This is an excerpt from Barbara Newcomb White`s recently published book, Our Love Journey. Barbara was born in Riverside, Albert Co., lived in Hopewell Hill in her childhood, and went to high school at Riverside Consolidated School. Her new book, Our Love Journey, is a memoir of her beginnings in Albert County before going to nations in six continents preaching the Gospel.
Summers in Hopewell Hill in my young years were filled with happy memories. Mom delighted in giving me birthday parties with all the trimmings. A hammock swinging at the side of the little green house added to the summer fun. My cousins Emeline, Alex, and Wilbur Metcalf, Treva Tingley, Hughie Woodworth, and Kenny Stevens were my closest friends. Emeline was old enough to be my babysitter. A favorite game of the cousins was Hide and Seek. One day I hid in an upper room in Great Grandpa's old barn where Wilbur locked me in. I panicked, shouted in fear, and was ready to throw myself out the window and land on a manure pile when the young pranksters came to my rescue.
The older cousins took me to the local swimming hole at the creek off the Memel Road. We walked the narrow gravel road, past Great Aunt Bell Woodworth's home, squeezed under the barbed wire fence, and skipped through the meadow as we tried to miss stepping on the thistles and "cow pies". At last, we arrived at the creek with its rustic wooden covered bridge overhead."
" My dad (George E Newcomb) planted vegetable gardens in the summer, followed by days of Mom canning the fresh produce for the winter months. Three summer delicacies of the region are samphire and goose tongue greens handpicked on the salty marshes of Albert County. These greens served with butter and a little vinegar is still a New Brunswick delicacy. The third is "Hodge Podge",made from the early garden produce─baby carrots, peas in the pod, new potatoes, green beans, and yellow beans―served with fresh cream and butter. My mouth waters even as I think about this gourmet fare."
"Great Grandpa, George Whitfield Newcomb, named after the famous English preacher George Whitfield, was a devout Methodist. One of his daughters, Great Aunt Ivah said of him, "His consistent life and kind disposition has always been an inspiration to me". He owned the local general store that housed the Hopewell Hill post office. Later on, Great Aunt Ivah ran the store when Great Grandpa was no longer able to work. The store seemed to sell anything anyone would need, from work boots and socks to bologna and cheese. When I opened the door the familiar smell of creosote wafted from the floorboards. Sometimes, but not often, we were indulged with treats from the many candy jars sitting on the counter.My sister and I loved to spend time with my great Aunt Nellie and great Uncle Austin Woodworth and our cousin Alden on their farm back in Woodworth Settlement. In her youth, Aunt Nellie had been a schoolteacher; she had a knack of telling the most interesting stories. I can visualize the little farmhouse with its particular aromas―from cow dung, the chicken coup, and the pigsty. Each time I walked through the back porch to the kitchen the loose floorboards squealed and clanked. I wondered why Uncle Austin never repaired the floor.
Eggs to gather from the chicken coup, apples to pick in the orchard, butter to churn, and picking wild raspberries were some of my warm memories. I also recall pumping water in the kitchen sink where everyone drank from the same dipper. Red geraniums in shiny tin cans lined up like sentries on duty in the living room windows. Sometimes I was given the privilege of playing the antique pump organ in the corner of the living room. Aunt Nellie was my Sunday school teacher at the local Pentecostal church and she narrated Bible stories in a way that kept your undivided attention."
Our Love Journey by Barbara J. White was released March 5, 2018 by Xulon Press. It is available on Amazon, Xulon Press, and Barnes and Noble.