Remembering the life of Mary Ellen Townsend Harris, 1911-2016
“Missy, you’re gonna wear that swing out,” called Mary Ellen’s mother from the kitchen. “I need you to set this table.”
At age ten chores were an interruption in her imaginative world, but Mary Ellen dutifully slid off the porch swing and slammed the screen door as she entered the house.
Her mother turned from the stove, hands on her hips. “Do you have to slam that door? I’ve asked you a million times not to do that.”
“I’m sorry. I forgot.”
Her mother shook her head. “Well, I hope you haven’t forgotten how to set the table.”
“No, Ma’am.” Mary got to work.
Decades earlier what was now the kitchen had been the Townsend family’s original log cabin. It had gradually been expanded to include a dining room and parlor on the first floor, and three bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen…
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