Category Archives: memories

WELCOME TO THE CREEK

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Life on the creek was not too bad; at least I survived.  Or did I?

I was in elementary school when they sold the farm and we moved to the outskirts of town. There would be no more freshly plowed fields to walk through crunching clods of dirt just to feel them crumble under our bare feet; no more deep well to draw cool water; no more faded gray barn that always smelled of dust and hay.  But worst of all no more Hay-Burner to live in that barn. Momma was allowed to bring along a few chickens and the others were left to the people who bought our house.  Momma and I cried because we didn’t want to leave our home but Daddy kept a stiff upper-lip.  It was  years later that I realized his heart was also breaking.  Farming was his life and now the doctor said he could not do it anymore.  So he gave up his dream, moved us to a house that wasn’t too bad at the start and he went to work as a night security guard at a sawmill.

Everything went well for a few years.  We were the first family on the street to get a television.  All the kids from several blocks gathered in our living-room every afternoon Monday through Friday to watch Circle-Six Ranch.  They were sprawled on every place to sit and some lay  with their elbows on the floor and heads resting in their hands almost hypnotized by the phony cowboy on the small black and white screen.  They waited patiently for the cartoons. Momma gladly welcomed them and often served Vanilla Wafer cookies and Kool-Aid.  She would hustle them out the door before dark and dinner time.  If it was cold she would have a smile on her face as she bundled the little ones in sweaters, coats and some had hats, as she instructed the older kids to make sure everyone got home safely.

Then our lives changed completely.  It was his birthday and when Daddy got home from work just as the sky was turning light gray with streaks of yellow from the sun that was trying to peep over the tree line behind our house we sang Happy Birthday.  Momma had made his favorite Coconut Cake.  I was promised a big slice when I got home.  Then with a quick hug, kiss and “I love you” I was hustled off to school.

Those were the last words my Daddy and I said to each other.  He had a heart attack and died later that morning.

All the neighbors gathered to console us and they brought food; which I later learned was The Creek Folks way to show they cared.  I had never seen so many cakes, pies and fried chicken.  But the huge lumps in my throat and stomach would not let me eat a bite.  Momma couldn’t eat either.  She stayed busy making and serving coffee and sweet iced tea and thanking everyone.

Yes, our life on the Creek changed and maybe some would view it as worse and some as better; the truth is up to the individual.  We were soon to learn what the Creek life was really like.

Thank you for stopping by and of course there will be more Creek tales in the future.

 

 

 

 

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COUNTRY GIRL

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It has been ages since I did a post but I’m back.

I absolutely love to work in my vegetable and flower gardens.  When I was a small girl my Daddy owned a farm .  We had chickens, hogs, an old mule named Hay-Burner, and my cat. If the barn and house were ever painted they lost even the smallest speck of paint ages ago.  The faded, sun bleached boards were the most beautiful soft gray.

Momma worked in town so I spent my days tagging along with Daddy as he did the chores.  When he went to the fields he’d take a quilt, fold it in a  square and place it under a tree and I had to stay on the quilt.  Momma had made that beautiful quilt by hand filling every stitch with love.  It was an Heirloom but I was too young to appreciate it.  Quilting was Momma’s hobby and we had a large stack of them each one prettier than the one before. He’d bring a quart jar of water from the well in case I got thirsty and put it in the shade near me.  Then off he and the mule would go down the rows planting or harvesting which ever the season called for.  As I watched them walk away, getting smaller and smaller, a lump of loneliness grew in my stomach.  I was scared.  Birds hopped around searching for seeds, bugs and what-have-you under the blackberry and other bushes that separated the fields and served as a wind break.  I was sure every rustling of the dry leaves was a huge snake or other wild animal coming to get me. I would stare across the field until Daddy turned the mule at the far end of the rows and started back toward me. Then I felt relieved as he drew nearer.  This was my routine no matter what crop he was working on.  Of course as the corn, cane, cotton and tobacco grew taller I was unable to watch him as far. When he decided it was time for lunch he would unhook the mule from what ever piece of farm equipment he was pulling.  Daddy didn’t talk much but I made up for both of us as we trudged back to the house.  I’d make up stories about the animals I had seen in the underbrush.  The trace chains rattled with every step the mule took and was a metallic backdrop for my stories.  Sometimes Daddy would let me ride the mule back to the barn but most of the time he’d say “Girl, this old mule has worked hard too and he needs a rest.”

