Once upon a time these two kids went on a hike.They were “inside” kids so they knew nothing about hiking. Most of the time they were playing on their phones. A couple minutes in to the hike, they fell off a cliff because they weren’t paying attention due to looking at their phones. Thankfully they fell into a river. They were still very injured. They looked at each other and said, “I wish we would have stayed home.” They sat down and cried for a little bit. After they cried, they looked at each other and said,” we have to get crafty”. Like I said, they were “inside kids”. They went to pick up sticks and a rope to build a raft.
After six hours, they were done. It was ok. When they got in the water, they sailed away. Soon, they saw a bull shark and a catfish.They were scared and said it was like Shark Doom 3. Soon they heard “don’t be afraid”. They said, “what was that?” “It’s me down here the shark. Do you need directions?” The kids said yeah. The shark said, “Go straight and take a left ok.”
After a while, they found Russell County, that is right next to their county, Wilson County. In two hours it was 4 am. They stopped at a gas station and spent the night there. But first they had to sneak in. They knocked on the door and said to the cashier, ”your wife called you won the lottery.” the cashier said,”I did? I'm out of here. Bye!” They said, “That was easy.” They spent the whole night there. When they woke up, they got up and walked all the way to Wilson County. On the walk home, they both said they don’t want to be inside kids anymore.
The ARTIFACT: Tomahawk that has special powers. It has the power that will destroy the Covic 19 Virus.
HERO: Brooke 11 years old from Eastern Kentucky, she’s about 4 ½ feet talk, strawberry blonde hair. A strong young girl who has a keen sense of justice, happy to help those who need it, but not the loudest person within a crowd. She studies history and is in search of a treasure map that has the clues to the location of the tomahawk. Which is said to be hidden in a trunk, in the elementary school.
SIDE-KICK: Olivia 11 year old from Eastern Kentucky. She’s about 4 ½ feet tall, short black hair she is as tall as Brooke. She knows gymnastics and will take on anything, but she is a loyal friend to Brooke and the pair have known one another since they were born.
VILLAIN: A mysterious figure she’s from Kentucky and is also in search of the treasure map, stopping at nothing to get her hands upon it. She wants the treasure map to find the tomahawk to keep them from distorting the COVIC 19 cause she likes to stay out of school.
Today started out as any other day. Brooke got up and eat her breakfast and then she set in to do her NTI day homework. She had started her home work, when she received a message that told her that there was a tomahawk with special powers that would kill off the COVIC 19 virus. She was all excited and knew that if the tomahawk could be found it would cure the sick and they could lift the quarantine and the world would go back to normal with no sickness. She knew she couldn’t do it on her own so she contacted her very best friend Olivia to help her. When Olivia answered her phone and Brooke told her what she had learned, Olivia was all for finding the treasure map to find the tomahawk. They talked about how they could get together, since there were rules about distance between each person.
The Governor and President said everyone couldn’t be in a crowd. They had shut the school down. The girls were doing work at home for school. All businesses were closed also. Because COVID 19 had made a lot of people sick. So Brooke and Olivia found out that inside the elementary school was where they could find the treasure map that gave clues about where to find the tomahawk. They had to figure out a way they could get into the school without being seen. Since the school was locked up so the kids couldn’t get in.
The first thing they had to do was to find out when there wouldn’t be anyone in the school. That was going to be hard, but they had to do it to save the world and fix it so they could go back to school and have their graduation. They wanted their family and friends to share in the joy of them graduating. To watch them as they walked down to receive their diplomas. This was a very special time for the girls and they wanted everyone to see what that had accomplished.
The time had come for Brooke and Olivia to go to the school. They had arranged to meet outside of the school by the back door so they wouldn’t be seen from the road. They both wore dark clothes so the light wouldn’t glow on their clothes. They hadn’t seen each other for a month now. The COVIC 19 had made the school be closed to all students. They really missed seeing each other because they were more than friends; they were more like sisters.
