The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild
Published 1:55 pm Sunday, March 19, 2023
An Irish Tale, Part III
By Julie Terry Cartner
Sighing, Maureen watched her daughter, Meghan, skip happily to the shoreline, to the lapping waves that she knew should be Meggie’s home. She knew; she’d always known, Meggie was not her child, at least in the legally, genetic way. That wild red hair, those precious freckles, and those sea-blue eyes defined her heritage, and it was, in no way, kin to Maureen.
Seeing her own chestnut-haired, green-eyed reflection in the window, she allowed the memory to return. To the minute, she could say when her world…here she hesitated. In a way, it was the day her world ended, but, in another way, that wasn’t exactly true. Shifted might be a better word. Yes, the day her world had shifted. As a daughter of Ireland, Maureen had known all the legends, all the folklore, so when she’d put her ivory skinned baby girl in the bassinet one night, then picked up a freckle-faced infant four hours later, she’d known. This wasn’t her baby; this was a changeling.
In the wee hours of a Sunday morning, alone in the darkness, she’d wept, even as she’d cradled the innocent one in her arms and provided nourishment from her body. For it wasn’t the babe’s fault; she was a victim, the innocent one. As Maureen fed, then changed the baby’s diaper, she’d looked carefully, and though changelings are often unhealthy, usually the reason for a switch, this babe looked fine, and, judging from her lusty cries as she demanded food, healthy.
Maureen had wondered, and finally decided that there was probably more to the story than she might ever know. It could be the baby was stolen from her faerie mother, possibly as a form of punishment, or revenge, envy or even treason. It could be that she, herself, was being punished by the faeries. Perhaps the death of her husband at sea was only the first punitive act for some action he’d taken against the faeries. She doubted she’d ever know. What she did know is that she’d lost a child and gained a child, and it was up to her to determine how she would handle this.
Looking into the babe’s ocean-blue eyes and seeing only the vulnerability of the innocent, Maureen vowed to raise the child as her own, with all the love and devotion a mother could give, the love and devotion that she’d promised her own child, hoping only that another mother out there was making the same pledge to her daughter. And so, she had. She’d delighted in all the firsts: rolling over, sitting up, tentative, wobbly steps, and like all first-time moms feel and mourn, the lightning-fast progression from infant to child, from cautious steps to running, skipping, and climbing, and, in Meggie’s case, to slipping into the sea and swimming like a fish.
Knowing her child’s true heritage, Maureen ensured Meggie learned to swim, almost before she could walk. Understanding the lure of Ireland’s Galway Bay, the beckoning of the ocean beyond, this intrinsic pull would be more than her Meggie would be able to resist.
Now, as Maureen scanned the shore to check on Meggie, her breath caught in her throat. Ripping off her apron and flinging it aside, she ran through the door and down the path, thinking she’d seen Meggie’s small body in the water. Even as she ran, though, her eyes remained trained on the beach, and it took a moment to realize that Meggie was safe on the shore.
Thought after thought chased through Maureen’s brain like a slideshow in fast motion as her brain computed what her eyes were telling her. Her Meggie was on the shore, feet flirting with the waves, but unless she’d missed her guess, her true daughter, Meghan or whatever she was called now, was in the water, the two girls, the all-but-sisters, meeting for the first time.
With a lump in her throat the size of the Blarney Stone, Maureen could only fearfully wonder, was Meghan stealing Meggie away, or was Meghan coming to meet her true mother? (To be continued…)
By Marie Craig
The Davie County Historical and Genealogical Society began about 1987. This was the first year of their publication, Davie Dossier. In these thirty-six years, 133 newsletters have been published so far. I have been editor since 2009, and it has been my pleasure to highlight interesting information about our county. These newsletters and an index are online at https://www.daviecountync.gov/1162/Local-History-and-Genealogy. Topics have ranged from Civil War letters to the first TV in the 50s in our county.
Since all the Davie newspapers are online at this same link above, research has yielded some interesting subjects. Vintage photographs are so special to see and study. The Dossier of October 2016 describes the various techniques of taking pictures, caring for them, and sharing with your family. Methods through the years were tintype, cabinet cards, carte de vista, etc. Knowing the type can help date the photo. Other topics featured in newsletters are churches, cemeteries, and family Bibles.
In closely studying the population schedules of the census for 1840, 1850, and 1860, I discovered that there were almost 100 free black persons in our county in each of these years. The January issue in 2018 lists the names of these free persons. Some of them were still living with white families, but most were independent families.