Once back at the barn he drew fresh water from the well and dumped it in the mule’s trough until it was full.  While Hay-Burner glugged down the cool water Daddy filled another trough with food for him.  Finally it was time for us to go inside and see what Momma had left us to eat.  She always cooked before she left for her job in town.  She would put out settings for two, set the food on the table then cover everything with a clean white sheet.

Daddy would draw up the large jug of tea that Momma had tied a cord around and lowered down in the well to keep it cool.  We didn’t have a refrigerator but we were blessed with an icebox on the back porch.  Ice was a luxury not everyone could afford.  The ice man came twice a week and brought us a block.  Momma would leave his money on top of the icebox.  He’d take the ice we had left, if there was any, and put it along side of the big new block then wrap them in the quilt Momma kept in the top compartment of the icebox for this purpose.

After we ate it was my job to go and make sure the chickens had fresh water and check for any eggs they may have laid while we were gone.

Even after he quit farming and we moved to town Daddy’s love for working the land was a good part of him. He always had a garden.

So I guess I came by working the dirt naturally.  I have my flowers and vegetables.  I also have a few chickens, which make great fertilizer but that’s another story.  When I’m out working in the yard I feel close to God and my Daddy and I have a wonderful peace.

 

WE CAN HAVE GOD’S FAVOR

    

Well the election is over and it doesn’t matter who you voted for and it really is none of my business.  I’ve heard people who are ecstatic that President Obama has been given another chance to see what he can do.  Whether it is good or bad, fair or unfair is not for me to say.  And, on the other hand I’ve heard people say that now our country will go to hell in a hand basket; that President Obama will not only give away the farm but will toss in the livestock.  Again, it is not for me to say what my opinion is on the subject.  Honestly, I’m not worried one way or the other.  Long before last Tuesday my son reminded me that no matter who is president that Jesus is still King.  To me that’s all that’s important.  I know no matter what that God will always take care of me and my family.  He always has.

     Are you worried about the country?  Come on… do you honestly think one man can build our country up or tear it down?  Only God can destroy our country.  We must exercise our faith in Him.  Remember what He promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14  if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear their prayers from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.  So there you go!  Christians should not be wasting their time pointing fingers and blaming others.  The reason our country is in the mess it is in is because God’s people, His children have turned away from listening to Him and following His principles and virtues and have started living like the world.  Today it is hard sometimes to tell the Christians from the world.  We accept far more than we should and we fail to stand up and speak up for our beliefs.  When they wanted to take prayer and devotionals out of the public schools we sat on our hands and let them.  Then they wanted to remove the Ten Commandments from all public buildings and again we did not speak up.  They said it is all right to kill unborn babies and we allowed that and same-sex marriage and on and on and on…  Where does it stop?

     It will stop when Christians get on their knees and humble themselves, pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways!  So stop blaming President Obama or whoever is in office and start putting the blame on our backs where it belongs.  If God’s children will pray and stand up for God’s principles and virtues (and apply them to their lives) this country can once again be a wonderful place to live.  Our children can play outside or walk a block to the store without having to worry about being kidnapped, raped and/or murdered.  Neighbors will be willing to help neighbors.  Yes, there will be jobs for everyone and we can once again freely seek the American Dream.  It is up to us, not one of us but all of us.  Christians you should never have to tell someone you are a Christian they should be able to tell it by the way you live.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time please read your Bible, seek God’s way and keep praying.  We can once again be God’s Client Nation and have His favor.

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.

BUILD YOUR WORD REPERTOIRE

     Recently my 67-year-old sister-in-law shocked her oldest daughter by telling her that she liked RAP music (for lack of a better word though it hardly qualifies as music.)  We all got a good laugh out of that because we’re almost sure she doesn’t even know what RAP is. Or she might really shock us by knowing what it is.  But it is highly doubtful.  This is a woman who does not use swear words nor does she want them said around her.  She is a true Southern Lady.

