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Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Hedi Mitchell, Mar 28, 2017.
Me too ! Loved the story
Because the grand parents lived on a mountain top slope the road was way below. The red barn was way down oneside of this road and was a bit of a walk...never knew why. The garage very small was also down from the mountain side. Was about 10 steps from there to the steps leading to house...which there were 22! Then another 5 or 6 to the front door.
Why they lived on a farm on top of that mountain I never knew. However it is the reason they moved years later to..of all things...St Joe Arkansas!
Grand dad still worked so that left me and mamawa(thats what we calked her )to go fishing and tend to the chickens gathering eggs, milking cows...well she did that. I could barley get a drip when I tried.
Oh the horror I experienced how you got chicken for dinner. What a wonder I never became vegetarian. Watching her ring a chickens neck...well I felt traumatized...until dinner time at least.
Ohhh and I have churned butter people!
They had a big old wood burning stove to cook on also. Wonderful food cooked on that stove. She even made donuts!
I grew up thinking the only way to get orange juice was by hand squeezing them or using the ole glass juicer dish with a knob in the middle.
In the kitchen over the sink was a window that looked out over to another mountain and the dropped down road below. The Bentons lived on on the other montain side...more about them later on.
On the left down side was the flour bin..remember those ? Breakfast nook was off to the right of counter top. There was a window up very high in that tiny little room . After fishing she would clean the fish...more trauma...and fry them up for lunch. Funny never gave a thought about the cleaning experience of it all as I chomped down a piece of fried catfish.
The smells she created in that kitchen waff through my nose from time to time.
Not sure why I am so deeply moved by my experiences there that summer, but so grateful that I had the opportunity. Farm life was so much more than city life for me even as a child.
Making bread...making the bits of unlevelened bread for her church come Sunday morning.Eating 12 banny hen eggs....they were tiny little eggs, took many to fill you up.
Awe...more later...time to empty the washer and dryer
So here I was summer of 1954 staying with the grandparents atop a mountain side. Before my parents left there that summer from their visit, my dad made a swing. Well actually it was a rope tied to the top of a tree that was positioned just so-so on the side of the mountain close to the front of where the kitchen was. There was a wood bar he had inserted to create a handle for swinging across from one side to the other. You put your hands on the bar,and take a running jump and off you would fly - like in the wind, out and over the road-deep below.It was so fun- but dangerous .
Though I was only 6-going on 7, my two playmates, were Eugene in sixth grade and Russell, not sure how old he was but tall and skinny.
One day, the three of us were playing with the swing. Russell decided, he would give a try. He ran, and jumped and went flying out further than Eugene or I could go. Then- plop, he hit the road down below. Not sure how far down the road was but far enough, we just knew he was dead.
Eugene and I run down the mountain,and jumped over the concrete wall barrier to Russell. Flipped him over, and he came to. We were so scared, but glad he was alive and breathing. All I remember after that was Russell getting up, dusting his self off , saying he was going home.
To this day, I never remember seeing him again, never used the swing again , never even knew what happened to the swing after that.
On the other side of the road was another mountain top. This is where Eugene lived, with his folks and sister Margie, about 20 but had the mind of a 10 year old at best. She was also deaf, and mute, except for some groaning sounds she would make. Once or twice I played dolls with her, otherwise she kept to her self mostly. Eugene and I would go often play in the other old house close to theirs, it was on their property so all was well. It was 2 story, windows gone out. Inside was a huge loft, and that is where they let their chickens roost. On one side of this loft had a large window hole, like the ones you see barns. For some reason Eugene always had to hump over in the loft, like he could not stand straight up. Anyways, he would go up there, full of chickens and all- and jump out of that window. Would always scare me to death, and I had no desire to do that, but he sure enjoyed the drop.
Now I never knew if this was truth or not, the old beat up house was suppose to have been one of many hide out places that was used by The Dalton Gang. I think perhaps when Eugene parents bought the house, that it was explained to them that the old house on their property was a past hide out for Ma Dalton and her gang.Regardless, I never forgot that and enjoyed telling people I had played the Dalton Gangs hide out.
I like reading about your memories @Gloria Mitchell. Is the next story about the, "birthday gone wrong"? Please, please say yes!!!
Well it can be ...I doubt you will find it overly exciting !
