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.
Posted in blog, family, Fiction, memories, old buildings, southern, Southern Drama, Uncategorized
Tagged families, good life, love, memories, neighbors, southern, the creek, The South
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.
Posted in blog, blogging, family, Fathers, God, Love, memories, peace, southern, Uncategorized
Tagged daddies, family, fathers, joy, love, memories, peace
My blog isn’t meant to be a devotional or even a Bible lesson. No, it is my thoughts on whatever I’m thinking about. I will share memories from my life and let me tell you it flat was not always and still is not peaches and cream. I have had plenty of struggles but no matter what was going on either good or bad I knew and know that God is with me. He takes care of me, even protects me from myself at times.
God is not just interested in us when we are in church or studying His Word. He is interested in our life minute by minute. He’s always there and He always cares. We all need His protection whether we admit it or not. I fully believe Romans 8:28. I know for a fact he is always working in my life.
Take last Saturday for example.
I had been shopping. Now when I go out and come back home I usually enter the house by the front door and put my things away before I do anything else. Well Saturday for some reason, (I know it was the Holy Spirit directing me) I went around the back to my husband’s shop. I asked if he would like a salad since it was almost lunch time. He said sure and I came in the house to make our meal.
He followed me inside but went on through the house. Why doesn’t matter. He found a three or four-foot Cottonmouth Moccasin sunning itself on our front porch! Now if you like snakes I’m sorry but I don’t. The only good snake to me is a dead snake. Yes, he killed it.
If I had done what I usually do and gone in the front I very well might have stepped on the thing. They say I’m in Gwyn-land most of the time and run on automatic pilot. So I very well might not have seen the Cottonmouth until it was too late.
My point is that God was protecting me! The Holy Spirit, Who is out Guide and Teacher (John 14:26, John 16:13) had me go out of the usual. No, I did not hearing a booming voice that told me to go to the shop first. But His Spirit spoke to my Spirit and directed. If you don’t believe this way it’s fine with me. But why don’t you start paying attention to things like this and see how you feel then. Maybe you take a different way to work and don’t know why, then you hear there was a bad accident the way you usually go. Things that you are calling coincident may very well be the Holy Spirit guiding you if you only recognize it. I know He guides me and He helps me learn God’s Word.
Thanks for stopping by and until next time stay safe and do something nice for someone even if you don’t like them; especially if you don’t like them. God bless.
Posted in blog, faith, family, God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, Love, peace, witnessing, writing
Tagged faith, God, Holy Spirit, love, trust