Stories for and by our Visitors

If you have any stories (real or fictional) you would like to add, please forward them to Rhonda Stolte Darnell
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Following are short stories by Audrey Jones. Those of us who grew up exploring life in the country will recognize her adventures.

My Journey

Sneaking through brush, ticks, snakes, and maybe some critters that would resemble a croc, I trudged on.  With my trusty slingshot and a wing and a prayer I seek out the truth of what's really there.

Ready at any moment for a surprise attack, (mosquitoes, ticks, wasps, honey bees, hornets, and those very large yellow jackets), but yet I brave the elements and the falliní leaves. I could use a sip of grandpap's homemade brew. Grandpap always said it's great for bravery in the line of fire.  Aww heck - too young.

Further on with my task I trudge. I stop and ask why am I here? Why do I risk life and limb and nose to be here? Why? Because of curiosity! Crunch, I hear something I turn swiftly and there it was the worse critter of them all, especially when you're a barefooted kid.  Yep it's the local neighborhood friendly but not so friendly GANDER ready to pounce your rear with a great big pinch. He's worse than a Billy goat for you have time to run when you see Billy a cominí.  This goose is sneaky, he's quick, and he's mean.

Whew! He turned and went the other way. Further on with my task I go.  Ewwwwww the smell is getting worse, but I have to seek the truth! It's eye watering sometimes but you have to do what you have to do. The flies are dive-bombing me like the bombs over Baghdad.  I turn the corner and there I am, no worse for wear. I see what I figured, nothing, I'd saw no crocs (darn it), no snakes (luckily), no critter that will harm me, but the thorns and rocks are enough to make you turn back.  My journey is at its end and the truth has been found.    What is really out behind the Out House??



Once upon a time around the 1st or 2nd autumn week of October. Oops this isn't a fairy tale it's the God's honest truth! For I lived it each year until my high school days. 

Once upon a time, oh i already said that part. There stood a pile of wood, a copper kettle, a huge wooden paddle stick, jars & lids, an apple peeling machine, quite a few basket of apples, Uncle Simm, Aunt Esther, Uncle Henry, and Aunt Jolene. They were the apple peeler supervisors! And all the large family gathering to complete the task of apple butter makin'. No kid peeled apples because of the sharp blades of all the knives and the machine but the kids were in charge of all the garbage and washing the apples. 

This was almost as much fun as the holidays at least for the kids. This gathering consisted of 3 sisters and 4 brothers and all their families. This was their time to gather to work together, to reminisce of days gone by. The kids got to horse around with cousins they hadn't seen since the year before. This was a weekend full of activities. 

The weekend began on Friday night when all gathered to peel all the baskets of apples. Usually it was the adults sittin' around laughin' and carryin' on about events that happened since they were all together. This took most of the night and early morning. By 6:00a.m. breakfast was served to those up and ready to go to work and for those ones with one eye open the coffee was hot and strong. 

The men's job was to keep the fire going and stir the pot now and then. They took up the slack when the kids got tired of helpin'. The women did the ingredients and spices and placed the apples in the pot. They also had the big task of cookin' lunch for all of those involved with the day's activities and those who came along during the day. Lunch consisted of Aunt Esther's homemade chili. But supper became an event all it's own. 

Once the apples and spices were put into the kettle and the fire roaring and ready, the stirrin' began. Each kid took their turn then after the last one the turns were began over again until the pot had been stirred till lunch time. When lunchtime was over the men and women took over the stirrin' so the butter wouldn't burn. A kid now and then would drop bye and take his or her turn movin' the paddle. Otherwise it was the kids' time to hang out at the creek or play in the huge barn loft. 

The adults worked the butter until the right consistency and then it would be removed from the fire and put into jars and sealed. While all the women worked to jar the apple butter the men would get this big wooden hay wagon ready with hay bales and the tractor full of gas. 

