Hey Y’all, good to see you back. C’mon in and have a glass of cold ice tea.
Most of the farms you see on television have either beautiful stately homes or tumble down shacks. Ours was neither. The house was a huge rambling six large bedrooms, a living room (with no television) kitchen and a dining room big enough for a boarding house. The dining table was long and could easily seat twelve to fourteen people. Momma and Daddy sat one at each end. Daddy didn’t have a captain’s chair. No, his was just a plain, woven cane bottom straight chair like all the others that were around the table. A bench ran down one whole side of the table. I don’t think it had ever been painted. The boards were gray from age and the top was as smooth as silk from little behinds sliding across it for so many years. It was high enough so the young children could reach the table with no problems. When you grew too tall to sit on the bench you graduated to a regular chair at the table and sat on the other side. Three or four of the same type chairs were lined up against one wall and were used when we had company. A large China cabinet with a glass front held Momma’s good dishes and it took up most of one wall in the dining room. There was also a large, white wooden safe with screen doors where Momma and the older girls stored cakes, pies and left over biscuits or cornbread.
The kitchen had a huge, black wood stove. The walls were lined with cabinets full of pots, pans, whatever it took to cook a meal and the every day dishes. Our canned goods and other groceries were kept in a pantry off the kitchen. A small table big enough so four people could sit around it comfortably was shoved up against the two tall windows that looked out on the back porch. As long as I can remember that table had a red checkered cloth on it and usually, right in the middle set a small bouquet of flowers picked from Momma’s garden no matter what time of year it was. Momma always had something blooming in her garden. I loved to spend time in the kitchen with Momma and the older girls buzzing around cooking dinner or canning. I’d lie on the floor under the table, with my huge gray tabby cat snuggled up against me and most of the time drift off to sleep as I listened to them chat about what was going on in the community or at school. There wasn’t much talk about boys although once in a while one of them would tease the other about some boy from school or church.
When we left off before I promised to tell you about the outhouse. That’s not a pretty subject but since I promised I’ll tell you but there are so many other things we can talk about.
The privy wasn’t much to write home about or look at. Daddy and the boys built it way back behind the barn. I should say threw it together from the looks. The boards were never painted and over the years the weather had changed them from a honey gold to gray and so dark in some places it looked almost black. The door wasn’t a door at all. They had put several planks side by side then nailed another one cater-corner across them to keep’em together. A couple of rusty hinges held this contraction on to the tiny building that they placed over a deep hole they had dug. It was a double seater if that means anything. I never knew why because who in their right mind would want to sit beside another person and use the toilet. It wasn’t a place you would want to sit and visit. The odor was anything but pleasant. In the summer Daddy dumped bags of lime down the hole to help control the scent but I couldn’t see where it did any good. The roof was made of rusty tin that did nothing to help defuse the heat. Over in the corner of the seat somebody had put a Sears catalog. You can use your imagination to figure out what we used it for. You had to crumple the pages to make it do any good and let me tell you it sure wasn’t Charmin. But it was better than corn cobs that I hear some folks used back then. I think I was about eight years old before we ever had real toilet paper. I guess we wouldn’t have gotten it then but Daddy fell off a building and got hurt so Momma started buying it for him and we were all allow the luxury.
Two of my older brothers served in World War Two and were still in the military when I was old enough to remember anything. They came home for visits but never back to live with us.
My oldest sister’s husband got killed in the war so she and her son came back home to live. The boy, Clifton, was only six months younger than me and we grew to be as close as siblings.
Clifton, what wonderful memories; the two of us were regular rascals. Those are some stories I can tell you later. I guess I’ve wasted enough time for today and need to cook supper. It was nice visiting with you. Come back again soon.