     I thought about it and I decided I might like some RAP if they didn’t cuss so much.  As I was growing up, and trust me that was many moons ago, we were taught that a person uses cuss words because they have a limited vocabulary.  So the author of RAP just like any other writer should strive to develop a repertoire of words even though they might never use them in any of their work.  We know that as writers we should tell the story (or song) in the most precise terms.  A reader or listener does not want to struggle through fifty dollar words when ten-cent words will get the point across.

     There are a number of ways to build our collection of words; Scrabble, learning a new word every day, reading and so on and on.  I prefer the reading method.  I like having the knowledge when and if I ever need it but like every one else I attempt to make my manuscripts an easy, enjoyable read.  Our readers want to be entertained not impressed by our large vocabularies but on the other hand I feel they don’t want every other word to be a cuss word.

     Will I listen to RAP?  I have in the past when my sons and I were sharing a car.  I didn’t really like it then but I did enjoy sharing the moment with which ever son was driving me to and from work that particular day.  They were also kind enough to listen to my Country Music on rare, very rare, occasions.  Today if you get in my car and turn on the CD player you will probably hear something like “The Wheels on The Bus Go Round and Round.”  Why?  Because that is the kind of music my two-year old grandson enjoys and we are sharing moments and building happy memories.

     I like most music but not all of any genre. Music is part of life and wouldn’t the world be colorless without it?

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time settle back in a comfort chair and listen to RAP… or not.   God bless.

WHO CAN SOLVE THE UNITED STATE’S PROBLEMS

 

     My thoughts for today might seem a bit scrambled.   And I will blame that on too many political commercials or should we call it what it is and say too much mud-slinging by the candidates.  Are you like me and inundated information that says each man is the best and if elected he will turn this country around and once again make us a “kick-ass” country instead of a “kiss-ass” country.  (Pardon the language please?)  If so my two cents might help you make up your mind about who to vote for or you will simply take it along with the other politics.

     No one man got us in the fix we are in today and no one man can get us out.  Period!  We, the Christians can take the blame for that.  There was a time when the husband was head of the home and he went out made the living for the family and was proud to do so.  The wife was happy to stay home and take care of the home and family.  She taught her children Christian principles and manners.  She did not expect the school to do.  And she taught her children to respect authority.  When I say husband and wife I mean one man and one woman who are married and not just living together first to see how it works and certainly not two men or two women.  During that time the children were born after the wedding. 

     Now a days Christians are not standing up for our values and the Christians principles that we are taught.  We accept the world’s standards!  In so many cases you can’t tell the Christians from the world we have come to accept and be so much like them. We want the schools and churches to teach our children right from wrong but even if they do we fail to support their teaching.  We, Christians are living together out-of-wedlock, we’re having babies without marriage, and we accept homosexuality; to name a few.  The list goes on and on just look around.  If little Johnny sees his daddy cheat on his taxes then he figures it is all right for him to cheat on his school test.  If we say “Don’t drink” but our children see a cabinet in our home filled with alcoholic beverages then they get a double message which leads to a double standard.

     Back when I was growing up the family all sat around the table and had dinner together.  That was a time when we could talk and discuss our day and what was happening in our lives.  Today most parents are too busy to sit down and eat with their children.  This starts when the kids are babies and continues.  So when do they communicate with each other?  Almost never!  The parents are more interested in their careers.  They hardly know their own children because some other woman called a nanny or housekeeper is raising them.  And while she is raising their children someone else is caring for hers.  Oh…I know they say it takes two salaries in today’s economy.  But there is a reason for that.  Today they must have a big houses, two cars, boats, and on and on.  Today even the Jones are keeping up with the Jones.  And I ask why?  Why are we throwing the important thing out the window?  Our family!  And striving for what’s important to the world.

     No Satan is doing what he should be doing.  He is destroying our families thus our Christian principles and values.  It is we Christians who are failing to do what we should be doing.  We don’t need a whole village to raise our children we need to do the job ourselves and do it based on Christian values.

     Thanks for listening to my thoughts today.  Until next time give it some thought and keep believing, keep trusting God and keep praying.  The world needs more praying parents.  God bless.

