Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ten On Tuesday On Wednesday

Yesterday's Ten On Tuesday's topic was "Things I Love About Farmer's Markets". But, being that during growing season, I'm almost always at work on Saturday mornings (when they have the local farmer's market), I haven't been to one in ages. Because of that, I was thinking that I couldn't really do a post on that topic, since I don't really know what a farmer's market is like.

 I tried and tried to think of something else interesting to post, but I figured you really didn't want to hear about getting the oil changed in my Jimmy and mopping my bathroom floor.

But today, at work-- still thinking about the farmer's markets-- I remembered going to one as a child. And I remembered my parents buying a bushel of purple hull peas. And I remembered... Then suddenly, I knew I had a topic.
Ten Things From My Childhood That I Miss 

 And here they are, in no particular order:

1. Shelling Peas. As I said, for several summers, my parents would buy a bushel or two of purple hull peas. Sometimes we got them from a farmer's market. Sometimes someone brought them to us. But the fun part was, when the peas arrived, we all sat around in the living room shelling them, and my dad would tell us stories of the olden days. And we thought it was great fun. Which segues nicely into

2. Picking up and shelling pecans. My mammaw had six or seven big, huge pecan trees in her yard. I mean, these things were as big as an oak tree, and every Saturday in the fall, my dad would drive us over, and we'd pick up pecans. Mammaw would give us a Welch's grape juice can with the top cut out-- cautioning us to be careful and not cut ourselves on the rim-- and we'd run out into the yard and pick up pecans. Once we had our cans full, we'd bring them into the house and pour the pecans into a paper grocery bag. Remember them? Once we had enough pecans for the day, we'd go home and sit around the living room and shell them. And my dad would tell us stories of the olden days. And we thought it was great fun. When I was grown and had a home of my own, someone gave me a big bag of pecans. I so looked forward to shelling them, but didn't get very far into the job before thinking, "this is the pits!" But somehow, my dad had made it fun. He could make anything

3. Painting the house. One summer, we got out and we scraped the house, and we painted the house, and it was so much fun out there working with Daddy. It was the highlight of my summer that year. The next summer, I was so looking forward to painting the house again. Alas, I was totally crushed when Daddy told me we didn't need to paint the house every year. Sigh. But every year we did go

4. Picking Figs. Mammaw had four or five fig trees in her yard, and every Saturday afternoon, Dad would take us over there and we would pick figs. They were so juicy and sweet right off the tree. Even my dad would eat as many as he picked. Then we would take them home, and my mother would cook them down and make fig preserves out of them. Oh, I loved those homemade fig preserves.

5. June Floods. For a long time, every year in June or July, we would get some heavy rains and the end of our street would flood. See, we had this shallow, muddy waterway across the street from my house that went by the simple name of The Gully.

Yes, this really is my childhood street.  You can see the dead end and the gully at the top of the picture.  My house is the third from the right on the bottom of the street.  Did I mention that I love Google Earth?  But I digress...

At least once a year, the gully would overflow and the dead end of our dead end street would flood. We kids thought this was great fun playing in the water down there. But, when I was about 11 or 12, the city built up the street level, and the floods ended-- at least until Hurricane Ike came through. That was some bad news, but as a kid, I loved

6. Hurricanes. I was too young to understand the danger. To me, they were exciting and different. Taping up the windows, getting the hurricane lanterns ready. Cleaning up the yard. Dad would tump over the swingsets and everything that could blow away had to somehow be stuffed into our garage. My mother would clean the bathtub really well and fill it with water, so we'd have safe drinking water if we needed it. Oh, and the power outages! I loved the power outages. We'd all sit around by lamplight and tell stories and stuff. Kind of like they did in the old days. I kind of felt like Laura in a little house in the big

7. Woods. Behind my house there was some woods--about 9 or 10 acres worth.

The top street in this picture is my street.  The bottom street is Travis street.  The street in the middle wasn't there.  All that space between Sherrill and Travis streets was woods.

It was just about the perfect place for a kid to play. Those woods were big enough that you could feel like you were really out in the wilderness, but small enough that you couldn't get lost in them. We had camps, and trails, and tree houses, and I loved those woods. They were my safe place. Funny thing about those woods.  I had to ask permission to go next door, but I could play out in those woods all day long and never tell a soul.  But, my senior year in high school, someone bought that land, and put up a housing development. It broke my heart. Like having to give up

8. Halloween. Back in the day, before all this "If you observe Halloween, you're really worshiping Satan without realizing it" hoopla, Halloween was just another fun holiday. We knew we weren't worshiping the Devil.  We were just having fun, and back then, we had sense enough to know the difference.  To us, Halloween was a day to dress up and run around after dark. We were so seldom allowed outside after dark that I think this was the biggest appeal to me. And carving the pumpkin. And the Halloween carnival at Lorena Oats Elementary School. That was even more fun that Halloween itself. Except for the year my mother made me go through the spook house. That wasn't so much fun.

9.  Made for TV movies.  Yeah, they still make them, but now you have to subscribe to the right cable channels to get them.  They don't have the old ABC Monday Night At The Movies any more.  They made some good movies, too.  

10.  Galveston.  My dad told me once that the only vacation he remembered his family taking was to Galveston Island.  So that's where we went on our vacations.  Oh, we went to San Antonio one year, and on the Great Western Tour one year (I was 4 for that one, and am kind of surprised how well I remember that trip), but mostly we went to Galveston.  When I got a little older, my parents discovered that they could rent a cabin on Crystal Beach for the same cost as a hotel room in Galveston, so that's what we did from then on.  But we still went to the island at least once.  One of these days, when I can afford it, I'm going back. 

So that's it.  My list of things I miss from my childhood.  Really, I could go on and on, but the list is Ten on Tuesday, not a bazillion on Tuesday.  I hope you enjoyed reading my list, and I'd love to hear what some of your nostalgic memories are, too.

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