Picture of the day - August 22, 2005
The Cook Family Of Widener Valley, VA
Today's picture features my wife's family in a great photo that was taken in
1948. It includes her maternal grandparents, her parents, all nine of her
mother's brothers and sisters and a few others. The pretty little girl in the
lower right-hand corner is my beautiful wife - she was just two years old
Family pictures that include the entire family are rare, especially when the
family is so large, but the Cooks were always a very close-knit group.
"Granny" and "Granddaddy" Cook raised their children in a time
when large families were the norm. Everyone had work to do - even the youngest
kids helped gather eggs, work in the garden, or do whatever needed to be done.
Back then, only the very rich purchased all of their food items. With the
exception of staples like sugar, salt, and pepper, a family produced virtually everything
they ate themselves. After all, supermarkets as we know them today didn't exist
Granddaddy Cook would haul corn to DeBusk Mill in his horse and wagon, then return
home several hours later with freshly ground corn meal and buckwheat flour.
Vegetables came from the garden, fruits came from the orchard and meat came from
either the barnyard or the woods.
Springtime meant plowing and planting, summers were spent working in the garden
and tobacco patch, and autumn was harvest time - canning vegetables, making
apple butter, jellies and jams, curing meat...simply doing whatever was required
to help the family make it through the winter.
And winter wasn't a piece of cake either - cows had to be fed and milked each and
every day, hogs had to be "slopped", and tobacco had to be
"stripped" and "tied" in preparation for sale at the
warehouse. Firewood had to be cut and carried. Hunting wild game helped supplement the meat supply - it wasn't a
sport back then, it was a way to help feed a family.
On top of everything else, Granny and Granddaddy Cook also had the difficult
task of raising ten children and teaching them how they should live their lives.
They also took care of my wife (their first grandchild) just as if she was one of
their own children.
Granny and Granddaddy Cook's home and hearts were full of love, a fact that is clearly evident even
today, long after they went to be with the Lord. Without exception, my
wife's aunts and uncles are wonderful people. It's easy to see they were taught
to love and care for others, and they learned those lessons well.
I never knew Granny and Granddaddy Cook, but I know I will have the honor of
meeting them some day...and I love them dearly. I love them for
the legacy they left in their children...and for being so loving, kind and
generous to that beautiful little girl in the lower right-hand corner of today's
Picture Of The Day Homepage | Submit