Sunday, October 2, 2016
I have always loved two old country songs that Loretta Lynn and Dolly Pardon sang…
Dolly’s song, “Coat of Many Colors” and Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” seemed to have been written just for me, because they ‘almost’ told my childhood story.
The old house that I was raised in, out on a dirt road in Greene County, Georgia, had no paint on the wood walls, nor the ceilings. We had no running water in the house, nor outside. We got our water from Mr. Paul’s Dairy. My daddy hauled it to the house in metal milk cans. The tin roof had holes in it, so we could see the stars and moon shining in on us at night through the holes in the ceiling. During the day we could see the dirt on the ground under the house through the holes in the wooden floors.
We had an old rounded pot bellied heater that tried real hard in the winter time to heat the four tiny rooms in that house. What with no insulation, it was an almost impossible job. Sometimes, or I guess I should say often times, the glowing red embers would grow dim, then dark and cold during the night. Come morning, our little bodies would be just a shivering, even though mama would have piled all the tattered blankets and old long woolen coats that she could find on top of us, trying to keep her babies warm.
It was a hard childhood in ways, but we survived and most times we even enjoyed our little country life. We had so many pets! We always had an assortment of cats with kittens, dogs with puppies, chickens with chicks and hogs with baby piglets to play with. I will tell you a secret; baby piglets are just as much fun as puppies to play with…. just don’t let the mama pig catch you doing it!
When we grew tired of playing with our pets, we would make mud pies and have ‘Best Mud Pie’ contests or see who could go the highest in the swing we had rigged up in the Mulberry tree. We drew hopscotch patterns or marbles rings in the dirt and played for hours on end. We played cowboys and Indians. Do children even play that anymore, or would it be perceived as stereotyping?
*Three of the oldest kids, at our old home before the kitchen and the shingle sidding was added on
When we grew tired of playing, we would lay in the grass and look up at the white puffy clouds floating by in the bright blue sky, using our imagination to make pictures out of them. At night, we caught ‘lightning bugs’ in mason jars and put them in our bedrooms to see the glowing green lights moving about to and fro. On some nights, especially after a corn shucking, or pea shelling day, we would just sit out on the wooden back porch quietly listening to the chairs creaking as grownups talked while rocking back and forth in the old wood rocking chairs.
I would always, and I mean always, drift off to sleep!
God blessed me with two of the most loving parents that a child could have had and I truly believe that is the number one most important things in a child’s life.
The only baby picture of me !
Here lately, there has been much talk in the news about the poor and disadvantaged….but you know, having been raised poor and disadvantaged, it was not always a terribly bad thing for me. When I think back, for every negative thing about being raised poor and disadvantaged, I believe I can name a positive.
I guess it’s all according on how you look at things.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.