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My Labor Day

When I first started writing a few years ago, I did it to make myself aware of my many blessings. I was struggling with depression and anxiety and was trying to get myself out of this pitiful mindset. So, I wrote everything good that I did one day and posted it to social media. Much to my surprise, people began commenting how they loved my “story”. I didn’t write a story. I wrote everything that I did that day. I just wrote down my daily life happenings. But then I got to thinking; this is a story. It’s my story. My life is my story. I have a story and great one at that. So, since that time I’ve made it habit to write down many of my life events or even just everyday life. The following paragraphs are ones that I wrote a few years ago and even now this memory is still one of my favorites.


My Labor Day was nice. Well...actually, it was great. How could it not be?  Although I was busy working all day Friday and Saturday, on Sunday was the beginning of two of the best days I've ever had. On Sunday afternoon we headed to Mamaw and Papaw's house. We all sat down to Sunday dinner, which consisted of Meatloaf, BBQ (smoked by Dad the night before), Soup beans and Mamaw's homemade sourdough bread and yeast bread, washed down with sweet tea. We sat around and talked, while we drank our coffee out of Mamaw's Blue Ridge cups. When the time came, we all drove down the road and walked up a hill for a graveside decoration service at one of the most picturesque spots I've ever seen. We prayed, we sang and remembered. We had fellowship, shook hands and hugged necks. Then we headed home,to Mamaw and Papaw's.

Since it was Sunday afternoon, we all laid around napping, drinking coffee and eating Mamaw's pound cake, playing with Hope, telling stories and laughing, and of course watching The Andy Griffith Show. We warmed up our leftovers of meatloaf and BBQ and I made creamed corn to stretch the meal.  We ate. We talked.  We saw a beautiful sky after the rainstorm.

We enjoyed ourselves so much we just couldn’t go home. So, all 8 of us, piled up into the beds and the couches for the night. The little ones were so excited, they couldn't hardly stand it and though I fell asleep two minutes after my head hit the pillow, I can still remember the nights when I was young and spending the night with Mamaw and Papaw. It would take me for what seemed like forever to fall to sleep, because I was so excited, and I loved listening to the distant train whistle. I would wake up at 2 am, then 3 am, then 4 am and 5am, sneaking to the window to see if it was light out and would worry myself silly, afraid that I would miss the chance to make breakfast with Papaw and Mamaw. Finally, 6 o'clock would roll around after the longest night of my life, the sky would began to turn grey, and I could begin to see the outlines of the trees, so I would hop out of bed, put on my clothes and sit in a dark Living Room watching Fox news until Mamaw and Papaw actually got up.

But this morning I slept in a little. The kids however jumped out of bed ready to get started with the day. It was almost, scratch that, it was impossible to keep the boys quiet until 8:30. Finally, everyone was up and around making breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, hot blueberry jam, biscuits and gravy. We discovered we were out of milk, so the boys and I hopped on the side-by-side Mule and rode to Mamaw Atlas' to borrow some. Riding down the gravel rode with the fog still low, made the morning seem so peaceful.

Together we sat at the table, Grandparents, Parents and kids, the way we so often do, feasting on one of the best meals that can be made. We took our morning slow, cleaning up the dishes and listening to bluegrass. When the sun was warming everything up and shining straight into the holler, Haven, Heidi and I rode down to the river. We walked, sat on the "big rock", talked and reminisced, felt the sun, listened to the river and studied the mountains. We got a little sad remembering the old times and we knew these moments of us being young and living together were numbered, Heidi wanted a picture with Haven to remember this moment by.

We rode down to Papaw's river shack and got in the river and waded. Skipping rocks and laughing like a bunch of little kids. Feeling hot, we went back to the house and loaded everyone up to go to Griffith's Store for a glass bottle drink and some candy. It’s always refreshing to walk into a country store and hear people say,

"Hey Chad!"

"Hey Hannah!"

"Look how them youngun's have grown"

"Nice day ain't it?"

"Don't go home, stay awhile longer"

We would stay if we could, but headed back to the house. We took the long the way back and took the side roads to look at the country. Upon our return Mamaw had made us soup, cornbread and gritty bread for dinner. Today was my first experience with gritty bread and I must say, I think I have a new favorite.

Today and Yesterday was filled with darn good times. River, mountains and family made it a memorable time. While at Griffiths store, I noticed a Case knife sign that said "Made to last more than a lifetime". Though it’s an advertisement for a brand of knives, it made me stop and think. I know that the memory of this day, these stories, my story, my heritage and even some of my belongings will last more than a lifetime, because generations before knew how important these things are and it out lasted their lifetimes. And now that I know how important they are, by God's grace they'll last more than my lifetime.

Hannah Hensley


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