A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 49: Back Home in old Kentucky

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

It’s odd how once routine sets in you can spend a good chunk of your day simply doing chores necessary to keep you alive. You spend that time aware and focused but a certain part of your mind is off working on other things, I’ve had some of my best and most creative ideas come to me while focusing on something completely unrelated. I suppose it’s a human trait and my guess is that it’s brought on by the left brain/right brain thing; but what do I know? That’s just my guess.

Today I was fussing over winter in the back of my mind. I grew up in cold country and I knew that the onset of spring simply meant that winter was coming and coming sooner than you wanted. I also needed to get to a trading post and figure out how this new world of mine worked. I had a list of items we’d need building in my head and I knew that without overland roads we’d have to figure how to move things up and down the river. Basically light-hearted thoughts all “butterfly’s and sunshine”.

As we sat down to supper I made a point of mentioning that we need to build a new table pretty soon as we couldn’t all sit together to eat. Holder mentioned that he’d watched people do that and all you really needed was a good planer. Well the problem was I didn’t have any planers the closest thing I had was a draw knife, but if he could get us to that stage we could take turns until we got a semi-smooth table top. I immediately added a good planer to my mental shopping list. The list was growing out of control and the problem was I’d have to be the one to go to the trading post as soon as the spring waters started to recede.

Holder was about to tell his tale, I offered him a glass of whiskey which he accepted and gave him the speakers seat at the fire. The speakers seat was the place where the story teller got to sit, it wasn’t overly special but it was on the opposite end of the fire from me and had become a place of honor for the story teller to sit.

Everyone was gathered around in their respective seats. Both kids flanked Matilda on my right and Michelle and then Sonya sat on my left, that’s just how it developed. I had a whiskey and a beer and everyone else had hot chocolate Sonya had made on that chilly spring evening. Everyone settled down finally and I lit a cigarette wondering how much longer until I had to switch to the pipe.

Holder started his story.

Holder started, “I lived up in hills from a town called Harrodsburg over in Kentucky.

“It was a place my grandaddy had laid stake to just after the war, his name was Thomas O’Connell. We had a pretty good homestead built with five different houses and three barns, wasn’t too far from the Kentucky river and the nearest town was Harrodsburg. Although we only called it a town because it had a trading store and a church, we used to go down to church once a month when we did our shopping.

“I had four brothers and three sisters and me being the middle boy I decided once I came 17 it was time to leave. I hired on to a river boat running supplies up and down the Kentucky, it didn’t pay much but they fed me and got me all the way to Louisville. In Louisville I signed on to a boat heading down to New Orleans and finally got to see me a big city.

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