I have been having all kinds of thoughts that have been running around this old head of mine and for days I have been putting off writing them down, so I guess I need to get them out before they clog up this brain of mine.
The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I have actually been. Back when I was a little bitty thing on Horseshoe Bend, running around with all my little raggedy brothers and sisters, I thought we were so poor. Good gosh, there was no running water, and after our well went dry, Daddy had to haul water from Mr. Paul’s dairy every day for us to use. Two or three old metal milk cans worth of water… to last one day. Lord have mercy, can you imagine only having that much water to use for everything in a day’s time now? We probably use that much or more in just flushing the toilet! I remember we had an old galvanized metal bucket sitting on the wooden shelf in our kitchen with an aluminum dipper in it for our drinking water. I swear it seems like that water stayed cool to drink even in the summer time. Just like how those old wooden floors and walls felt when our little dirty feet ran across them or touched them…they were always cool.
I can see my sweet mama standing at the table making our big cathead biscuits that we would have for supper with our milk gravy. No matter what we were having, we always knew there would be milk gravy and biscuits. Sometimes she would use an aluminum glass to cut them out (yes, there were aluminum glasses back then) and sometimes she would just roll them out with her hands. I do the same way now, except I use a biscuit cutter if I want to be that fancy. Either way, mine will never match up to the deliciousness of my mama’s biscuits. Mama had an old wooden bread bowl that she made those good biscuits up in. It wasn’t a round one, but a long one. She made so many biscuits that she wore the bottom out of it and daddy took a Prince Albert can, I believe, and made it a new bottom! She used it for many more years after that, but some how or the other, down through the years, it finally got broken and gone. I sure wish I had that old bowl now.
When I was around 13 or 14 years old we moved to the Mill Town section of Greensboro. We had a sink in the kitchen with running water, painted walls, ( Buttercup Yellow in the kitchen!) linoleum rugs, gas space heaters, three bedrooms, and a bathroom complete with tub and a toilet…and I thought I was rich! I will never forget the first time I heard the mill whistle blow and then the train run by. They scared the living daylights out of me! This was a neat little section of town back then. Of course back then, in the sixties, the mill was still running and there were basically only the hard working mill employees along with some folks who worked up town ( like my daddy) who lived here. They loved their little homes and yards and took very good care of them, taking pride in keeping them clean and tidy, inside and out; although most were still owned by the Mill. Back then there was such a thing as pride.
Not so now days. I still live in the same neighborhood, just right around the corner form our old home. It saddens me to see that this area has gotten so run down. I guess it is because nearly all the houses are rentals and the landlords who own them are interested in just that…the rent…period. If those hard working mill folks could see their beloved homes and yards now days, the graveyards would be jumpin’, because I bet they would be rolling over in their graves. Even the city itself has abandoned us with the little dirt road that runs right behind my home. It is called Buffalo Street and the only way you would know that now days that it use to be a city street, is by the old street sign that still stands at the end of it. Now days it is a dump. A place where the people who live in the rental homes dump their mattresses, tires, you name it.
The thing is, you have to stay focused on the good in any situation, and most of all, the good things in your life. I know that none of us live in a fairy tale land, we all have our problems and heartaches in this old world, but with that being said, if we look hard enough, we will find the good things.
Sure, my neighborhood is run down, but the good thing is; my yard is clean, my son cuts my grass for me and I keep my house clean. (well, reasonably so! hah)
My car is over eighteen years old and just this past week had to have a new water pump, a new starter and the air conditioner worked on all at once…but the good thing is; Thank God I had the emergency money put back and a mechanic that I can trust to fix it. (he even fixed it within a day!)
The good thing is; I have good Christian employers and a job that I have been at for about 25 years.
The good thing is; God gives me the strength to keep going to my job every week in order to save the money back to fix my car!
I think every bone and muscle in body aches today, but the good thing is, today I can still use my arms, my legs and my muscles, when there are some who can’t.
I’ve got to get some new glasses, but the good thing is, I may not see well, but I can still see and am able to see all God’s beautiful creations; from the pretty azaleas in my yard to my sweet grandchildren’s faces.
I can’t hear worth a toot any more, but the good thing is; I may not hear well, but I can still hear and have heard so many wonderful sounds…my mama’s soothing voice as a child, my newborn babies first cries, my children’s and then later on my grandchildren's laughter, mine and Danny's wedding vows and the many, many times he said; “I love you more Carlene”…some folks aren’t that lucky.
Praise GOD, aren’t we BLESSED?!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.