Monday, August 23, 2010

Belling

Some terms my children and grandchildren will not understand. They are words of another generation, memories from the farm. History rich with the life and times of a family lies there waiting for the child to ask. Perhaps I am the child who is finally curious enough.

A childhood friend found me on Facebook a few weeks ago. We lost touch in our teens and haven't seen one another since, yet she was a big part of my growing up years. Mary Kay was a church friend. Her older siblings were the age of my sisters. As it happens on Neff Road, they were a part of our 'family'. A family of Painter Creek Church.

Yesterday I had my morning chat with my sisters....a precious time for this sister who lives on the left coast. I told my oldest sister that I had found my old friend. That's all it took to bring on the memories.

"I was just thinking about them," she said. Ah, another telepathic moment.

A conversation of "what was her name?" and "do you remember?" began drawing us back in time and closer to the ties to our past. Yes, this family had been a big part of our growing up. Peg's memories were different than mine since I am ten years her junior. Yet there were memories she related that tugged at mine.

"Do you remember when Ruth got married? Mom and Dad took us to the belling?" she asked.

Belling. Now there's a word we don't use any more.

"Everyone sneaked over to their house and banged pots and pans together. Can you  imagine just getting married and a bunch of people come over and bang pans?"

Somewhere in my cluttered mind, I found a memory. At that time, I was just a little girl, but vaguely, I remember standing in the dark with my parents when a group of silly adults began the noise making. The bride and groom greeted the dear friends with contagious laughter. I remembered it as if it were a dream.....a whisper of memory. Yet this little curly topped girl was there.

Belling. An old ritual now forgotten. A word not obsolete. A time that was innocent. A life that was hard but knew how to celebrate the simple things. A community that was called 'family'.

I guess that barn-raising is another one of those words. Maybe someday they will be considered organic and once more in style. I'm ready.

4 comments:

Janet said...

Yes, I remember belling, in fact, we were "belled". Something I haven't thought of for many a year. Thanks for bringing back that memory.....and it was on Neff Road, too!

Pamela Loxley Drake said...

Janet, I hope there are still people belling newlyweds. Evidently, I didn't hear the noise when they belled my new neighbors on Neff Road.

Barbara McDowell Whitt said...

In our neck of the woods in Iowa it was called a chivaree. I, too, remember the banging of the pots and pans. I thought it was one of the silliest things I had ever seen.

Barbara McDowell Whitt said...

In our neck of the woods in Iowa they were called a chivaree. I, too, remember the banging of the pots and pans. I thought it was one of the silliest things I had ever seen.