Wed 1 Dec, 2004 05:36 pm
When I visited my grandparents in West Plains, Mo or north in the thumb of Michigan, I would sleep in the attic among the boxes. When the contents of the wood stove had become a soft glowing pile, the temperature upstairs was cold, cold, cold. As many of you know, the thundermug was a metal container, not much different than a bucket, which served as your toilet. Believe me, when I say, it was frigid when pressed against a bare bottom.
My wife tells me her summer baths were outside, close to the smoke house. The oldest kids were told to pull the metal tub outside. It was filled with water, sometimes rain water. Then it sat in the bright sun of noonday until it was warm. Then the oldest of the six children would slide into the tepid water. After that bath, the next oldest cleaned themselves. This continued until the youngest had completed their bath.
On Saturday, one of the kids would take a quarter to the local Mom & Pop store to buy a pound of bananas and a loaf of white bread. The two items served as Sunday supper.
B says her Daddy owned two pairs of long johns. He would wear a pair until his wife told he him to take them off, then he put on the other pair until his wife, again, told him to take them off.
I'd to read your I REMEMBER WHEN stories.
Aw Mapleleaf, I've missed these tales of yours. I haven't anything to offer, really....
Lovely to see you, Mapleleaf!
I'm thinking, I'm thinking ....
I remember being six years old and watching my grandfather take out his teeth to brush them. I must've tried for two months to pull out my own uppers.
When I was about 3, my grandpa scared the hell out of me by popping out his uppers while we were sitting on the beach. I could hear him laughing all the way up in the house after I ran my little tushie up there.
I grew up inthe suburbs of Bosotn. I remember when we moved there that sheep pastured on a grassy hillside abutting my neighborhood. They were replaced by a little strip mall just after we moved in.
We had a forrest on 2 sides of the 'hood which seemed to go on for ever. We would walk out there, finding little treasures, finding some really naughty things too. We had stories and tales, trails and legends revolving around stone walls, stumps, and hollow trees. Now those woods are housing developments.
Grandma and Grandpa McClain lived at the edge of West Plains, MO. The town is in the SW part of the state. As a kid, I noted the greeting of anyone driving a vehicle; the pointing finger would rise from the steering wheel in greeting. They did that with anyone along the road.
A garage or lean-to building housed the 19-thirty something car. On the left side was a huge spiderweb, maybe four feet by four feet. Don't know; things appear larger when you are 12. Clinging to the web was a spider as large as my hand. Bright red or orange colored the body.
The out-house path curved 25 yards. A gray wooden one hole seater faced the house. Peering through the opening, one could see the bugs crawling over the droppings. And yes, there was a Sears catalog for toilet paper.
I remember sitting in the hay loft with my older brother, tossing firecrackers at the pigs (actually, throwing "snakes"). When we ran out of fireworks we started tossing lit matches. Only the second time I saw my grandfather shout; years later I'm surprised we didn't give him a heart attack.
Grandpa and Grandma Proffitt spent a number of years in Pomona, Missouri. Basically an intersection in the South section of the state, about 20 miles from Arkansas and 200+ miles East of Branson.
In those days, we would drive past a few stores and turn right at the railroad track. Driving over the dusty dirt roads for a hundred yards or so, we approached a house which really didn't look like a house. Attached to the main building a long slanted structure fingered it's way for 60 to 100 feet. Some say this was the site of an old hospital.
Grandpa was usually seated in an old wing back chair. His head was cocked up, surveying the Grit (weekly newspaper), while he chewed away on a plug of tobacco. To his right was a no. 10 can, this was where he spit.
Grandma cooked on an iron wood stove. Sometimes I was allowed to add wood. About 10 or 15 feet from the stove, was the well. As it was enclosed, it was included with the kitchen. Sometimes I would hang my head over the edge of the well and listen to the rope unwind as the pail disappeared into the darkness.
I slept by myself in a small room at the end of a long hallway. The colder it got; the more quilts were added to my bed.