So back to my summer on the mountain...My days were filled with helping my grand parents, gather eggs, gathering milk cans for them to use, slop the hogs as they claimed back then. So the barn was down the road, a good piece from house. Along the way were black berries growing. A big handful of those were a tasty treat- um and messy.
My grand ma had taken me to town to buy shoes, as I would need them for school , when I returned home. Oh the joy I felt, having two pair! Oxfords, black and white, and penny loafers- with a penny in them! Grand ma and I were out at the barn, I was inside gathering some eggs. Now right outside the door was a soaking wet, smell pool of cow manure that the hogs loved to woollier in, and it was deep. Oh horrid smell, and why it was right by the door of the barn is beyond me. Anyway, I heard her call me, so I went to the door and forgetting to walk on the boards laid out... I well, I fell up to me knees in cow manure! Up to my knees ! I was a mess, and had to walk back down the dirt road to the house- where someone might would see me. She followed me, trying not to laugh. I cried- I will never get to wear my new shoes! After climbing back up to the house, she made me stay outside while she went and filled to small tubs with water. Now seriously, a chance of anyone seeing all this was rather slim, but I was certain someone would. As she was washing me off, Mrs. Benton hollered from over the other mountain side. Geez, more tears , now she could see what grand mas was doing.Well,I cleaned up nicely. Pretty much let it go. A week or so later she and I were trying to take a nap, after one of our fishing trips. Grand ma, had her back to me, when suddenly she bursts out in a laughing mode, the kind with tears in your eyes. Mamawa , why are you laughing so hard? Oh I am laughing because Mrs. Benton messed up her hard wood floors she was cleaning. Huuum, I thought about that for a spilt second, raised up looked over saw her trying to stifle another laugh,as her face was beet red. Then it hit me, she had been giggling all week. No your not , your laughing at me for stepping in the "green suff" ! So, finally she admitted she was laughing at me, nap time, was over
@Ina I. Wonder ..next will be birthday and trip home
@Gloria Mitchell - were yer shoes OK ?
Funny how you burst out laughing weeks or even years later - I know I do
I can remember wearing tap shoes to school for a while, don't know if me shoes were being mended
or I just wanted to wear tap shoes, probably the latter - you could hear me a comin' - tap tap tap
Lolo ..I was not even wearing the new shoes...but had it in my head I would never be able to wear the new ones.
Summer was about to end for me on top of that mountainside. I had enjoyed my summer on the farm and all my adventures with the animals
even the chaotic terrible storms that were produced while I was there. My grand mother was going to make me a cake, and I was even to have a small party.
I only remember Eugene, and Russell being there- oh except for this one older girl. I remember her bending my fingers back until I thought they would snap into. Her mom was a friend of my grand mothers, um so I never said anything, but she was mean.
Not sure how it happened really, I remember standing at the table getting things ready for the party- somehow, while cleaning off the table, I managed to
knock the lid off of the pepper shaker. Pepper flew up my nose and in my mouth, oooh and my eyes. I was hollering because I could not see anything.
Burning and watering so bad, grandma gave me a wet wash rag, and it helped, but not enough for me to see. The kids were coming and I was upset, as I had not seen my
homemade birthday cake that was made.
After they arrived, I remember being led into the dining area, as I still could not see. I opened my eyes, just as someone brought in a large pink something.
I tried I really did, but my eyes burnt so bad, I could not make out one thing. I really do not remember much after that- I think we - well they had a good time.
Turns out she had made me a 4 layer strawberry birthday cake, from scratch! It did taste good, but I never ever really saw that cake. I do not know if everyone ate it up or what, but that was all I ever got that day of my special cake.
But, alas, instead of my parents coming to get me, I was going on the long ride home-by myself!
We traveled by trains then, and I loved trains ,and still do. Seems my parents agreed for me to ride the train by myself from Missouri to Texas.
I had just turned seven. Not something one would consider much in these times we live now. But my grandma had it all worked out. She talked to the
conductor, and some ladies, to agreed to keep there eye on me. She had made me sandwiches and snacks, wrapped in wax paper inside the ole time
small brown paper bag.
I was excited, getting to go by myself, and wear my new black and white oxford shoes. I sat by myself in a seat all the way. Content with scenery as that
train went a whistling down that track. Taking in all that passed before me outside. How the landscape would change, the weather.
