One of my favorite places in the world is Martin Branch in Mousie, Ky.
What’s the attraction? Peace and family history.
Mousie itself is off the beaten track. I bet no more than 500 people live in town and nearby hollows and branches. Mousie has a post office, a park, an elementary school and a volunteer fire department. It used to have a little store and a gas station/convenience store, but those are just vacant buildings now. I am hoping a local entrepreneur will reopen them.
Just outside of “downtown Mousie” is Martin Branch. You drive down a single-lane road that you cannot even see from the main route. You’ll pass by homes still owned by the Martins, the Campbells and the Huffs. But as you get into the hollow, it’s mainly owned by Gibson family members. Not all of them have Gibson as their last names, but they all descend from the same person, John P. Gibson.
We still aren’t clear if John P. purchased the land, or if it was his son (my great-grandpa) Ezekiel Gibson. My grandpa, Van Gibson, owned a good chunk of the mountain, which he left to his children. My dad is the only one who still lives there. Dad’s uncle Carl and his late uncle Junior own most of the rest of the property.
Even our Gibson family cemetery is located there.
I love visiting, taking hikes and picking shoestring, or whatever else happens to be in season. One of my favorite things to do is just to sit outside, watch the birds and relax. The sound of the creek rushing, water flowing off the mountain and into dad’s frog pond and the birds singing soothes my soul. Well, until the frogs start. They are so loud you cannot think.
After what seems to be the 50th snowstorm of the year…
No exaggeration — we haven’t seen the ground since December —
I got to thinking that despite polar vortices, this winter hasn’t been all that bad.
I got to see Casting Crowns …
I met and interviewed Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions — super nice guy!
I found out my daughter is on the high-ability end scholastically.
I got to play with the dogs in the snow.
I saw snowbows …
And best of all, I got to spend time with my two favorite people …
It’s the first day of spring break, so I took my daughter for a spring nature hike. We wanted to see what was popping up out of the ground. Thank goodness there weren’t any critters popping up to surprise us!
Here are a few of our finds:
And we had to end the nature hike with a game of flying disc with the dog!