Saturday, March 14, 2009


Our mother, much like her father, was a strong disciplinarian. She seldom had to speak twice to get our attention; never issued empty threats. Patient and just as she was, if discipline was needed, and deserved, you could be sure it would come. Once, on a warm spring day as we played in the yard, Mother sat with Grandma and a couple of aunts on the back porch engaged in pleasant conversation and laughter. Mother told me to do some chore and audaciously I spoke up and said No, I won't do it. I knew those words should never have left my mouth and I headed around the house as fast as I could go. In a flash she had hit the ground and was right behind me but I was an excellent runner and escaped into the back door and took refuge under a bed. She patiently allowed me to stay there. But the time came there was reckoning. When the older children arrived home from school later in the day, I foolishly allowed my uncle to lure me from under the bed promising candy. Lesson learned. On those very infrequent occasions when our mother was forced to administer corporal punishment, it was done with a keen little hickory switch. Often as not we would be the one sent to fetch it for her and then to suffer the indignity of the sting. The lessons learned from our mother's switchings would last a long time in our memories and the bad behaviors would seldom be repeated.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Although we were now in a home of our own, we were not emotionally removed from the home or the rearing of our grandparents. They were still close by and we spent much of our time with them. Two of my mother's siblings were in our age range and we grew up more as siblings than aunt and uncle and our grandparents continued to treat us as one family.

An event that occurred routinely in our lives was "washday" when my mother and my aunts would gather up the clothes to be washed and we would head out with the cousins to spend the day at the "pond" in the middle of the woods. This was somewhat of a "community wash house" I suppose as there was a big black iron pot set up where a fire would be built for heating water and boiling the clothes. The pot was surrounded by a large area of ground that had been cleared from many a footprint having worked on it.

Of course it wasn't the work that went on on washday that attracted us children. It was the huge trees that bore "Tarzan-like" vines that we took turns swinging over and dropping into the pond as we played the day away while the wash was being done. Before returning home we would have a nice bath with Grandma's homemade soap and don a fresh set of clothes that had been washed and dried at the pond in the woods!

Monday, March 9, 2009


It was in this home that we had our biggest ever Christmas – between the four of us receiving 17 dolls. There was also a "scooter" and a "rocky horse." I remember taking the scooter down the road for a ride in an early morning fog where you could barely see your hand in front of your face, but I knew the way well to a favorite aunt and uncle's house across and down the dirt road from us. I traversed the trip very well and returned to check out the wooden rocky horse. Being energized from the scooter ride, I hopped on the horse, held onto its head and swung it into high gear for my ride. The ride turned out to be a short one and I was devastated as I beheaded the precious rocky horse. This memory of the rocky horse stirred in my soul when on a recent tour through our favorite thrift store there it sat – a sturdy "pony horse" that had been lovingly, I'm sure, handcrafted by some grandfather for some beloved grandchild. We brought it home and it sat on the garage floor for some time. When we learned we were to become first time great grandparents, off it went to Ohio to adorn the nursery of a precious baby girl!