The sound of the train at night was somehow comforting to me, clickty clacking down those tracks, along with my fluffy pillow from the conductor.
When I woke up the next morning, I had made it to Texas. Some what um, fluffy myself, but I remember feeling euphoric with my summer on the top of that mountain.
I picked up my little lady today- a new one to take to the Senior Citizens Center for lunch. She is 84 and spry on the walker, and in very good health. I was suppose to make sure she ate something besides her dessert. Um, ok. First off, that was the most unappetizing , tasteless mess of crap I have encountered in a long time. She picked around at it, then began to eat the apples - looked like maybe spiced apples- mine was applesauce. Geez. After we finished, she wanted to go to a drugstore. Ok no problem. She went directly to the candy, grabbed 2 bags and walked to the counter. After she paid, she says- you must think me crazy? Um, no mam - I know exactly what your doing. Your gett'en your candy stash, so you can go home and hide it before the others get there. With a big grin she says"yes- are you going to tell on me?" Nope, your 84, you eat whatever you want. when we got back to the house others were already there. The candy hiding in her purse. I knew she was wondering how she was gonna hide it now. As I got ready to leave, I gave her a hug and whispered" put it under the bed, til later. She smiled big time.
I will never see her again, as I quit today- not because of this incident,but issues with the so called caregiver service. The point is, why do we insist , on trying to have these "chronologically gifted people", to live and eat the way we think they should? Now if of this was going to throw her in to cardiac arrest , or insulin shock, I would re considered. She spent her life working on an Air Force base, her husband was a pilot. In fact I met two others, one sgt. in the Marines- female and another female Air Force person- the other was a librarian. I find their stories fascinating,and if your willing to listen, they will talk. They were people of service to our country, perhaps in different forms, but they served. I do not feel just because one reaches the so called "golden years" they should be treated like a three year old. Eat, drink, and live the way you want- you earned it- go out in your own terms- it's called being a human - regardless of old age.
August 5 2014
Good on you @Gloria Mitchell !! I totally agree with you attitude. I was a volunteer at the Houston VA hospital, but my health got in the way, so now I go as just a friend to the permanent residents there. I found I have much more leeway as such, where before I was restricted by legal issue that the volunteers had to be careful of.
The post earlier about rodeos made me dip back again into my summer on the mountain. My granny was big wrestling fan. Every Saturday night we tuned the tv to
wrestling. The Von Eric's , a whole host of names I can no longer remember would wrestle . She and I both would squeak and squawk everytime one of our favorites
hit the mat with a big thud. See, i thought at wrestling was real,well at least a real live sport- like baseball. But then one Saturday night, she took me to a wrestling
match between Queen Kate and Blondie. I watch as they both tried with much effort to get the other to hit the matt. There was hair pulling, a couple of jabs here and there, an at one point Queen Kate seemed down right pissed. She even walked out of the arena ! I do not remember who won that match, but the antics they both used to
put on the show was mesmerizing. There was so much hatred in them for the other one. There was a break in the matches, so i walked and got me a drink. There out of the corner of my eyes was Blondie and Queen Kate. Wow maybe there would be a fist a cuffs right here in the open. Um, nooo, seems they were sharing a bite to eat together,
laughing and talking. I was shocked and well disappointed. How could this be, they were ready to tear off each others head a few minutes ago?
Ruined my whole perspective of wrestling and life in general. My granny explained it all to me on the way home. Sometimes the truth hurts, well if your 6 years old at least.
When I grew up and had 2 girls of my own, they both enjoyed watching wrestling with their father. In fact that is the only thing either of them had in common with him.
I assume at some point they realized the whole thing was a farce, but I never told them- might as well enjoy the ' Show' while you can.
My first husband moved us and our two daughters to the country in the year, 1981.I was working at a hospital billing dept.while he continued his
job in Dallas. A few week before Halloween he left us.But I intended to carry on long as possible. Halloween night, it was cold, and very rainy, the only next door neighbor we had, offered to take me and the girls Trick or Treating in their car.They both were very large people, and tho cold and wet outside, had their ac going. I was freezing, to the point that my oldest kid laid a coat on top of me and rested herself atop me to keep me from shaking.
I was cold all night and could not stop shaking. Next morning I forced myself to work,but felt -off. I went to Er had them take BP as my ears were ringing loud and fierce. I also left like I was leaning to one side. BP was normal. Perception was off.
