention that every Sunday we have a real sit down dinner at my parents' house? It is so good, my Mom is the best cook; Sundays are the best! Well, now that you know a little about me and my little part of Kentucky that I love let me try to introduce you to the rest of our beautiful state.

I found this poem online, it was written by Larry Burke, I think it
epitomizes my state beautifully.


From ancient blue ranges
smoke and mist curled upward
with an early morning chill.

Buzzards circled hollars,

barns weathered and crumbled
beneath the song of the whippoorwill.

The sun melted the highway
into long, shimmering black mirrors

as tobacco swayed with Summer's tease.

The farmer's hand and the salesman's pitch
changed landscape and time,
bringing memory to it's knee.

Old men and country boys,
southern belles and roads winding
forever through the spell.

Jack rocks and shadowed creeks
glimmered beneath the moon
when Grandpa's store had love to sell.

These memories dance, and whisper,
among the rolling valleys
below the cedar dotted hills.

At night, the stars did sparkle
beyond the deep and silent sky.
For me, they sparkled till.

Orchiolum (Larry Burke)
(reprinted w/ permission)

The first Saturday in May, the excitement and anticipation of spring. A new dress with the hat to match, the pageantry of it all.

The Great Balloon Race, The Great Steamboat Race and The Pegasus Parade...just to name a few. The most exciting two minutes in sports, The Kentucky Derby.

In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than the one when the horses step onto the track for the post parade and band strikes up "My Old Kentucky Home".

My Old Kentucky Home
Words and Music by: Stephen C. Foster

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home
'Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom,
While the birds make music all the day;
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy, and bright,
By'n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night!


Weep no more, my lady,
Oh weep no more today!
We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
For the old Kentucky home far away.

They hunt no more for the 'possum and the coon,
On meadow, the hill and the shore,
They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the bench by that old cabin door;
The day goes by like a shadow o'er the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight;
The time has come when the people have to part,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night!


The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the people may go;
A few more days and the trouble all will end
In the field where sugar-canes may grow;
A few more days for to tote the weary load,
No matter, 'twill never be light,
A few more days till we totter on the road,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night!


"My Kentucky" by Steve Hurley

If you would like to find links to more essays from other states, click here. I have also linked one blogger from each region below that is participating in the project.


West East


Ang said...

Wow, now I am really homesick

Twinkie said...

Really, really, good, baby girl. I'm all choked up.

Jessi said...

This really makes me wish I had a bamillion dollars so I could travel to all these beautiful places! There isn't even the lottery here. I'll just have to pretend and look at all the pretty pictures!

janet said...

Absolutely loved the pictures! Sure makes me want to visit Kentucky! Thanks for adding to Pike's Peak!

Take care and God Bless!
(blog-"Daily Provision")