A recent issue is devoted to ancient ways of crossing Davie creeks and the Yadkin River. A 1941 business directory in the October 2019 issue lists the stores and companies in Davie County. The first courthouse in Mocksville is described in the October 2013 newsletter.
Tours have been a part of the past history of the group. On Saturday, May 6, at Daniel Boone Festival on the square, van tours will be offered to see the many historic places in our county.
Meetings are held the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m. in the History Room of Davie County Public Library. Sample topics are reviews of new books by the author, discussion of county projects, watching 1940 films taken by H. Lee Waters, history of monuments, and demonstration of techniques of research. The next meeting is Thursday, March 23 and the speaker will be Randell Jones who has researched and written 12 books about North Carolina history: Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket, the Revolutionary War, and others. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and possibly join our society.
By Gaye Hoots
Memories of my parents and their parents tumble through my mind frequently. Listening to the twins describe the activities of their outdoor camp brought me back to the home overlooking the Yadkin River at the end of Peoples’ Creek Road. We lived with Grandpa and Grandma Hoots until I was six years old. I remember Grandpa filling the washtub with water to warm in the sun to make a pool for me. He placed it where the shadow of the eve of the house covered it by the time the water warmed. He made me an Indian teepee, made and taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow, carved wooden knives, and made tom walkers from old tin cans and rope. Grandpa taught me to ride a bike and played various games with me.
I wasn’t interested in indoor activities, but grandma did make me a version of her snuff from cocoa and sugar, which she put in an old Tube Rose can, and she made a brush from a sweetgum tree. She had an old Singer sewing machine that fascinated me too.
My mother’s family was the one to celebrate Christmas and holidays. The family celebrated with delicious meals, presents, and cousins galore. Both sets of grandparents lived on working farms with various animals.
My grandparents provided encouragement and support for all their grandchildren as long as they lived. They never used physical discipline with us as they had their own children. and I gave them ample opportunity to exercise it.
My parents encouraged an excellent work ethic, expected good grades, and tried to keep us on the straight and narrow. Mother accompanied us to church each Sunday and lived by the rulebook. There were no gray areas to her, only black or white. Her family attended a Friends church, and she led a protected life with five brothers to watch out for her.
My dad had a good sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at myself instead of crying has served me well. I provide for and guide my children, grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter the way I was taught, and each year passes faster than the one before.
In March, my great-granddaughter will be seventeen years old, the same age I was when I married. All four generations attended Shady Grove School. All my great grandparents were taken before I was born, but my mother and her mother lived to see a fifth generation born.
When I spend time on Facebook, I look at schoolmates who now have grandchildren and often great-grandchildren. I can remember many of our school experiences as if they were yesterday. Many of my friendships date back to first grade, over seventy years ago. The time I spend with family and friends is always a blessing, as is each new one.
Our high school class is planning our sixty-year reunion this year, and due to those who have provided a place to gather and kept communication open, we have maintained a strong bond. I will be seventy-eight in July, but I still feel like the same kid I was in school. We may be wiser and older, but I unsure about myself, as I still have my father’s sense of humor.
By Denise Bell
The bees are getting busy these warm sunny days. They buzz about from the buttery, yellow daffodils over to the bountiful blooms of the fruit trees. A plethora of colors and fragrances for both the bee and me.
As I watch these lively little drones, I wonder how “busy” they really are. One yellow and black creature that I observe doesn’t look that busy. I notice that this little one is stopping here and there. Not pollinating. Not working. He is just there. Thinking maybe? Putting new items on his list? Like “don’t forget to pollinate the daisies? Did he stop to smell the roses?
I think I am busy as a bee sometimes, feeling overwhelmed by the things I need to give my attention to. The lists keep getting longer, it seems. Perhaps this is bee is sending a message to slow down and be like the bee. Busy but making time to observe all the beauty around me. How fortunate I am to be in such a beautiful place. How lovely the gardens look after I finish tending them. reminding me to make sure to spend a moment to appreciate the fruits of my labor.
I will try to schedule these moments into my days. Especially when I spend time working at the computer. What a great reward this could be for clearing up that pile of stuff that keeps accumulating on the end of my counter. I have been shuffling around it for weeks.
I made a goal to trade a task scratched off my list for a short respite. Enjoy the garden, talk to the neighbors. Enjoy a short walk through the woods, paying attention to the sounds surrounding you. Listen for the wind.
Today I stopped my work to go out and pick a bouquet. The bouquet is at my desk, and the wonderful aroma of the blooms fills the room. There is a great smile on my face as I get back to my work. I am as busy as a bee!
Happiest of spring to come!