Just before the big event of supper which consisted of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire left from the day's activity. There would be a load of kids and adults heading out for the first loaded hay ride. Through fields, around the corners on dirt roads and finally the long journey home past the old country church. When the first load returned from their trip they would roast their supper. While the second load would join in the hay ridin' fun. In between loads there was always someone roasting over the open fire. On every trip Uncle Simm played the fiddle and Uncle Henry played his guitar. Songs were sung and the little country side had the ringing of voices having a joyous time. Old Kerosene lanterns lit the wagon up like a Christmas tree. So if you couldn't see us comin' you could surely hear us comin'.

Every trip past the old country church a hymn had to be sung especially if Aunt Esther and Aunt Jolene were in the wagon. And it seemed to me Aunt Esther never did give up her spot right behind the tractor. I always swore it was her time to preach to the rest of us makin' us sing our praises to Jesus when we passed that church. Not a bad thing mind you we probably needed all the preachin' we could get. 

After all the rides were over it was gettin' late and the sweetness to the end of the day at the open fire was that it was time to make s'mores or better yet we would get to have the best treat of all and that was a big slice of hot homemade bread with fresh apple butter on it. My all time favorite! 

It was gettin' very late and all the kids were very tired and sleepin' away. This gave the siblings time to really catch up on the past with mom and dad who passed on years before. To relive their childhood together as a family over on open fire. In the process of all this, they themselves created memories for all of us youngins sound asleep. 

All the above an unforgettable time never lost or forgotten. 

Thanks to all of us who remember!!



Way back in the late 1990's I decided to tour the world, except my world was two miles or more up!! My friend and I decided to visit Quincy Illinois on a Wed afternoon. She being a fun loving joy rider and a skydiver decided this here ole farm hick hillbilly needed to see something different. 

We arrived at the Quincy airport and went to the skydivers gate. She registered and I did too. But while sittin' there I saw parachutes I could swear there were millions of them in the sky all at once. Each and everyone of them had their own spot in the sky and their own spot landing.. HOW DO THEY DO THAT??? My friend proceeded to explain some fundamentals but that's too complicated for ole Lil.. So we moved on and drove right up to where her other jumping friends were. Got my cooler out and lawn chair and I preceded to sit myself firmly on the ground.. We was sittin' there chattin' with some other jumpers and all of a sudden it happened again, millions of parachutes in the sky at once.. HOW DO THEY DO THAT???? I watched them they make it look so darn easy! My friend was busy talking to someone about her going up and doing this stuff, and all of a sudden this shadow caught my eye and right there he was - a skydiver. Whoose and he landed not ten feet in front of me and my chair... HOW DO THEY DO THAT?????? 

Ok I made it through that one. Oh no another load dumped and millions out again. Some flew overhead but not sooo close.. Then it happened again, four shadows went by and I looked up OH MY GOD right over me was four men NAKED and they were flying through the area in which I was sittin'.. NO WAY!! These idiots are NAKED!! My friend started laughing, I would of too but they were NAKED, not one stitch of clothes on, not one of them! On top of it all they were healthy old men no nice young good looking ones which I think I could of enjoyed more, but they were NAKED!! PLEASE HELP ME LORD THIS ISN'T THE FARM!!!

I sat there longer this time some idiot was flying a helicopter with people in it and he was no higher than the tops of the corn fields.. people hanging out of that 'copter and they were enjoying the ride. NO WAY!! NOT ME!! My feet are planted firmly right here in my chair on this here ground! 

My friend left for awhile, I just sat there watching jumpers thank GOD they had their clothes on.. But some were almost none on.. There was this one her hair long past her rear end. She had a tan we all would die for and her bathing (thong) suit was nude color almost the same as her tan, so it made her look like she had nothing on from the rear, but you could clearly see from the front she did have clothes.. I know my dental floss was wider than that suit was.. of course she was seen all over the place walking around all day long.. 

