The older brother knows what he is looking for. It must have the right taper, along with a full bough and a strong, pointed-just-right spire that will hold the star that has topped-off their Christmas trees for as long as he can remember.
He sat whittling in the cool air of an early October morning. Although the sky was a brilliant blue, the sun overhead did little to dispell the fall "nip" in the air. The story, much like the man, was simple, direct and unhurried.
The scene was ordinary in a mountain home years ago: beans and peppers drying in long strings against the cabin wall, a crock of bleached apples, tightly covered in a cool corner, and the springhouse, with crocks of pickled vegetables against its dampened earth.
LOURA BRADSHAD in the blue stripe dress shown here with her husband and their family. What follows is a letter written by Loura Bradshaw. She le...