I don’t remember having only one dress, or walking 10 miles in the snow to get to school…but I do recall:
The last day of school picnics…which meant summer!! We’d take off our shoes on the way home, spend several days getting our feet tough enough to run bases through the stickery pasture grasses, or take long walks down country roads (it was safe way back then), and washing our feet at the end of the day under the ice cold water from the pump by the house.
We had no ‘organized’ clubs or teams, but we made our own…baseball games in the sheep pasture until it was too dark to see the ball. Hide and seek in the dark (and having the bajeebies scared out of us). And, of all things…just sitting under–or IN–a shade tree.
We lived 15 miles from a swimming pool—but we had wash tubs and garden hoses and the horse tank.
We worked in the garden in the morning, ate fried chicken and corn-on-the-cob at noon, and chased fireflies in the evening. Often we’d sprawl on blankets in the yard, waiting for it to cool down enough to sleep in the house.
Then came the one wonderful summer when we could afford a deep freezer, and a fan–all at the same time. Mama put aluminum foil on the windows, shiny side out to reflect the heat, pulled the drapes and we thought it was pure bliss to sit in the darkened living room, in front of the fan, fudge bars dripping down our arms. We were rich…and cool. What more could we ever want.
Saturday nights were the best. Everyone was in town on Saturday night. We’d take the eggs to the produce, then buy groceries with the egg money, and sometimes there was even enough we could all have a hamburger and Coke in a bottle from the one restaurant in town. On special occasions we ate ice cream at the drug store, on round tables with wire-backed chairs, under huge ceiling fans…Oh!! it was the time and place to be.
I remember only one vacation, all the way to Colorado with the car windows down because we didn’t have a vehicle with air conditioning. But our mama was a fun lady, and when we drove through big towns we’d roll up the windows so the rich people (who NEVER had their windows down) would think we were just like them. By the time we were on the open road again we’d all be gasping for air, and we’d laugh for miles at the funny noises we could make by humming and changing the shape of our mouth against the welcome wind blowing against our faces.
Only in later years did I realize how poor we really were. Monetarily poor…
But oh, so rich in memories.