This went on for quite a few days, until my folks came and took me to a doctor. This started a journey for me of doctors, and diagnosis for years.
I could not function,lost my job,could not write very well, I was just a mess, and no one seem to know what was wrong with me. My ears would not stop ringing and felt like i was going insane. I was taken to two more doctors, what they said does not matter, because they also were wrong.
I could not drive. There was even mention of a stroke,as my speech became garbled. Everything in my body was not responding normally, and not knowing what was wrong, even made it worse.
By February, I needed to find work, and I did ..but in order for me to drive 50 miles or more away, and be surrounded by sky scraping buildings ,I had to wear cotton in my ears,and literally hold on to the sides of the buildings,in order to move-plus there was some ice and snow on the ground.
But I did get a job in The Plaza of Americas building-23rd floor.
I battled whatever was wrong for years. To this day I still can not ride a bike,skate, swim. or almost anything that requires balance.
I lost most of my hearing after all this. About twenty three years ago I saw another doctor, whose diagnosis made more sense to me.He thinks I contracted a form of meningitis. And that is the main reason for the hearing loss.
@Cody Fousnaugh do not let this scare you, probably not your problem at the moment.
Any-who... I have never cared for Halloween but after that life changing event, since then even less. um a phobia of some sort.
I remember laying on the couch one night watching tv, about a man with no legs, who climbed one the tallest mountains with his stubs.
I was in awe over the man who overcome this obstacle in his life, by creating a Matra to get him thru. So, I created one for myself,and it became part of my very being, by thinking,saying, living, every moment with that one phrase. I mean constantly over and over in my head, the last thought at night the first of morning,all day everyday..and slowly, but surely I got better.
I put this here, simply because it a memory of my past. But this blast of the past is of racial orientation. My father was a real bigot. So much so, that my mother, who was not a racist- but clearly misinformed on races- had to give up being friends with any black co workers.
My brother was the opposite of our father,and this caused issues.
For me, only had what I was told and learn from the elders. But I leaned toward sympathetic, of anyone who was not white.
There was a young black young woman I worked closely with in a very small area of much known brokerage firm. She was Olive Oil thin, big Afro and buck teeth. I never ever thought saying things without much thought would affect people so much. I must say, I think much was over reacted to.
An example, (I will call her Olive) Olive and I , along with my now BBF were working in the confines our small office. i needed a pen,I asked for one, I was given a black ink pen. Without thinking I claimed " I don't want a black pen, black is depressing, find a blue inked pen please."
Oh Lord, it got deathly quite our small office. I looked up ,seeing Olive towering over me, with those deer in the head light eyes-blazing.
Do not remember exactly what happened or what was said afterwards.I do know, it took me buying a Snickers candy bar,and attaching a little while flag -giving it to her, before I was forgiven.
Do you know, back then, if a black person, had a good job, decent house, ,clothes and car- many people accused them of 'trying to live white' ?
They were accused from whites and blacks. It was like, they were not allowed to progress, to live a better life. I was confused by that.
There were other similar instances in my life where race was an issue. But the most humiliating for me occurred in my 30's .
I was single, and was at a favorite dance and bar place with very good friends of mine, one of them who was Mississippi born and BF of mine-at time.
She told me a business associate was to meet us there. A thin, tall, very well suited up black male seated his self at the table. keep in mine, this was a red neck, good ole boys type of establishment, Introductions were made. He was married, three kids, the small talk went on.
Now my BF was with her boyfriend, and I was alone, so was not surprised when the gentleman asked me to dance. Held further away than normal.
We exchanged , pleasantries - but I noticed others, even in the dark,talking among their selves in -um a gossipy way?
Men I barley even knew, were critical, and snubbed me. Even a week later, one A hole said the reason i was not being asked to dance was because of my dance with the black man, the week before.
Even my own BF was um, not really understanding why I would have done that. It was a damn dance,at a distance, with at man who was better dressed, more polite than any of those yahoos in there. I just did not see the problem. The news this morning about a past incident of black profiling is what promoted me to even share this.
More and more, since my mom died 20 twenty years ago,something she use to tell me all the time, that I never really grasped until later on....
Blind man cannot see it.
I think the saddest thing to your story Gloria is that not much has changed - still it goes on
Will never understand the mentality, I only know it really gets to me