Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I remember....

I moan and groan and bitch and gripe about having a bad day and there are plenty of times when the bad days seem to gang up on me. But when they get especially bad, I think back to what was or what has been and often that's enough to give me thought about all the things that are better than they were, and some that are not.

I remember a cold house and only a cast iron wood stove to warm whichever side you had facing it. Summers hot enough that you felt as though you were melting and the smell of Black Flag fogging throughout the house at night to deter the buzzing mosquitoes.

I remember not caring about the furniture arrangements as long as you could turn the bed so that a breeze could come through the window to cool you from the rattling old window fan.

I remember looking forward to Saturday wash day because you could strip the beds and wash the sheets. Those sun dried, clean sheets always smelled of the outdoors and summer sunshine even in the middle of winter. I also remember those same sheets freezing on the line before you could get the clothes pins attached good.

I remember and never miss the old No. 3 washtub that was used to rinse the laundry and then was cleaned out to be ready for bath time. Bathing was more a chore than a luxury when your knees were up under your chin.

I remember the old pitcher pump in the back yard and having to carry buckets of water into the house for drinking and cooking and for washing the dishes. Laundry days and the evening baths meant many trips with the bucket and I don't miss that either.

I remember wearing an undershirt from October until May and having to take Grover's Chill Tonic because Grandma was convinced of it's medicinal miracles to ward off coughs and colds all winter. I can recall the box it came in, the color and the taste of it. That's sure not missed.

I remember having a whole farm for a playground. A creek to wade and fish in, fruit trees, and a huge garden available to gather our snacks from. If there was traffic on our little dirt lane, it was company coming to visit.

I remember the old outdoor toilets which no manner of sweeping could keep clear of spider webs and wasp nests. We always kept an eye out for snakes there too. I durn sure don't miss that.

I remember dozens and dozens of books read while sitting in an old oak tree down the lane. The whisper of leaves in the breeze and the sharp feel of the bark against my back. I also remember falling out of that tree one day and landing on top of a bobwire fence which probably saved me a broken limb.

I remember playing a million or so games of cards and monopoly cause the TV stopped working and we didn't have money to get it repaired. I don't recall missing the TV.

As I wrote this it was difficult to draw the line between the best things and the not so good cause I think even the hardest times gave me strength to face all of the rough patches in my life.

I think what I remember most is learning to never expect more than what I have at the moment.

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