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My Old Kentucky Home
By Bill E. Branscum   ©2002

In January, 2001, we traveled to Kentucky to visit our family farm. It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and it's important to us as a place to escape, relax and keep in touch with who we are.

My family came to this Country circa 1735 when Richard Branscombe came from Branscombe England, a place that exists today. By 1805, we had relocated to Kentucky; to put that in historical perspective, Daniel Boone cut the Wilderness Road and established Boonesboro in 1775.

Click Pic to Enlarge
I don't suppose most people ever give it a thought, but I think it was a remarkable thing for people to pick up, leave civilization and set out to make a life - what you couldn't kill , grow or make, you did without. This is the relatively modern home where many of our family members were born and raised.
Dad built a new house several years ago just a few feet from the place where the old house stood. It's a big place with plenty of room for the family to all come visit. We always go for two weeks, twice a year.
Even in the winter, the place is beautiful.
As I suppose one might expect, nobody was keen on going anywhere without Luz, so we loaded up the Suburban a few days after Christmas, Dook snagged a pocket translator, and we headed north to celebrate Luz' 20th birthday - January 1, 2001.

The folks at home had heard about Luz, and everyone was anxious to meet her. If I had anticipated what she was going to be dealing with, I would have warned her in advance.

You see, my extended family is somewhat matriarchal - we have a number of devoutly religious, elderly women in my family and those ladies were very hopeful that Luz was any part of the person that my kids had been bragging her up to be. These ladies are "prayer warriors," and I have no doubt, that there had been some significant praying going on.

The first to meet Luz was my Aunt Ardith - my father's oldest sister. I'm a reasonably articulate guy, but I've no words to describe her, or what she's meant to my family.

Dook is named after her late husband. I should have known that she would be very interested in Luz.

Aunt Mallie

Aunt Mary

Aunt Nevada

My Great Aunts; Mallie, Mary and Nevada, are very special people who have meant a lot to all of us. Devoutly religious in a quiet, serious way, these ladies have lived it their entire lives. Strong, dependable and loving, they have been a wonderful example that few of us have met.

Luz took them like Grant took Richmond; they all agreed that God sent Luz to straighten things out.

I don't know, but if he didn't, he should have.

We waited thru much of our vacation hoping for snow, but mother nature did not see fit to oblige us. Finally one evening, the weather channel advised that we could expect snow the following day. Fortunately, my little guys didn't know how to read.

"Well boys and girls, I'm guessin' we don't have much choice if we're gonna have snow before we leave. I fear there's no way unless we can get Megan to do the snow dance."

My Meggie is pretty much up for anything - that blurry barefoot figure was dancing and spinning her little heart out by the light of the moon.

It was priceless.

The next morning, we all awoke to find the ground covered in snow. Megs was very full of herself and her new found talent. I would never have believed that anything could be funnier than her snow dance, but as we watched the snow fall, Ryan looked up from his breakfast and with genuine concern asked, "Megan, can you make it stop?"

Unfortunately, that caught me by surprise and a whole mouthful of hot coffee promptly shot forth out of my nose.

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit from my cousin Mike. Never known for conservative maturity, Mike can pretty much be counted on to make a way to have fun, although some of his ideas can be questionable.

Mike, Megan, Morgan, Jeremy
Dook & Ryan
Mike (the big kid on the left) is about 50, going on 15, and it occurred to him that it would be fun to tow the kids around behind his four wheel drive truck. Ryan and Mike saw eye-to-eye on that, and Ryan was the first to give it a try. Ryan did a great job holding on - until he didn't.
Luz and Megs gave it a try and they managed pretty well. Jeremy was knocked off the dish before he knew what happened, winning the prize for most spectacular fall, and Dook proved that he's hard headed by falling off and continuing to ride on his face.
Morgan, a young lady Mike brought along to meet the kids, put most of my guys to shame. I suspect that she had done this deal before.
Like most vacations, ours didn't last long enough and we finally had to head back to Florida. Two weeks just isn't quite enough, but it was fun and we all enjoyed it.
What, one might reasonably ask, did my parents think about Luz?
Go figure.

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