December 17, 2007 - Christms season celebrations!

Merry Christmas, everybody! We are trying to work in a break here at the end of the year, like so many trying to find balance and Grace! We have much to be thankful for- especially news of several friends who have been ill or convalescing that are making new progress!
We went to a beautiful Christmas program at Christ Church in Louisville...good music covers a multitude of theological differences...
and heard a Christmas sermon and the handbell choir at Little Flock...

Ma Smith is with us so we have been taking in a little Christmas everyday just from her glow--- at 97 she decorated her home again this year...

I also had a nice surprise- while looking something up in an old newspaper on microfilm I discovered to my elight that my great-great Grandfather Charlie W. Ridgway (1843-1918) wrote an off-and-on serial column in the paper almost a hundred years ago...this is from July 1908...descriving a time around 1850!

The Bullitt County News
Feb 28,1908

Children’s Corner
My Childhood Home

I appreciate the frequent calls for C. W. R. and should have written sooner, but the paper has been so full of good interesting matter that I thought our space might be more profitably occupied. But if my little article may be a pleasure to any one I shall be pleased to write. I hope the people will remember that I write for the children.

The very nature of home awakens many sweet and tender recollections. The one I shall try to describe to you may not be as dear to you as it is to me, but doubtless there is a spot somewhere that is equally as dear to you. Most people have had a home and the mention of that home awakens many sweet recollections; the mention of it causes the breast to heave and the eye to moisten. All that is dear to memory clings around our early home.

When I was a small boy my father sold the place where we lived and bought what was known as the Bridwell place, situated on Floyd’s Fork four miles northwest of Mt. Washington and it was there that I spent the most of my childhood days.
It was quite a large farm of 175 acres, but strange to say, that every building on it was made of logs, from the mill house to the parlor.

The rooms of the dwelling house were large and comfortable. The parlor, as we called it was a large two story hewed log building with large old fashioned chimney at the north end with two fire places to it, one bellow, and one up stairs in the boys' room. The kitchen was a large old round building with a pass way between it and the parlor. Of course there were out buildings which, as I have said, were also made of logs you must not suppose that they were not comfortable, for indeed they were quite so. If you could have seen those spacious, old fire places on a cold winter night well filled with fry beech or hickory wood, and mama with her knitting, papa with his paper and we children popping corn and cracking walnuts you would have thought it was a place superlatively comfortable. In fact, what we lacked in finery we made up for in good things to eat.- for my papa was a good provider and my mama was a good cook.

The best people in the county visited our house and the preachers made it their stopping place; so you can see it was a delightful old place. The yard was filled with locust trees and evergreen trees and some cherry trees. The sweetest shrubbery about the place was two large clusters of wild rose bushes, one on each side of the front door. There were large stone steps with the rose bushes on each side almost obstructing the doorway. The yard was long and rolling and reached down to neighborhood road that passed in front, so that you may imagine that in the springtime, when the trees and shrubbery were in full leaf and bloom, with the birds singing in their branches and the bees humming in the flowers it was a delightful place notwithstanding its modest pretentions. I must not forget the clear, cool spring that gushed out from under a cliff of rocks and sent its cooling waters through the milk house among clean jars and well filled milk cans and then went on to fill the big watering trough for the stock.

But one of the sweetest places to my childhood remembrances was a summer bathing place in Floyd’s Fork near our house. There the creek widened and deepened until it became quite large pool, large enough to swim horses in. In the last summer days we would repair to that pool and enjoy it to our hearts delight. My papa would go with us and teach us to swim. He taught us how to ride the horses and let them swim. I remember the thrill of pleasure mingled with fear when first undertaking that feat. I must tell you how we used the fish in that pool. The little shiny fish would collect there the enjoy the deep water; we would work good all the week for the privilege of going fishing on Saturday evening, we would get a little eight foot pole and a line about the same length and we did not have to wait long for a bite, and when we would see our cork go under we would give a tremendous jerk and sometimes sent the little fish sixteen feet in the air, and when it struck the ground if it did not kill it it would usually flop off the hook. The next thing was to catch it before it got back into the water and as the bank was steep it was a little uncertain which would get into the water first, us or the fish. But we seldom failed to catch a nice string of little fish. Mother would cook them nice and brown for us and we would enjoy eating them while we talked over that wonderful experience we had while watching them.

Another interesting circumstance connected with my child life was our potato patch. My papa gave us boys a peck of Irish potatoes and told us that we might have all we could raise to sell for ourselves. That potato patch was well tended, and it was interesting to hear how many wonderful purchases we laid off to make when we sold our potatoes; almost every thing that summer we laid off to buy when we sold our potatoes. The sugar making was also and interesting time when it came time to make sugar and tree molasses we would dig a large furnace, set the big kettles, prepare a sled and barral; making the spiles was night work. When everything was ready we tapped the trees, usually putting two spiles in each tree, the water was collected and boiled in those large kettles until it was thick syrup, then it was taken to the house and strained through a coarse cloth; it was then put into large ovens and boiled to sugar, or molasses. There are few things better than good, thick, maple molasses, especially when served with good hot shortened biscuit. You are ready to say he is greedy, is that all not enough to make any one greedy? I would love to tell you about the watermelon patch and the apple hole, each in its own season, but I have said enough for this time



Comments? Questions? Respond on the form below.

When you hit submit your browser will display a message that requires approval
for the e-mail being sent. It's OK. Really.


E-mail address:



From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @