From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, August 26, 2013

The House That Lera Built From Love

Here for you to enjoy is the wondrous little conversation I first had with my friend Jill Marshall when I discovered Lera's house as her profile picture.  Lera is her grand-mother, and she had a large part in raising Jill, and this remarkable woman still has the capacity to reach from heaven in love to her grand-daughter... and a perfect stranger too...  One note, all the photos with this series of blogs were made by Jill, WITH HER BLACKBERRY... I just can't get over that, A BLACKBERRY...the photos are beautiful, and will remind those of you who God has similarly smiled on of places from your own heart.  The first remarks are where I first saw the photo, after that they are marked with our names as we shared.

Oh, .... I know what I shall paint next! You must tell me what this house was like when it was lived in! About your Grand-mother... this house wants to tell her story... where was her flower bed, what did she grow.. how many children... her favorite color?

Debra LeCompte Look at that roof! I want to be painted by me, with raw sienna hues... and blues.... and shades of gray....

I would LOVE to see/own a painting of my Grandma's house!! My paternal Grandmother was like a mother to me! She passed away in 1988. My paternal Grandfather passed away in 1976. My Grandmother's name was Lera Edith Carter Marshall and this was her Great Grandparent's house. Great Great Grandfather Carter was in the 42nd NC Infantry, CSA. He was a prison guard at the Confederate Prison in Salisbury, NC when he was 16 years old. Grandma's father grew up in this house, also.- William Thomas Carter married Great Grandma Adelia Cecil Haneline Carter and she passed away fairly young so my Grandmother pretty much raised her siblings and took care of her father. After Grandma married my Grandfather, Thomas Kitchin Marshall, he moved in the house with her and her father. They worked the farm as had generations before them dating back to 1750. Great Grandpa Carter passed away in late 1964 when I was a baby, so I always knew this as my "Grandparent's house". My father is the 4th of 10 children and he was raised in this house also. When I was younger we lived in the woods behind this house and in 1974 my daddy bought a house about a mile away, so essentially I grew up on this farm. We would walk through the woods from our new house to come be with Grandma. We had many gardens, fruit trees and animals. I remember working in the garden as a child and seeing my Grandfather plow behind a mule. We slopped the hogs, got up eggs, canned and froze veggies and NOBODY cooked as good as my Grandma! There were tiger lilies, irises, lilacs, hydrangeas, rose bushes, buttercups, peonies and many more. We had apple, cherry and pear trees, as well as grapes, blackberries and strawberries. There are many out buildings on the property that were functional when I was little. A pig pen, chicken house/coop, barn, corn crib, smoke house and of course an out house with a crescent moon in the door! There is what we call "The Old House" still standing that was built in 1750. We had horses, mules, donkeys, hogs, goats, chickens, peacocks, guineas, cats and dogs. This place was ALIVE! There was a Sycamore tree that my daddy climbed in once to keep from going to school and my Grandmother sat at the bottom of the tree with a switch waiting on him to come down! We had a well that we could actually unroll a bucket down into and draw fresh well water. Oh the memories you have brought back, Debra!! My father's oldest brother and first child came home from the Korean War with epilepsy and my Grandmother took care of him until the day she died. He continued to live in the house until he died about a year later. After Frank passed away the land was divided into 10 equal parts and split between Grandma's 10 children. About 10 years ago my father built a road back to his part of the land and named it Lera Lane. =) It runs parallel to Grandma's house. After my father retired from RJ Reynold's Tobacco Company, he sold the house I grew up in and built a new house back here on his land. My sister and I live beside my Daddy. Several of my uncles have built houses on their part of the land as well. When my Grandma's father passed away, the land was divided into four parts and Grandma got the part with the farm and house on it because she had taken care of their father and the 3 younger girls. The baby girl, Laura Lee married and built a house down the road a bit, and the two other sisters Ruby and Audrey married brothers from Davidson County and moved down there, but their heirs still own their share of the land. Everything was so alive and beautiful until Grandma passed away and it's almost as if the flowers died with her. My father still has a small garden every year, but all the flowers by Grandma's house have died out except for the hydrangea bushes and a few buttercups. I SOOOO want to restore this house and live in it, but my daddy says it will take about 100K to restore it! I could go on and on!! What great memories I have!! I moved back home 3 weeks ago and it's like my soul is finally at peace! I am where I belong!

Jill Marshall Grandma never mentioned a favorite color, but she was a wise woman and I learned a lot from her! A part of me died with her. I'm thankful that I had the wisdom to appreciate her, ask questions and listen to her stories!!

Grandma never drove a car, but she was hilarious when she rode in one! I remember buying a new Toyota Supra and taking Grandma for a ride in it and she almost stomped a hole in the floor applying her imaginary brakes. LOL My grandfather would hook up his mules, Kate and Tony and take us for wagon rides when we were little. Grandpa also liked his liquor, but Grandma wouldn't allow such things in her house, so he would hide it throughout the property. When we found it, we would go tell Grandma and she would pour it out. I remember her finding my uncle Frank's porno magazines and Grandma standing out by the trash barrel trying to burn them while bits of pictures of tits and asses flew about and I recall Grandma saying, "Hell fire! Damned thangs won't even burn!" LMAO! Grandma was FASCINATED withy television and I recall watching all about the Vietnam War and Watergate with her. She loved President Nixon and every time something was said during the hearings that Grandma didn't like, she would mumble, "Ahh, shit!" and then cover her mouth and sheepishly look at us kids. On Sundays Grandma went to church with us and then all daddy's sisters, brothers and the grandchildren would gather at Grandma's for Sunday Dinner which was the noon meal. They had breakfast, dinner and supper. I recall that Grandma wouldn't eat until she saw that everyone had eaten what they wanted. She would tell us she wasn't hungry because she had nibbled while cooking, but as an adult I now know that she waited until everyone was fed before she ate because she wanted to make sure there was enough food to go around. My Grandma spent her entire life raising siblings, children, neices, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and taking care of people. I can only wish to be half the woman she was!

Jill Marshall Did I mention we also had peach trees?? LOL·

Debra LeCompte Isn't it funny how one look and I knew this house had a story...

Debra LeCompte Those are just the flowers I would have thought of... heck, that house doesn't have a "story" It has a book! Thank you so much for sharing that.... do you have a picture of your grand mother I can use to work from to put her in the painting somewhere? And more views of the house I can use to work from?