Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I've written a lot about the older folks over the years because there’s so may things to write about. How they lived their lives, and the things they seen. It’s priceless and pure gold to my heart. I've always loved to listen to their stories and watch their eyes light up when they’re talking. They take me along with them and put me in a place that I long to be . I've traveled to a lot of places and seen a lot of things through their eyes and to this day I can still see it all in my mind.
And to think how things have changed so much and come such a long ways, they wouldn't even recognize it today. I hardly recognize it myself. All the modern day technology and gadgets, they wouldn't know what to do with em. Some got to sample a few and others never had the opportunity.
I can just see the look on their faces to see so many things we take for granted everyday like an automatic washing machine or an electric stove, maybe something small like an electric coffee pot. A far cry from an old wringer washing machine or rub board. Instead of building a fire in the old cook stove and trying to cook, all they’d have to do is turn a knob on an electric cook stove.
My grandma on my mama’s side had one for a long time before she passed away. Some of her kids bought it fer her. It sit in the corner of the kitchen and I never knew of her ever turning it on let alone cook on it. She used her old woodstove come winter or summer. It didn't matter how hot it got she’d build up a fire in that old woodstove and start cooking or canning. The sweat would drip off of her nose she’d be so hot and she’d wipe it with her apron tail.
I remember my mama getting up in the mornings and pouring water in an old coffee pot that sit on the back of the stove and adding coffee straight to the pot. Most folks didn't even have or know what an electric percolater was. They all had the kind ya sit on the stove. They’d take the guts out of it and just boil the coffee, and keep on boiling. My mama and daddy loved their coffee so black and strong it’d float a fifty cent piece on top. I guess that’s why I’m not a coffee drinker today. They still used the old coffee pots without the guts in em as long as they lived. In later years mama got an automatic drip coffee maker and she only used it when company came or around the holidays when everybody gathered in. She said it didn't even taste like coffee and it was to weak.
My mama got a food processor one Christmas. Everyone told her that it’d be sooo much faster to chop her cabbage when it came time to make her sour kraut. Yeah right, she used it one time and threw it back in the cabinet. She said all that thing is fit fer is to make a mess all over the kitchen. She went back to using her very sharp cream cans to chop with.
I can just see my other little grandma grabbing that little pocketbook and slinging it on her arm and walking these paved roads with so many cars flying past her, not being able to have free rein of the roads and not being able to smell the flowers or pick a few along the way. I can just hear her now, “I’ll Be Rotten Take, Ya Can’t Get Out On The Roads Anymore Or Somebody’ll Try To Kill Ya., What‘s The World Comin To.”
I’ll be rotten take was her by words, as the older folks called it. I hate to think what kind of spell she’d have right there on the side of the road when one flew passed her. She’d probably pick up rocks and throw at em and stomp her feet.
There were only a few vehicles that passed through back then and we knew every person that passed by. Daddy would hitch hike to town but he never walked far before someone he knew picked him up.
Someone else would bring him home and set him out at the door.
Today it’d take him all day to walk there and back. All the ones he knew is dead and gone and everybody’s afraid to pick up a hitchhiker and vis versa. As my daddy would say, “They Just As Soon To Knock Ya In The Head As Look At Ya.”
We never had a TV till I was half grown and the first one we got was a black and white. We wasn't allowed to turn it on till dark thirty came. On Saturday night we got to watch Hee Haw. The whole family gathered around the TV. We loved to watch Gun Smoke and Bonanza on Sunday night. That’d be after mama watched her Lawrence Welk show. Gosh, we hated that show. I can still hear it now, “And A One, And A Two”. We’d go outside and play, all the time counting down the minutes till it was over. Then we’d all try to get through the door at the same time and there’d sit daddy with his legs crossed watching it too.
Every Thursday night we all had to watch The Waltons. They kinda reminded us of ourselves. The only thing missing was all of the goodnights said at bedtime. We fell asleep the minute we said our prayers and hit the pillow.
Of course that all happened after our little grandma passed away. All she ever knew was an old radio and listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. She’d probably kick her foot through a TV today with all the filth as mama called it.
And back when we were younguns we could hear a plane go over and we’d run outside and watch it go clear out of sight and marvel at the white tails it left behind. We didn't miss anything that went on outside. We loved to play marbles, jump rope, jacks, or in the woods where we built many a playhouse.
And the kids today have got me plum bum fuzzled with so many electronics to play with. They got I Pads, computers, smart phones, etc. They never see the outside. We never seen inside the house till it came suppertime. We’d all cram around the big eatin table daddy made, fighting over the back bench and mama always had to break it up. But when it came time to eat we were quiet as a mouse. We knew to watch our manners at the table and keep our mouths shut. We eat three square meals a day and there was no junk food on hand. Our junk food was a big piece of leftover cornbread and a little green onion out of the garden, especially for an after school snack.
I can just see that table spread with all of those garden fresh veggies topped off with a big glass of cold, sweet milk or buttermilk that we’d kept in the spring. We even placed our watermelons that we grew in the spring till time to eat em.
We didn't have a frigerator till I was half grown. Shucks we didn't have electricity till I was 12 years old. You talk about being in hog heaven, we were when we got the first frigerator. It was so small it wouldn't hold much but we sure did stand with the door open. Mama jumped onto us all the time. She’d say, “Shut That Frigerator Door And Get Outside Before I Get My Limb. Uns Can’t Be Hungry, Ya Just Eat A Bushel”. We were mesmerized by it.
It even came with ice trays in the top. They used to sell koolaid in big packs that already had the sugar in em. We’d mix that koolaid up and pour it in those ice trays and the trick was to let it freeze. That was a sure, fine treat on a hot day. Don't knock it till ya tried it. It’s no wonders mama jumped our humps fer standing with the door open. We’d check every time we passed through the kitchen.
Now we've not only got big frigerators with ice makers but we got freezers to put our food in. We managed to get a small deep freezer later on in life but mama still canned and put everything she could in jars. She still canned the sausage that we’d grind up from the fresh hog meat. She said it just tasted better out of a can. One day daddy asked her, “How Do You Know How It Tastes Out Of The Freezer, Ya Ain't Never Tried It”. That didn't go over to well and I’ll leave it at that.
There’s been a lot of changes over the years. Some fer the better and some fer the worse but one thing’s fer certain, if the older folks were still here a lot of things would stay the same and they’d see to that. If it works don’t fix it, that was their motto. And I can still hear it today, these modern day gadgets and changes are gonna be the death of us yet.
© Susie Swanson, 2014