LIFE ON THE CREEK

       My goodness, can you believe it is Wednesday and I have not written a new post?  I guess I could say it was because I had surgery last week or blame it on the tropical storm Isaac but it is neither of these.  The plain truth is I’ve just been lazy.   Like it says in Proverbs 24:33 “A little more sleep a little more folding of the hands …” with that said I know I need to get busy.  So if you don’t mind today I’ll do a little reminiscing about life on The Creek.  The Creek is not the proper name of the street I grew up on but it is the common name and thus that’s what we will use.

     We moved to The Creek when I was about nine or ten years old.  Momma and Daddy were proud of that house.  It was small and absolutely nothing fancy; just a poor working man’s home.  Most of the other kids were grown, married and had families of their own.  Betty Jean and I were the ones left home with Momma and Daddy.  While Daddy was still alive life was pretty good; he made sure we had everything we needed.  I think we were the second family on the street to own a television.  The kids used to gather in our living room in the afternoon to watch cartoons.  We were only able to get two channels and they were in black and white.  Am I dating myself?  Momma turned the television on for them even if Betty Jean and I weren’t watching it.  And we had an outhouse until I was about twelve or thirteen.  I guess we were more blessed than some because while many people used the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue to finish their business in there we has toilet paper.  Let me tell you that was the cheapest toilet paper I have ever seen.  You could read the catalogue through a sheet of it; no double ply there.  But we had it so we had to consider ourselves blessed.

     After Daddy died things changed.

     The house was about a foot off the ground in front with a concrete block for the front step to the porch.  Or I guess you could call it a half porch because it didn’t go all the way across the front of the house.  It went about half way and then there was a bedroom with the only entrance from the porch.  Momma and Daddy called it the ‘shed room’ but I don’t know why it was small but as nice as any of the other rooms.  Two of my brothers slept there until they left home.  The back part of the house was about three or four feet off the ground and open.  Once we got the inside plumbing the pipes ran under the house.  In the winter the cold wind would moan and groan as it whipped under the house and froze the water pipes.  Yes, sometimes it would make them burst and none of us, Momma, Betty Jean nor me, knew how to work on plumbing so there was a bill that we seldom had money to pay for.  We would sometimes be without water for a few weeks.  We used the toilet if water was available but when it wasn’t we had to go back to the outhouse.  Thank God Daddy didn’t have it torn down.

     Let me tell you that you haven’t lived until you have to get up and trudge to the back of the property, (no one put the outhouse up close) on a morning when the temperature is below freezing, to pee.  Forget about the odor when you dropped your panties and sat on that cold seat the last thing in the world you were thinking about was the smell.  And even when the plumbing was working you had to go out on the back porch to enter the bathroom and there was absolutely no heat in there.  It was a bare necessaries bathroom.  Well … it did have a sink and bathtub but no shower.  The floor was covered with cheap Linoleum and it later years the design was worn off from so much foot traffic and the red backing showed through in places.  There were a couple of places where the floor had rotted and there were holes about the size of dollar and if you looked through you could see the ground under the house.  Yes sir the wind always found those holes and rushed into the room with a lonesome whine as though it was sad to be separated from the rest that blew under the house.

     Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Absolutely not!  I believe it was those times that makes me thankful that I can take a nice hot bath or shower when I want to.  And I have nice soap; back then we had to use the cheapest we could find and it sure didn’t have moistureizers for your skin.  But we were together and our home was full of love.  At night when the cold wind blew and whipped under the house and sneaked through the cracks that has also opened in places throughout the house we would all three snuggle in one bed, to help stay warm, under heavy quilts that Momma had made and we didn’t worry about what we didn’t have we were thankful we had each other.

     Thanks for stopping by and listening to my memories I’m sure I will share others at another time.  Until then be thankful for all that God gives you and love your family and tell them so.

God Bless.

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