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Scarlet Rose Mallow and One Dark Night

By Sharon
September 1, 2015

It started like this: She leaned over with her hand cupped around her mouth, and with her soft low voice against my ear, she whispered: "Wear yore darkest clothes, chile, an' meet me right here jus' 'fore dark. We're gonna git some rose maller seeds." "Aunt Bett, marshmalla seeds? Marshmallas don't . . . " That hand clamped itself over my mouth before I could say another word or even take a breath. Her next whisper was a little louder: "Hush yore mouth, chile, ya cain't grab seeds if ya cain't keep quiet!" The night got worse before it got better.

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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
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threegardeners
Aug 31, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Thank You!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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mellielong
Aug 31, 2015 7:13 PM CST
My dad is from Lincoln County, WV and before that the Longs lived in Johnson County, KY. We left Virginia for KY during the Civil War. I do genealogy and I love to read your stories and imagine my ancestors using the same plants and having wonderful adventures like you describe. What a treasure it is that you have these experiences and memories and we are truly blessed that you share them with us. Thank You!
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 31, 2015 7:31 PM CST
You do remember, don't you, that Johnson County is very near Letcher County where I grew up. Paintsville is the main little town there and it is very similar to my home area. Most of our ancestors had to have the same knowledge of plants in order to survive and I suppose the little ones enjoyed learning just as I did. I was lucky in that my older relatives usually made the learning fun.

Thank you, Mellie. It's always good to hear from you.
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
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mellielong
Aug 31, 2015 7:39 PM CST
I have been in the great town of Paintsville. In fact, they're hosting the Eastern KY Genealogy Conference this year. It rotates; last year it was in Louisa. My 3rd great-grandpa, Joel Long, fell ill one winter during the Civil War and went to the home of his father-in-law, Cornelius Vanover, who was an herb doctor. I imagine he used a lot of the same plants you talk about. I only wish I knew the kind of stories you do. Those are the kinds of memories and experiences that are truly priceless.
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 31, 2015 7:53 PM CST
I guess you have to have lived the stories as I did before you can remember them. My real problem is that I don't remember if it was Aunt Bett or my Granny Ninna who was the major character sometimes. They were a lot alike in how they taught me, so I guess it really doesn't matter. Plus they both used plants for medicines and both were good friends and lived close together. Ninna was a softer version of Aunt Bett. Aunt Bett lived on the main road (tiny road) and Ninna lived up in the holler, so more people came to Aunt Bett because her house came first. I mostly got in trouble with Aunt Bett, Ninna put up with a lot more of my antics.

Too it helps that in about the 4th grade, somebody gave me a little diary for my birthday. I started writing everything in it then, including my trips up the mountain with my ladies. I have dozens of those little diaries stored in my attic. I drag one out from time to time when I want to remember them again. Or, when I want to write about something. They are well worn and ragged by now. Smiling

I hope you are going to that conference in Paintsville.
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
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mellielong
Aug 31, 2015 7:59 PM CST
I don't know if we're going to make it this year. Mom just had her knee replaced and Dad's been getting tested from head to toe because he's been sick for a while. I was glad we went last year because they did a talk about Jenny Wiley, my 5th great-grandmother, and Kentucky folk hero. This year none of the topics are really tempting me, but I'd like to go anyway.
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 31, 2015 8:00 PM CST
I do hope you get to go.
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 31, 2015 8:26 PM CST
As always dear lady you have given us an entertaining as well as educational read. Thank you.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Aug 31, 2015 8:33 PM CST
Thank you, Anni, my friend. As I told somebody else earlier, it's so good to write again!
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 31, 2015 8:46 PM CST
nodding nodding
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 31, 2015 9:12 PM CST
Have missed your stories. 'Always with a lesson! Hope you're compiling them into a book for your grands.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Aug 31, 2015 9:16 PM CST
Thanks Sandi!! . . . Working on it. Smiling
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Sep 1, 2015 3:40 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing laughing at the shotgun turning into a cane - Nice save Green Grin! What a great and wonderful story Sharon. Thank you so much!

We are ALL happy to see you writing again Hurray! Hurray!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 1, 2015 9:46 AM CST
Sharon, there aren't enough words to describe how much I love your stories! If they were compiled into a series of books, I'd certainly buy them! Your stories always make me smile. Lovey dubby
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
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mellielong
Sep 1, 2015 10:02 AM CST
That's what I told her, Lin! Thumbs up
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Sep 1, 2015 10:09 AM CST
And your comments always make me smile, too.
Thank you. It's such a treat when I read encouraging words. Group hug
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Sep 1, 2015 6:16 PM CST
What a great story!! Thumbs up
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
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Sharon
Sep 1, 2015 6:21 PM CST
Thanks, Rita!
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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Sep 2, 2015 4:46 AM CST
It certainly would seem that there was some shenanigans going on with those two aunts. What an ingenious way to get you to remember the cure for fever Hilarious!

Really enjoyed reading this and I too am glad you are writing again, Sharon!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Sep 2, 2015 10:29 AM CST
Thanks Vickie!! Yep, the fingers are fairly flying again over the keyboard. It's a good feeling.

As for the teaching they did, well, it worked better than any classroom lessons. And Aunt Cory wasn't really a relative, but calling an older acquaintance 'Aunt' or 'Uncle' was allowed because it was a term of affection. Good people, they all were, and always there when they were needed. It's a little different now, but I love going back home.
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