They both had different ideas about how to get into the school, so they both decided that both ideas were great ones. So they worked with both ideas. Brooke’s idea was to make a diversion so the janitor would hear something and go and check it out, and then they could go inside the door when he opened it to check what the noise was. Olivia’s idea was to call the school and tell the janitor that she needed to get inside her classroom to get her phone that she had left on her desk when they had left the day before they cancelled school. That she needed it and she remembered she had left it at the school. So they decided to use a little of Brooke’s ideas and a little of Olivia’s idea. Olivia called the school and the janitor told her to come on out, he would let her in long enough to get her phone. So Brooke hid behind the door so when the janitor opened the door Olivia stuck something over the door latch so the door wouldn’t shut.
Brooke could get inside the school while Olivia had the janitor down to her classroom after her phone. It worked! Brooke was in the school, she waited while Olivia and the janitor went to Olivia’s classroom to get her phone. Brooke hid beside the trophy case until Olivia and the janitor came back and Olivia left. After Olivia went outside and the janitor went back to work down the hall. Brooke walked over and let Olivia back into the school.
Together they went down to the storage room where all the book fair items were stored. They thought they were alone, until they heard a noise and there they saw the villain, the one person that wanted to stop them from finding the treasure map to cure the Covic 19 virus. She was looking in every room to try and find the trunk where the treasure map was supposed to be. Brooke and Olivia looked as fast as they could to find the trunk so they could find the treasure map. They finally found the trunk and they both were very happy. So they opened the door and looked down the hall and didn’t see the villain, the one person that didn’t want the Covic 19 to be stopped. Cause she wanted to stay out of school, not like Brooke and Olivia. They wanted to be able to stop the Covic 19 and graduate and go on to the six grade.
As Brooke and Olivia were going down the hall, out came the villain and she grabbed a mop broom and tripped Brookie first then she went after Olivia. Brooke dropped the treasure map when she fell against the wall. The villain grabbed it and then Olivia did a cartwheel and hit the villain and she fell and dropped the treasure map. Brooke grabbed the map and her and Olivia ran out of the school and the alarm went off and the villain was captured by the janitor. Brookie and Olivia got away, now they went to a quiet place and looked over the treasure map. The treasure map was written in a way that it was hard to read, but together Brooke and Olivia figured out the map. They had to go back to the school and find a red building on the school property. It was hard because all the buildings were brown, not red. They looked for a long time until Brooke shook Olivia’s shoulder and said what is that color there, under the brown paint was red. They had found the red building, now to find the tomahawk. Then they would save the world. The treasure map said the tomahawk would be in a hole under the bench in a metal box protected under a cloth. They found the bench and then they found the box. They were so excited they had found the answer to destroy the Covic 19.
In the box was direction on how to use the tomahawk. What they had to do was hold the tomahawk together and put in the air. Their strong friendship would power up the tomahawk and destroy the Covic 19 virus. Brooke and Olivia prayed together for God to give them the strength to save the world. Together they locked their hands together around the tomahawk and they felt the tomahawk power up. They lifted it into the air and watched as the power got stronger and it set off a ray of light that covered the whole world. The power of friendship saved the world, all the sick were healed and the Covic 19 was gone.
The news from the governor came the next day that something had happened that all sick people were healed and there was now more virus. That now all places could open and the children could go back to school. The kids were excited but the villain she wasn’t, she had been arrested for breaking into the school.
Friday came and all the kids got to have their graduation they had hoped for. Everyone and the Governor and President was proud of Brooke and Olivia for the job they had done with the tomahawk. The tomahawk was put in a safe place so know one would ever be able to touch it. Everything went back to normal and the world wasn’t sick anymore.
I sat on the bank of the river beneath the towering willow and listened to the frogs croak as the sweet smell filled my senses. I loved coming down here after a heavy rain. The water rushed by, the tumultuous flow so intense. She was so muddy you’d think you were in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. But that’s no surprise, Big Sandy’s been muddy as long as I can remember. Granny says the big spill slurried these streams with coal sludge, polluting the waters and killing everything in it that moved. My granny said she’d just gotten used to drinkin’ that tap water and now she can’t even turn the faucet on half of the time.
I’ve been coming to stay with Granny every summer since I was a little girl. Momma said she got some fine raisin’ here in this town and said I’d get some good lessons from the folks around here. It breaks my heart that this is my last summer here before I go off to college.
