Hey, Nell here. Well, first things first, I reckon. Zelly and me are sorry to not have kept up our commitment to writing here. Since we were here the last time, we’ve been tending our old dear Mother.
We always thought she was tough as old boots and she was. But her heart couldn’t stand up to all that has been going on, in the family and in the Old North State. She slowed down. Slower and slower. Staying in bed of a morning, only sipping a little coffee and not eating much at all.
She finally took to her bed and there she stayed for the last few months, getting smaller and smaller. I got a renter in at Auntie’s house and went back to the farm to keep things going.
There was many an evening when Mother would nod off early and me and Zell would set on the porch, talking quiet, telling the old stories of being young uns on the mountain. Our children came on the weekends when they could and, well, we just watched the old girl fade away.
Y’all may have read the obituary a couple of weeks ago. She was a pain in my butt and opinionated as all get out and stubborn as a church mule. But we miss her out here. Farm ain’t the same without her.
Me and Zell are wearing traditional mourning clothes for a few more weeks and we’re back on the porch, talking, singing, remembering. Chattering through the long evening hours like a pair of little old crows.
And tonight we was thinking we ought to start writing again here. We need to get ourselves out there again. Telling it like it is. Dogging that bunch of monkeys down in Raleigh.
It’s time we took the Old North State back from the folks hell bent on destroying her. We was talking tonight and we both reckon all this is what broke Mother Cray. We reckon she really died from a broken heart. And we ain’t aiming to follow her.
Heaven’s blessings attend her!
While we live, we will cherish, protect and defend her.
The Old North State forever!
The good old North State.