READ

As I have said before, so many times that by now you probably know it by heart, I’m an avid reader.  I have to read!  If I didn’t have a book I would probably read labels and the small print on a toothpaste box.  I prefer reading to television.  You can blame my sister, Roser Lee, for this habit of mine.  She read to me when I was so small she could wedge me between her side and the arm of the chair.  Classics like “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” were what she poured into me instead of fairy tales or Mother Goose Stories.  I grew up in a small town with an even smaller library and I bet I read every fiction book in that place before I moved away.  In the summer when other kids were out swimming and enjoying the beautiful, hot southern days I was in the house with my nose stuck in a book.  So I feel qualified to give my opinion on novels.

     I’ve just finished “Stolen Prey” by John Sandford.  I believe I have read almost, if not all of Sandford’s “Prey” novels.  He can really spin a tale.  I’ve watched Lucas Davenport develop his detective skills and grow his family over the years.  This character almost seems real to me.  “Stolen Prey” is a wonderful, well written novel in a style that is strictly John’s.  If you want a good read without all the erotica then I recommend his novels.  I suggest you start with the first of the “Prey” series and watch Lucas develop from novel to novel.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

      Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep reading and remember you don’t have to be a great writer to be an avid reader but you must be an avid reader to be a great writer.  God bless

Feet of Clay

 

     I’ve told you about my Daddy so I should tell you about my Momma.  She was wonderful!  But then again, don’t we all think our moms are great?  We put them up on pedestals and fail to see their feet of clay.  We refuse to believe they are anything less than perfect.  And if you are a mom, aren’t you glad?

     Momma gave birth to ten children, all single births.  She loved each and every one of us and accepted us as we were.  She never tried to force us in to a mold.  She knew our strengths and weaknesses and encouraged the assets and forgave the flaws.  She and Daddy worked hard and believed every one else should do the same.  Momma thought everybody should have at least one job.

     As I said before, my Daddy was buried on my fourteenth birthday.  All the other children except me and Betty Jean were grown and married.  Now Momma had us to finish raising by herself.  She got a social security check for each of us but it wasn’t anything to write home about.  When we got old enough to get a job, (at that time I believe you could work at sixteen, anyway) she found us a job.

     It was in the spring and one of the local factories (I guess you’d call it that for lack of any other name), Roddenberry’s Pickle Plant hired temporary workers for what they called “The Green Season.”  What that amounted to was the time of year that the fresh cucumbers were coming in.  The plant was huge and open.  There was no air conditioning only enormous fans that blew hot air around.  Rows of women stood at wooden bins on each side of a conveyor belt.  In the corner of the bin you would put a dozen jars, open end up, that you got from the boxes stacked beside you.  They dumped the pickles in the other part of the bin.  Your job was to pack the pickles in the jars and place them in a certain way so the customers could see how pretty they were.  You had to put so many in a jar.  And you had to pack so many dozen jars an hour.  Sometimes as you were packing you fingers would slip and the pickle would go under your nail and hurt like the dickens.  Once the jars were full you put them on the conveyor belt to have the vinegar put in, the lids screwed on, labels posted and then back in boxes to be shipped.  If a jar broke in the bin it had to be completely cleaned out and every pickle thrown away so no one would get glass when they went to eat the end product.  Needless to say breakage was frowned up on.  We worked any where from 10 to 12 hours a day for minimum wage. And when you left there you smelled like a pickle.  I hated that job!! 

     Toward the end of season they started laying people off, usually on Friday which was pay-day.  Every Friday I prayed that I would get laid off.  Momma would never have allowed me to quit.  You just did not quit a job around Momma. Thank God the Friday finally came when they let me go!  I tried to hide my joy because it would not have been polite to show how happy I was at their decision.  I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Momma and Betty Jean.  But my pleasure was short-lived.

     Momma just said, “that’s okay, Sugar, we knew it was coming sooner or later.  Tomorrow morning I’ll take you down to the Okra House and you can work their green season.”

     She was talking about Campbell Soup Company but everybody around Cairo called  it the Okra House because that’s what they worked in.

