Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I picked up a few limbs that were blown down from the huge oak tree in my front yard overnight when I got up this morning. I tossed them across the road where the city truck will pick them up. We were under a tornado watch last night, but I did not hear it raining, nor the wind blowing at all. Guess I slept pretty good…better than I thought!

Later on today, I went out to Tendercare Pharmacy to get Dan’s meds. On the way back home, I had the radio tuned to the Greensboro station. Just as I was passing Lee’s Chinese Restaurant, Chubby Checker began singing ‘Come on baby, let’s do the twist and I was instantly transported back in time.

When I was a little kid back in the 60’s, our Movie Theater was the building that now houses Lee’s restaurant. Back in the day, they use to play music before the show on Saturdays and you could dance… if you dared! ‘The Twist’ was one of those songs that played and we would get out there in our socks and twist our little 7 and 8 year old booties off! The Twist was the dance back then and we thought we were something!

Isn’t it amazing that the songs of our youth, the songs of the 50’ and 60’s, are still being played and even enjoyed by our own children and grandchildren? I truly believe that there was something special about that era….Oh sure, we had our problems back then. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and the drills we had at school? But those times sure seemed to be  so much lighter and brighter than now….

Or maybe it is just by looking back that we can actually see it clearly for what it was…an age of innocence.

Back in the 50’s/ 60’s people had only one TV, if they were lucky and that one TV only picked up two or three channels! You used an antenna that was attached to a tall metal pole stuck in the ground outside the window where the TV was. Some had it way up on top of the roof and the picture was still grainy and fuzzy. You were constantly going outside to turn that antenna, hoping to pick up a better signal.  Now days we have a TV in every room with hundreds of crystal clear channels on each one and the TV antennas are a thing of the past.

Some folks still had outdoor toilets and a well in the yard for their water back then. Our well went dry out on Horseshoe Bend, so daddy had to haul water in milk cans from the dairy near by. How we got by on those few milk cans of water..how my mama managed to make it all work out, what with all us children, day by day…is beyond me.

The refrigerators were small and the ice box was just that, a tiny box in the top, with just room enough to put two metal ice trays in. Great clunks of ice would form around it and you had to defrost that little freezer by hand.

Danny and I had one of those refrigerators when we married. If I close my eyes, I can still see it. I was sitting here thinking back and wondering what I did with my meat.. If I had no room for it in that little bitty freezer, where did I keep it?  It soon dawned on me that I didn't cook meat at every meal, but usually only once a week. We mostly lived on beans and potatoes or beans and rice! We did have some fried salt fatback every now and then though.

The washers had wringers and the dryers were outdoor clothes lines. Baby diapers were made of cloth and you sure didn’t throw them away. You rinsed the soiled ones out and then you washed them…preferably in Ivory Snow or Dreft.

For my first baby, Dan, Danny’s Big Mama made me about two or three dozen diapers out of mill cloth..She also made the first sheets for our old iron double bed out of that mill cloth.  I can remember hanging up Dan's diapers in the hot summer mornings and by the time I got the last one out, the first one would be dry. In the winter time, you really didn’t need clothes pins, because those cloth diapers usually froze right to the line when the weather was freezing cold. If the wind was blowing, it would sting when they slapped you in the face! But you know what? I can still remember the sweet smell of those baby diapers when I took them off that clothes line and folded  them for my babies, because I would stick my nose to them and breathe deeply…

Oh, they always smelled so good and  fresh.

You know, it seems to me that it’s not what you have, but rather what you make of what you have, that helps you to be happy and content.









Paula said...

Such a nice entry to us who have been there and done that. Did you boil your diapers? I did 'cause that's what Mama told me I was supposed to do. Oh boy! The young people now days don't have a clue what life was like back then, but you know what? I think it did us good and made us who we are today.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Nice trip down memory lane. I remember a lot of what you wrote about too. It's very true that it's not what you have that's important.

Helen said...

Great entry Carlene. I remember those baby diapers and clotheslines where the diapers were stiff before you got very many hung. You had to hurry and get those things all hung out so you could hurry back into the house to check on the baby.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

I can certainly relate to you on many of these things even though I am a few years younger than you. We lived in the country and in the first years we lived in a house my Dad built. I was too young to remember being cold and hungry but my Mom said we were. Later on we moved out and then were living in a mobile home. I remember it so cold in the winter our breath would freeze on the walls. My Mom hung out clothes too and I loved to run up and down between the sheets on bedding day.