Mother’s Day in the Lake of the Ozarks
May 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm
My grandma’s house today. No longer owned by the family, it’s been allowed to decay. She built it herself from solid stone with help from my uncles & cousins in 1940. In the old days, she grew glorious roses and strawberries sweet as jam.
My grandma’s house from the road. She’d get snowed in every winter and have her projects – weaving rugs, tooling leather, embroidering tapestries. I remember when she got running water and indoor toilet, then a telephone and finally TV.
I took a hiatus from The Black Scroll to fly/drive to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for Mother’s Day.
The Ozarks was the home of my Dad’s mother and many of my extended family. I used to spend the summers and school holidays there, roaming the woods, fishing and hunting with my cousins.
It was in the Ozarks that my imagination flourished. Lying on a warm boulder beside the lake on a hot summer day with dragonflies zooming round my ears, I’d imagine I was an Indian princess or a pioneer girl about to be kidnapped by a handsome brave.
Swinging in a hammock at my Aunt Jerry’s house, I devoured her romance novels with one man and two women – the angel and the not so angelic. Even then, I thought – why can’t a woman have two men?
My Mom and Dad. Ages 88 and 89. Married 66 years. On the deck of their house in the Lake of the Ozarks on Big Buffalo Creek. 47 miles to nearest Walmart & hospital. 20 miles to nearest town Cole Camp, population 1200.
You have to cross four of these fords to get to my parent’s place. If it rains hard, you wait til the water goes down. This is road WW. You get there first from B and then W. Those are paved roads. WW, the last 5 or so miles to my parents place, is dirt/gravel.
Entrance to the Eagle Club where we ate Mother’s Day Breakfast prepared by the menfolk. Note warning, “No firearms allowed.” But smoking was. No windows at all in the building. We gobbled down our scrambled eggs and sausage in a cloud of tobacco smoke.
Here’s where my mom and I drank coffee in the mornings and had our bourbon in the evenings. The strip of water you see in background is the Big Buffalo Branch of the Lake of the Ozarks. My parents own the land on this side of the water. One man owns all the land on the other. Can’t see the nearest neighbors.
Here’s my Dad on his new toy. He has cleared about 5 acres of forest around the house just with a chain saw. Will be 90 years old October 2014!
Big Buffalo Creek as it narrows from the Lake. The water can rush over the concrete slab ford in heavy weather, washing pickup trucks downstream. Note the clear water naturally purified by the gravel bed. You can drink right from the creek.
The roads never had names when I was a kid. About 10 years ago, streets signs appeared. This one is named for my family.
Buzzards looking for prey. I saw foxes, coyotes, deer, tortoises, rabbits, raccoon, wild turkeys, ducks, geese and many other species of birds including cardinals, my favorite. Heard the whip-o-will and owls at night.
My parent’s house from the road. The hardtop iced over last winter, and they had no power for 2 days. This is called Gore Hill, BTW 🙂
Entry filed under: Celebrations. Tags: Big Buffalo Creek, Cole Camp, Grandma's house, Lake of the Ozarks, Mother's Day.