Lady Slipper Cove

Always referred to as “The Farm” or “The Country” when I was growing up, I decided in recent years to call it “Lady Slipper Cove” because several years ago, I found lady slippers growing and blooming here. The picture of a pink lady slipper in the sidebar was taken on my farm in May, 2005. Because this is a favorite part of my world, I decided to name this website after it, in case you have been wondering where the name came from. This farm has been in my family since before the Civil War and has been divided many times among Moore descendants, and my portion today is 70 acres. My great-great grandfather settled here, and he was the grandson of Stephen Moore of Mt. Tirzah. See the Stephen Moore blog post. My mother, Sara, and her siblings (Alma, Jenny, Lula, and Bill) grew up in a log cabin on a site just to the east of the current frame house. The log cabin in this picture was built by my Uncle Bill and he alternately lived between the “big” house and this four room cabin. In 1925, the family’s log cabin burned to the ground. Lore has it that my grandmother (Rosa) carried her new Singer sewing machine out the door on her back. That machine must have outweighed her 125 pound frame. The family members split up among nearby relatives until the new house could be built. My grandmother loved to tell stories and she gives this account of why my grandfather died in August that year. She was very superstitious and believed his death occurred because he started a project (cutting lumber for the new house) on a Friday! Her superstition said that “if you could not finish whatever you start on a Friday, you would not live to see its completion!” She has had me so convinced that even today I will not start reading a book on a Friday. It is said that it was such a cold day in August (1925) when they buried my grandfather, that they had to light a fire in the stove to keep warm. The house was built and the family was reunited. It consisted of four rooms and a hall. At this time, there was no kitchen, for fear of fire – so the kitchen was a separate building behind the house. A few years later, Uncle Bill, who was a carpenter, added a kitchen, pantry, and back porch. The cabinets you see here were built by Uncle Bill also. Later still around 1950, Aunt Alma had two more bedrooms finished upstairs. 1948 was a big year because electricity reached the farm, and the house was wired. Until then, there had been no indoor plumbing, bathroom, etc. The back porch was enclosed and a bathroom was built. This occurred when I was five years old and I still remember when the overhead lamp in the big room burned kerosene. Aunt Alma would light a fire in the refrigerator; I still have a hard time explaining how a fire in that contraption could produce ice. Originally there were two bedrooms downstairs – Grandma slept in one of them and Aunt Alma slept in the other. Bill, the only other family member living at home, either slept in the big room – today the dining room, or later upstairs in the west bedroom. My sons, Greg and Brian, have both told me separately of “footfalls” they have heard when sleeping upstairs and they have been the only ones in the house. Does Bill still roam around? I have not heard him. Since I took over the house in 1985, I have added some modern conveniences, but I have tried to keep all the original character of the home, including not painting the front two rooms and hall.
The lawns are large and beautiful. Recently, a wild grape vine was gradually overtaking an old pear tree in the backyard. Greg and his friend, Larry, who lives over on the next farm, pulled that vine from the tree and filled the bed of the truck. An abundance of wildlife lives there including deer, foxes, raccoons, and wild turkeys. Here you can strain your eyes and see the turkeys in the field beside the house, a picture that I took from the dining room window.
You leave the house and lawn, which are on the northeastern corner of the property and proceed past old original structures such as the chicken houses, corn crib, pack house, and Bill’s log cabin to the road to the fields. This road has tobacco curing barns to the side and cuts through the woodlot. This woodlot had the large timber cut about 20 years ago and planted with pines for wood production. When you arrive at the fields on the highest point on the property, you may see soybeans or tobacco growing. A neighbor farmer now tills the fields and takes care of the land. Some years, you may see corn or wheat growing as he rotates the crops, but this is still primarily a working tobacco farm.
Most of the pictures you have seen thus far have been taken in the summer time. Winter does come to the farm and a warm fire in the fireplace insert in the living room seen above help to make those days cozy. Snows occur during some winters, up to about 5 inches rarely, and ice storms are seen in other winters as seen here.
Whether it is a weekend here or a week there any time of year, Lady Slipper Cove is the place I retreat to. In the summer, I may be seen rocking on the front porch and reading a book. In the winter, I’ll be near the fire. But this always feels like home. I grew up in nearby Durham, 25 miles to the south, and almost every weekend and every summer was spent at this farm. My grandmother, Aunt Alma, and Uncle Bill gave me an appreciation for the country life. Today, I live three hours to the south in Wilmington, NC on the coast, but every chance I get, I retreat to the cove.

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