     Sure, enough early the next morning I heard, “Wake up, Sugar, yore coffee’s ready.” 

     Momma spoiled Betty Jean and me that way; every morning she’d have us a steaming cup of coffee beside the bed when she woke us up.

     Soon my older married sister arrived to drive us to the Okra House; we couldn’t afford a car of our own.

     Momma had worked there for years when she was physically able but now she had health problems and could no longer stand for ten to fourteen hours a day.  But she still knew the people so she walked me right up to the man in charge.  I forget his name but it really isn’t important so I’ll just call him Frank.

     She said. “Frank, this here is my youngest daughter and she needs a job.”

     He quit what he was doing and looked at us.  “Does she have a knife and a hairnet?”

     She nodded.  “Has my old knife.”  They used a special kind of knife.

     “Then take’er to the office and tell’em I said sign’er up and give’er a badge and hairnet. And have’er back here at twelve to start.”

     Yippee!  So much for my unemployment. 

     That place was almost the same as the Pickle Plant.  At Campbell’s the women stood at medal bins on each side facing a conveyor belt .  They dumped okra in your bin and you had to trim the ends off and put the okra in another bin.  Once it was full they pulled a switch and dumped it onto a belt and you started all over.  You had to fill so many bins an hour to make production to keep your job.

     We started at noon because the farmers in the area cut the okra in the morning and delivered it to the plant in the afternoon.  The later in the night it got one could hear the women asking anyone who walked through from where they unloaded the trucks.  “How many trucks left out there?” They knew about how much longer they had to work by the number of trucks left in line.

     We worked until one or two o’clock in the morning.  When we got off I had to walk two miles home.  I was fine until I got to this one place on the hike.  There was a saw-mill with a small stream of water and woods beside it in the valley between two hills.  That place scared me to death.  So I’d get about half way down the hill then I’d start running and ran until half way up on the other side.  If someone had been waiting to harm me I sure made enough noise to let them know I was coming.

     Momma was always waiting up when I got home.

     Again, I was happy when I got laid off and again my joy was short-lived.

     This time Momma said.  “Okay, we knew it was coming.  They’ve started a new sewing factory in town so tomorrow morning I’ll take you there to see about a job.”

     “Momma, I can’t sew!”  I cried.

     “Well you ain’t too ignorant to learn are you?”  Was her reply.

     I got the job but had to work three weeks without pay while I was trained.   Momma said.  “That’s okay we’ll manage ‘til you start getting paid.”  My Momma could sure manage money.  Maybe we’d be better off if she was alive today and could manage the country’s economy.

     I turned my paycheck over to her and never questioned why.  I just knew it was needed.

     I worked that job for about four years until I got married and moved  to Florida with my husband.

     I was truly blessed because God gave me two loving parents.  Our home wasn’t rich but it was overflowing with love.

     Thanks for stopping by and listening to my memories.  Until next time if you have a job appreciate it; there are those who wish they were physically able to work.  God bless.

The Creek

Many would look down their noses at the place where I grew up.  It was then and is today affectionately known as “The Creek.”  If you are from there or ever stayed there then you will know it even though I won’t name the town or even the state.

The Creek is a neighborhood of struggling working class folks.  The houses aren’t large or fancy and most are simple frame homes.  Some are filled to the brim with growing children where both parents have to work to  make ends meet.  Most of the yards have huge old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and in the back or on the side will be a place designated for a vegetable garden which usually has something growing in it year round. There are clothes lines strung across the back yard where the women hang the laundry out to dry.  It is a beautiful sight to see the large, usually white, sheets flapping in a summer breeze.  Now you can buy and add to your wash all the fancy fabric softeners you want but you will never have the fresh clean scent you get from clothes hanging on a line and drying in the fresh air and sunshine.  As a child you learn early that unless you want your fanny tanned you better stay clear of the clothes hanging on the line.  If Momma finds tiny prints from your dirty little hands you will regret the day.