Then it happened I looked up and saw a parachute with holes in it round, AND THEY WERE landing on a pizza pan size mat. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?? But I did notice that these jumpers were coming straight down slowly as to land on that there matt.. My friend said it was called accuracy jumping and they were competing.. Well that was very interesting to watch.. 

My friend decided it was time for lunch ok no biggie.. We went to a place called Fast Eddy's Don't know who that is but the food was yucky. So we dropped by the TCBY booth and ate yogurt and so back to the chair.. 

My friend said she was going to jump out of a Casa.. What?? She also said I was going to jump too. I said you are nuts!! NO WAY!! For I ain't leavin' this chair.. She said I was going to jump with someone who would be doing all the work and I would be just going along for the ride.. Plus she didn't want to jump with me just sittin' here, I said why not I don't mind... She said I'm paying for it so you ARE doing it.. Its our adventure of a lifetime together.. Oh heck jumping from my bed to the floor is an adventure I don't need this to thrill me.. 

Ok so what happened?? I went for this here jump, went through the instructions just fine.. THAT'S EASY WE ARE STILL ON THE GROUND!! But signing your rights away on some paper don't sound too good of an idea.. But this here woman was nice and sweet and she said I would be just fine. That's her talking for she's still on the ground.. Ok so here I am gearing up for the jump. My friend is standing there in her gear ready to go. Now we are walking to the plane they call a Casa , I call it an airplane with a fat rear end. We board the plane and sit in lines ready to go up.. It leaves the ground and my stomach didn't. 
My heart is pumping and my brain ain't functioning. 

the plane is ready so I put my goggles on, my heart is pumping but my brain is not functioning, my friend is grinning now is this a happy grin or a fearful one? I cant tell so I just stick my tongue out at her, now this was not fear on my part, I really meant my meaning... we turn towards the door and then it happened,,,,,,,,, the two other couples jumping the way I was jumping were NAKED!! I mean no clothes at all OUCH!! For I know how this here harness feels with clothes on and I mean OUCH BIG TIME!! All I could do was shake my head. We walk towards a big opening in the plane no it's not a hole it's suppose to be there it's the rear end of this here Casa thingy I'm flying in,,,,,,,,,ooops I WAS flying in, we just left that plane behind.... 

Man it's windy, I was told I was falling over 120MPH, I couldn't tell for my eyes were shut.. then I felt a jolt - no we weren't on the ground yet, the parachute opened.. WHEW! I AM A HAPPY CAMPER NOW!! Wow this parachute flying is quiet, calming, NO WAY it's calming.. But it really is. It's beautiful up here, I'm flying without a plane! WOW! 

I see my friend she's below me, that's neat.. I can see the airport, I now can see the tents, I can see all the planes, boy that jet they are jumping out of looks small from up here. My instructor is flying the chute and I'm lookin' around. By the way my instructor's name is 'Bandana" why? he wears them around his neck all the time. He's an exotic dancer, MAN, he can dance on my table anytime.. Why else would I get in an airplane and jump out of it if'n I wasn't with a looker!! Oh my he's single!! He's got muscles too! 
For the next ten minutes he's my man, at least until we land... 

He landed me right near where I suited up and that sweet girl was there to greet me.. If my legs become a part of the rest of me I could stand up. If'n my brain would just believe what I just did I could think better. Oh heck I'm not thinkin' or standin' good just another great reason for this here hunk to hold me up. And the best part of the jump was when "Bandana" lifted my feet off the ground in a great big hug. I must look really silly sittin' in my chair now,, for I'm wearing this here huge bug eyed grin.. It just wont wear off!! They say it was the jump that did it, I say it was being attached to a hunk like Bandana!! 

My friend is still my friend believe it or not and she enjoyed my jump just as much as I did.. Would I do it again?? Just have Bandana ask me that question! 

Wow I never forgot my trip to Quincy nor did I ever forget my flying adventure.. Did I do it again??? Ponder that one will ya?




© 2000-2016, Rhonda Stolte Darnell