She’s a real character, my granny. That woman will cook from daylight to dark and expect me to swallow everything she puts in front of me. Lord, if I did, I’d be as big as this two story house. She ain’t ever picked up a measuring cup in all the summers I’ve watched her cook, says she just knows. Granny is just about the whole towns’ granny. She’s owned the pool hall for years, kept it filled with pop machines and arcade games. Granny sure makes her money off the gamblers that roll in here. She wears these mumu dresses with pockets in them, jinglin’ her change around so everybody knows she’s got some. But she gives that pocket change to all the youngin’s; I’ve never had to spend a dime.
I slowly push myself up off the bank and dust myself off before walking up the hill to Granny’s house. She keeps saying she needs to put a fresh coat of paint on her old farmhouse, but I always tell her that I think the chips give it character. Granny always tells me I’m just like her: too much of a story teller, that I find some hidden meaning in everything I come across. She says we could spin tales to make a grown man’s jaw drop.
As the screen door slams closed behind me, I’m hit with the Sunday smell: ham beans and salmon patties, fried cornbread and taters, my favorite.
“Evelyn, honey, your britches are nasty!” sighs Granny once she catches a glimpse of me.
I give a slight grin, “Look at you! You’d think you were tryin’ to fry yourself with all the flour on that apron,” I chuckle.
Granny rolls her eyes and swats at me, “Wash up youngin, it’s time to eat.”
As I wash up in the bathroom, I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Lord, Granny was right, I look mighty rough. My mousy brown hair fell below my shoulders, stringy from the day spent outside. My full cheeks covered in constellations of freckles, a blessing that only came out in the sun. I splashed water on my face in an effort to settle the pink heat that rested upon my skin.
As I sit down to the feast Granny has made, she pours me a glass of tea. “I got a call from Virginia today,” she says. Virginia is my Momma’s best friend from high school.
“What’d she need?” I say.
“Well, she said that she had some seeds ready to plant tomorrow and wanted to know if you wanted to learn a thing or two?”
I took another bite of beans and nodded, “Why yeah, I ain’t got nothing better to do.”
I helped Granny wash the dishes from supper and went to my bedroom. As a summer breeze drifted in through the window and carried in the sounds of the bullfrogs, I settled into bed and buried my head beneath the quilts. I said my nightly prayer to the Lord, thanking him for yet another day on this beautiful Earth, before drifting off to sleep.
As I drove down the highway in my Bronco, I rolled the window down and took in the cool spring air. I never could stand to drive all boxed up, it suffocates me. It could be the dead of winter and I’d still drive with the window down, heat blasting.
Crossing the railroad tracks, I was once again taken aback at the beauty of this little town. So many people see a place like this and call it washed up, white trash. I see simplicity from a better time. They say it lacks opportunity. I say it only offers opportunity to the loyal folk that keep it runnin’.
Flags line Main Street, one of the last places where the American dream still lives. We’ve got some good fellers here who made us mighty proud defending that flag. Our war heroes are the real celebrities around here. Sometimes, when Granny and I are out to eat, a veteran will walk in and she’ll start nudging me, “Go and shake his hand, Evelyn, thank him for his service! Now go on, you’re being rude.” She’d just about embarrass me to death, but I’d always listen, because she was right.
Climbing the hill to Virginia’s house, you can see the vast acreage of forest surrounding her property. The farmhouse that her daddy built with his own bare hands stands just as beautiful as it was the day he finished it, with a gorgeous wrap-around porch hovering over luscious flowerbeds.
I walked around the back of her house to her large greenhouse, where she was bent over some pots, raking through soil.
“Howdy Virginia!” I hollered, so I wouldn’t sneak up on her.
“Well good mornin’ Miss Evelyn,” she said with a smile, “It’s good to see ya, sweetheart!”
Virginia led me around the greenhouse, pointing out which seeds were ready to be planted today and explaining the differences between their growing needs. She had always been in touch with nature. She even made her own soap with some of the leftover flowers she had at the end of the summer, if they didn’t sell. I hoped she’d lend me her green thumb.
After a few hours of planting and potting, Virginia led me inside to get some lunch. She tossed together a fresh salad with spinach, clementines, and pecans, before saying, “And I top it off with a sprinkle of marigold for good health!” I gave her a smile; it looked amazing.