As I said all the neighbors who are physically able usually have a garden growing year round.  The Creek people share what they grow; some might have collards, others peas, others beans and almost all have a tomato plant or two.  They plant Marigolds in with the vegetables because it keeps the insects away without chemicals.  The folks on the Creek were organic before anyone knew what organic meant.  Now when they go to share they will say “C’mon on over and get you a mess of collards (or what have you.)”  It is never “some” or “enough for a meal.”  If you are truly from the south you know it always has been and always will be “a mess.”  And the evening meal isn’t dinner it is supper and what most call lunch in the south we call dinner.

Neighbors watch out for neighbors and all keep their eyes on the kids.  If a mom knows that both parents are at work at a meal time she will have her kids run over and tell their kids to “C’mon and eat.”   On the other hand if any kid needs his fanny popped for getting into something he shouldn’t any neighbor that sees him will happily oblige.  And the worse part, they will tell your parents so you get it again when you get home.  We played baseball in the street, which was red clay, and a passing car slowed as the game stopped and resumed once the dust had settled.  In the early evening we gathered under the street light and played hide-and-seek while our parents sat on the front porches and visited with each other.  The older children usually helped the younger children find a good hiding spot and all looked out for each other.  We were more like family than neighbors.

There will be more Creek stories in the future.  It was a poor neighborhood but a wonderful place to raise children.  We were taught to love God and thank Him for all our blessings.  Parents might be busy making a living but they took time to listen to their kids and visit for a few minutes with their neighbors.  Today people live beside each other for years and don’t even know who lives next door.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of my memories.  As I’ve told you before some are good and some are bad but the good out weighs the bad. God Bless.

The Man My Daddy Was

  

     By now we all know, if we didn’t before, that Sunday is Father’s Day.  I asked myself if I should jump on the wagon with everyone else and write something with that in mind.  The television is blasting about how great dads are and how we should be grateful to and for our dads.  And I know there are those that wish the day would just come and get it over.  Some never knew their fathers and some would have been better off if they never knew theirs.  Then there are those like me.

     I lost my Daddy when I was in my teens.  My Mom completely forgot what day it was and he was buried on my fourteenth birthday.  Happy birthday to me, right?  It didn’t matter because I was certainly in no mood to celebrate.  After that every year as I got older the day brought sad memories instead of time for a celebration.  Until I got old enough to realize it was a time to celebrate; not because Daddy died but because it was his graduation day so to speak.  He is in Heaven and no longer has to face the trials and hard work of this old world.

     He worked two jobs to make sure his family did not do without anything we needed right up to the day he died.  Both jobs were at a sawmills, he did what they regularly do at a mill from twelve-thirty to five and four or five nights a week  and/or weekends he was a night watchman (now they would have called it security) at another sawmill.  When I smell the clean, sweet scent of fresh-cut lumber I think of my Daddy.  That and Old Spice Cologne are the scents I relate to Daddy.  

     Sometimes when he worked weekends I would ride my bike out to the mill and stay with him.  It was a huge place and I tagged along beside him as he made the rounds making sure everything was secure. If it was in the winter he would build a fire in an old rusty drum and cook coffee in an old coffee can and heat soup for us on top.  As we drink and ate he told me stories about his youth.  I could not picture him being young because he was fifty-five when I was born.  When it wasn’t cold he would break out bologna, mayo and bread from the large cooler he carried.  We made our sandwiches on top of the cooler then sat on the huge logs and ate as he talked.  He gave me advice on how to live a good life.  One thing I remember was: ‘Whether a job is big or small do it right or not at all.’   That was his philosophy and how he lived his life and I try to make it mine.

       I’m well aware there are dads out there who could never measure up to the man my Daddy was.  Oh yes, some of them have more money because it’s a fact we were not rolling in the dough.  They buy their kids all kinds of expensive gifts and send them to the best private schools.  However, they are so busy chasing the almighty dollar that they never stop and sit on a log, eat a bologna sandwich and talk to their kids.  There are others who are such monsters they have no right to be called ‘Daddy’.  And there are those who are simply sperm donors.  When I look at them all I know God truly blessed me with a wonderful Daddy and I would not trade the time I spent with him for all the gold in China. 

     So if you have a good daddy go visit him, maybe make a sandwich and sit on the equivalent of a log and listen to what he has to say.  Remember God didn’t promise us tomorrow. Until next time God bless.