Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Childhood

I was born in Des Moines, Iowa.  We left there when I was around two years old, as paternal Grandpa needed help running his farm. Grandpa was ill at the time, but lived until old age.

So we moved to the farm, as Grandparents were now living in town.  I don't think Mama wanted to leave Des Moines, but she loved my Daddy.

Small house, no running water, water heater that you had to fill from the cistern, drinking water was hauled via bucket from a well. We were up-town, as we had a kept-clean, two-seater outhouse with toilet paper.

When they turned the dirt road into a gravelled road, we finally got a phone.  Of course it was a party line. 

Birthdays and Holidays were very simple. Birthdays were just us. Mama would make the meal the birthday person requested. The birthday person didn't have to do chores that day, and didn't have to share the mixer beaters with other siblings on that day. We spent Holidays with either Mama's family or Daddy's family.  At Christmas, no gifts were exchanged with extended family.

Iowa has four seasons, unlike my current home in Houston, Texas.  I loved summer, as Mama would drive us ten miles to a city with a nice library and to go grocery shopping. We only went every two weeks and, being a kid, was only allowed to borrow a limited number of books.  I "ate" books like candy and would run out of books to read.

I started reading some of Mama's books and poetry books.  I remember reading poetry books, out loud, while swinging in my swing in the black walnut tree. 

We had an old graveyard next to our land.  I often played there, by myself.  Guess that's why I still love old graveyards.

I didn't know we were poor in money, as we were rich in love from parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles.

Mama love to sew and I remember her staying up late to finish matching dresses for her three girls for Easter.  When my brother was born, he wore store-bought clothes.  Guess Mama didn't like to make boy clothes.

I remember so many strange things.  Walking barefoot in the summer and stepping in warm chicken poo; hauling water from the pump for drinking water; daydreaming during winter when priming the cistern pump and the hot water for priming turned cold; Mama taking us outside to look at the stars at night; Mama using an axe to kill a hen for dinner; and so much more.

Grandpa was around a lot and I remember him milking cows and aiming a teat at my mouth to get warm fresh milk.  Daddy never did that.

When I was around five years old, my younger sister and Mama had to go to Iowa City for Nancy's heart operation. She was not quite three years old.  Grandma was in Missouri visiting her family when Daddy and I stayed with Grandpa in town.  Daddy went to the farm each day, and Grandpa was there when I got home from school.  

Grandma saved little bits of food and served them again.  Grandpa tossed out out that stuff and cooked man food -- meat and potatoes.  It was fun being a little kid with Daddy and Grandpa.  I was too young to understand that my sister could have died.

I could go on for hours about the time I spent on that farm.  It was a wonderful childhood.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great bio!

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