As I got up from her kitchen table, Virginia said, “I’m ready for another adventure, whaddya say?”
Unsure of what she meant, I went along with it, “Sure, why not,” I laughed.
Virginia strolled past the greenhouse, asking me how my mother was doing as we walked.
“Momma is doing good,” I nod, “Them youngins keep her busy, and she worries about granny getting lonely, so she sends me out here to lift her spirits.”
“Lord honey,” says Evelyn, “you know your granny don’t need anybody. She could fight a running sawmill if she had to.” We both laughed. “But that’s awfully sweet.”
We neared the edge of the woods before Virginia stopped. “You ever went morel huntin’?”
“No ma’am,” I say. “They’re awfully good to eat, though,” I grin.
Virginia leads me down a trail, pointing out decaying tree stumps, “They like to hide over there sometimes. You just gotta keep your eyes peeled.”
After about an hour of searching, tripping over tree roots, and climbing hills, Virginia sharply drew in a breath, “Gotcha,” she said. I hover over her shoulder and catch a glimpse of our golden nugget, before shortly after spotting my very own. “Eureka!” I say.
“There ya go, darlin’,” she says. “You’ve just found your first morel mushroom.”
I couldn’t help but to be at least a little proud. My momma always said you weren’t an Appalachian if you couldn’t appreciate the land’s gifts. I’d call her up when I got home and tell her the news.
“Thank ya, Miss Virginia!” I said, before climbing in my Ford. “I sure do appreciate all your teachin’ today.”
“Why any time, honey, you’re more than welcome here,” she said.
It’s people like Miss Virginia that make me proud of my home. Along with the fact that you can have little adventures like that right here in our backyard. It really makes me appreciate the fact that I was born right here in God’s country and that I’ve got kind people around me who teach me lessons every day.
A RABBIT FOR BREAKFAST
It was a cold winter morning back in 1952. With a heavy white snow on the ground. Blankets of white snow covered the pine trees and the old apple tree in the yard. And mountains of snow covered the fruit trees in the orchard.
The creek that ran down the holler was frozen over with heavy snow and ice of winter. Nothing in the yard at the barn was moving. You could see the steam coming from the house and the cow’s nostrils as they came out of the barn into the morning blanket of white.
The rooster crowed once or twice, but no need for more. Nothing at the barn or on the farm was moving that morning. The wind blew and the sun shinned bright and glistened on the fresh layer of snow. It seemed as if time was standing still and the whole world was frozen.
In the little three-room country house, James was up at the break of dawn putting coal and wood in the old heating stove. He had been up several times through out the night putting wood in the stove to keep plenty of heat in the small three-room house. The old shingled roof had held up really good in the heavy snow. And the windows were frosted over with frost so thick you couldn’t see out of them. Scrapping the frost from the inside of the window and looking outside, made him realize that winter had made it way up the holler and into the little house that sat near the creek.
James had reached for his old overalls that hang on a nail on the wall along with his flannel shirt. He put on his good warm socks and shoes that he had set by the old wood heating stove the night before. Patches on the knees of the old overalls didn’t bother him none, they only made them warmer. One-piece thermal underwear clung tight to his body for extra warmth he needed to go out and face the cold winter morning.
His wife Mary crawled out from under the good warm covers of her home made quilts. She dressed warmly before she hurries into the kitchen to build a fire in the wood cook stove. She noticed right away that the dipper had frozen in the water bucket. She took some paper and a handful of kindling and put it inside the wood cook stove. She threw in some coal oil and a match and the stove began to crackle and pop. She set the water bucket on the stove to thaw it out. She put the coffee pot on to boil fresh hot coffee to get the day started right. She threw her boots on and headed out to the smokehouse.
Inside the smoke house she looked around and she thought how wonderful all the good home cured pork was that hung in the smoke house. Pork chops, bacon, hams, middling, ribs and tenderloin filled the smokehouse benches and hung from the rafters . All salted down and curing great in the cold of the winter. She thought, what ever was she gonna choose from since she had such a wonderful choice. But since it was so cold, she decided to choose the easiest thing to get. Bacon was her first choice. She took her large butcher knife and cut her a piece from the larger piece that hung down from the rafters. Then back into the house she flew through the deep snow. She sliced the bacon and laid it into a cast iron skillet to fry on top the old cook stove that had the whole kitchen war. Soon the heavenly smell of the bacon filled the room. Homemade biscuit and gravy would surely top all that off.
James had gone to the barn with the milk bucket in hand to get fresh milk for breakfast. He fed the horse and cow and the chickens. He went to the creek that ran down the holler and broke up the ice for the animals to have drinking water. Making sure all was well at the barn; he headed off back to the house.
Mary had a large skillet full of bacon frying on the stove when he entered the door of the good warm house. He said, Mary we will have fresh fried rabbit in the morning for breakfast.
James had been watching a family of rabbits that he had been seeing going under the kitchen floor of the house. Now that the snow had fallen he could see the footprints of them in the snow. So James told Mary that when the evening came, she could help him catch one of the rabbits for their breakfast. She was not at all excited about going outside in the snow to hunt rabbit, but oh well she thought, we will see how it goes when the time comes. So she laughed it off and went on with her daily chores.
So, later in the evening when night fall came in the little house beside the creek. James told Mary to get the coal oil lamp and follow him into the kitchen and to close the kitchen door. She did as he asks. Still wondering how they would catch a rabbit in the kitchen in the dark of the night. And she had hoped that he had forgotten all about the idea anyway. Although a good fresh mess of fried rabbit would be a really good change for breakfast.
On the way into the kitchen, James picked up the hammer. He needed it to pull up a board from the kitchen floor. So, Mary with all her curiosity on what was gonna happen next in the kitchen went along with him. She held the coal oil lamp in her hand and James told her to get up on top of the table and hold the lamp for light in the kitchen. James gently took the hammer and pulled a board up out of the kitchen floor so a rabbit would come up through the missing board in the floor.
Holding the lamp and laughing at her husband, Mary’s eyes got larger and larger as her and James saw a rabbit come up through the missing board in the floor of the kitchen. James gently took his hammer and tapped the nails in the board back down in the kitchen floor as he had trapped the rabbit in the kitchen.
Mary, still on top of the kitchen table still holding the lamp, asks James in a comical way. “What are you gonna do with it now”? Well, James had it all planned out as he told Mary to go on to bed and he would take care of it now.
So, early the next cold snowy morning in the little house by the creek in the holler. Two Special people shared a heavenly breakfast of fried rabbit, gravy and biscuit cooked on an old wood cook stove.
Lots of love, lots of laughter and lots of special memories to hold in their hearts for the rest of their lives for James and Mary McIntosh back in the early part of 1952.
Laugh, Yes we will, at this funny comical but true story. My Daddy James McIntosh told me this story many years ago about how him and Mom caught the rabbit in the kitchen one cold snowy winter evening. I know it don’t sound real, but these two special people really did this. And I am so thankful they told me and that I can write it down and share it with every one who reads and enjoys this article. You know, there’s a lesson to be learned heard in this story. NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER BACK DOWN IF YOU WANT SOMETHING BAD ENOUGH. With lots of love to both my parents who are James and Mary McIntosh.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Bobby & Susan’s Great Adventure
One cool May evening in 1913 in the town of Neverland, neighbors Bobby and Susan went on an adventure on their neighbor Captain Hook’s Farm. They were walking around in the woods when they came across a well that was shining bright. They walked over to look down it. The sides were wet, cold and slimily. When Bobby and Susan looked down the well, they saw that it was full of gold! Bobby said, “I’m going down to get us some gold. Susan you stay up here and be our lookout in case Ole Captain Hook comes looking around.” Bobby gently crawled down the well. As Bobby was looking around filling his water bucket full of gold, he saw a pile of copperheads and rattlesnakes around the piles of gold. Bobby was filled was filled with fear. He almost peed his pants. Just when he was about to freak out, he remembered that he had brought a shovel with him. With one eye closed, he started swinging and killing all the snakes!
With all the nasty snakes killed and his bucket full of gold, he was ready to come out of the deep well. As he began to climb out, he notices that the sides were too slimly wet. There was no way he was going to be able to get out of the well. He yelled out to Susan, “Run to the barn and find something to get me out of here. But be quiet and don’t get caught.” Susan ran with all her might to the barn. She picked up some rope and ran back to the well. She tied one end of the rope around her waist and threw the other end down to awaiting Bobby. He tied the bucket of gold on first. Susan pulled it up and then threw the rope down to bring up Bobby. When Bobby got back up to the top, he and Susan counted up all the gold they had in their bucket. They had over 150,000 ounces of gold in that bucket. They was about 2.9 million dollars. They decided that they would spilt the money 50/50. They also decided that they would be greedy and keep it all for themselves.
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
One pretty day Dorothy and her two friend’s tin man and scarecrow we’re on a long journey to see the wizard in Neverland. As they were walking three goons jumped from behind the trees. They tried to shoot them but it missed. But they did capture the scarecrow and they tried to hang him from a tree. But Dorothy and the 10 man came to the scarecrows rescue they jumped up and cut him from the tree.
The scarecrow was so thankful for Dorothy and the 10 man. As I continue down the road 10 man became very weak. He said I just cannot go on I’ve got to stop and pray. But door thing that scares grow we’re not wanting him to pray. They said I know it will fix him maybe some oil so Dorothy got her oil can out of her basket and squeak some into 10 man’s mouth. The tin man was so worried his eyes were as big a silver dollars and the ring in his nose lit up like a Christmas tree. So the scarecrow held the 10 man’s hand and saying a sweet lullaby in his ear. Oh tin man oh tin man calm down we’ve got you out in Man O tin Man Dorothy‘s on the way. The fear in 10 man’s eyes melted as the scarecrow sang his song. After the oil took its time to sit in to tin man’s body they decided to continue onto their journey. Finally after A week on the yellow brick road they finally arrived at the wizard’s castle in Neverland.
Dorothy the tin man scarecrow jumped with glee as they put their arms around the wizard! Oh how they love the wizard! They had a big party at the wizard’s castle and celebrated the arrival of the crew. They partied for 10 days!
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Spring Time Love
It’s a warm spring night, April 16th 1970 to be exact, and it time for the school dance at Hazel Country School. Sarah and David are out on the dance floor. The twinkle lights are twinkling brightly off Sarah and David’s pretty red hair. They were dancing together like they loved each other. Sarah with her eyes closed and bright lipstick on goes in for a kiss. David backs up as to be afraid of Sarah’s incoming kiss. When he backs up, Sarah didn’t attempt to kiss him and went back to dancing.
They danced for a little bit longer until the dance was almost over. Sarah leaned in again to kiss David and this time surprisingly he let her kiss him. She planted a kiss right on his lips. Sarah’s dad will not be happy to hear that she kissed that boy. She will probably get grounded but Sarah doesn’t care; she kissed David at the dance and that’s all that matters!
Resident at the Lee County Care and Rehab, Beattyville, KY
Once upon a time Dorothy, Big Bad Lion, Tin man, Scarecrow and Toto were stuck in Oz. So they went and talk to the Wizard hoping that he can help them. The Wizard was behind the curtain at the castle. No one wanted to knock on the giant door. Finally decided all of them outed knock at one time. There was a loud clad and out came the Wizard. "Who Knocked on my door?" The lion cried in feat. The Tin man calmed him down saying "There, there don't be afraid."
Dorothy spoke up, "We have one request fro out. First we brought you some fruit in my basket." The Wizard was very thankful. He said, "What are your request?" Dorothy said " I need to get home and my friend the Scarecrow needs a heart." The Wizard thought and said "I cannot help you with the heart, but I can tell you to follow the Yellow Brick Road back home. They thanked him and began their journey down the Yellow Brick Road. As they were walking, they began to worry about how the Scarecrow was going to get his heart, The Lion, who was the Scarecrow's best friend, said "I'll give you my heart." They all began to cry. What great friendship they were displaying.
When all of a sudden out of nowhere, a beautiful fairy came. She said, " I heard what has been going on and I think that is a wonderful gesture of sacrifice. I will give the Lion a heart and I will give Dorothy a pair of red ruby shoes that will help her get back home." They were all excited and jumped with glee. Dorothy clicked her shoes together five times and they magically arrived back in Kansas. They all lived on the farm together forever.