Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Not A Care In The World

Every year when fall starts comin in with that little, cool nip in the air and the skies are crystal, clear and blue as far as the eye can see, it takes me back to some good memories of those long ago falls, when we didn’t have a care in the world.
Having to hit the ole school bus after trompin through the thickets all summer wasn’t somethin we looked forward to but after we got back into the groove of things we found it wasn’t so bad after all, till we got the yellow bus fever. We found out the hard way after cryin wolf a few times, it doesn’t work.
Mama used to say she wished school went the whole year round. But that was because we worried the daylights out of her.
I asked her one time what worryin the daylights out of her meant and she told me it meant drivin her crazy as a bess bug. We were always into one thing after the other, it was no wonders she had so many gray hairs in her head. I never did ask her what a bess bug was.

They had some funny, ole sayin’s back then but we grew up listenin to em so much we took em at what they meant, not what they said.

Every year when the remnants of the garden were gone and mama had canned everything she could includin the leftovers from which she made the chow chow, ( man was that stuff good with a big pot of pinto beans )  the whole family pitched in and took up all the taters and carried em to the tater hole. Daddy and the boys would get busy clearin off the patches before cold weather set in. They’d be nice and clean come spring when garden plantin time rolled around.

They’d pile all the corn stalks, bean vines, etc. in a big pile in the middle of the patch. Sometimes they’d have to make two or three piles. Us young’uns could hardly wait till daddy decided to burn em. That’d usually come on a nice calm night or late evening when the wind was still. He always said it was better to wait till after a good rain and the ground was kinda damp. He worried about catchin the woods on fire a lot. He’d only burn one brush pile at a time and let the others go till later on.
If we were lucky we’d manage to save a little money and have some marshmallows to roast. We sure did look forward to playin in that fire and roastin marshmallows.
Mama would scold us by sayin, “every one of ye is gonna wet the bed tonight, playin in that fire.” I don’t remember any of us ever wettin the bed but it sure got me to thinkin sometimes. Just another ole sayin to get us out of the fire .

We loved to poke at it with sticks and throw a little kindlin on it as we called it. The longer that fire burned and the higher the flames, the more we liked it.
It’d smolder all night even after daddy got it burnt down enough to risk leavin it till morning.
Before we had to leave to catch the school bus come morning we’d run back out to the smolderin fire, grab a stick and poke some more till mama’d put us down the road before we missed the bus. She said, “uns are gonna ruin your clothes and they’ll smell like smoke all day long.” We were used to that since we had wood heat in the winter we smelled of smoke anyways, didn’t bother us none.

All the brush piles would be burnt by frost and we had to figger out other ways to have fun. We never did have to look far. We made up our own fun as we went along.

We always had to walk out to the main road a purty good ways to catch the school bus. We’d dare one another to stick their tongue to the mailbox on a frosty mornin. It’d freeze our tongue to it and it was hard to get lose without pullin the skin off. One morning my youngest brother stuck his to it just about the time the bus came and he tried to get it lose and finally had to jerk it off. When we all got on the bus I looked at him and he was close to tears but wouldn’t let on. I knew he was hurtin somethin fierce.
After that happened and mama and daddy found out about it they put a stop to it in a big way, or so they thought.

When the weather came in even more cold and daddy was home and not off workin he’d walk out with us to the road and build us a fire so we could get warm. He’d tote a little kindlin out and just enough wood to get it going good so we could warm our hands and when the bus run he’d be the one to put it out before he went back to the house.
My oldest brother kept on till he talked daddy into lettin him build it and it’d save him walkin out with us. Daddy didn’t take much to that idea at first but he finally gave in. I’m sure he came along behind us and checked on it after we caught the bus.

My brother was always good at buildin fires in the wood heater and cook stove and he could build a nice little fire, if I say so myself. The only problem was, when the bus came one or two of the other boys like to kick it and send that fire sailin.
After a couple times of doing this, it all came to a kietis and we had to do without a fire. It’s a thousand wonders it hadn’t caught the woods on fire or worse.

When the first snowflakes started fallin we jumped fer joy. We loved the big snows that came in knee deep. We’d get outta school quite a while. One time I remember schools shuttin down fer two weeks. It was all we could do to plow through it to get to the barn to feed the cow or to milk, but that didn’t stop us.
All we had to put on our hands was an ole pair of worn out socks. We were in one door and out the other. We’d throw snowballs at one another, make snowmen and slide down the hill in the cow pasture on anything we could find. Sometimes it’d be an ole piece of cardboard or if we were lucky an ole car hood. It’s a wonders we didn’t all get killed with all the chances we took.
We’d run inside long enough to warm up and eat a bite and back out we’d go. We’d eat enough snow cream to get the sore throat but as fer playin outside in the cold it never hurt us none. We were used to it come spring, summer, fall or winter.

 Some of the stuff we got into and done may not seem like much fun to some but we were just a bunch of young’uns having the best of times and enjoyin the simple pleasures in life and puttin more and more gray hairs on our mama’s head.

There was always plenty to do and we never had a care in the world.

                                          © Susie Swanson, 2015


  1. Susie, It sounds like hard times but fun too. Kids really had to use their imaginations back then didn't we? Who ever would have thought kids would be toting phones to school...back when we were young we used our neighbors' phones till we finally got one of our own.LOL. Blessings, xoxo,Susie
    p.s. Hope you are doing well .


  2. I think out doors are great for growing minds and bodies and working hard actually establishes a good habit of being a hands on person. The natural beauty of autumn and even winter is enjoyed more by staying outdoors and not by the television or cell phones like today's kids have.

  3. Lovely memories!
    My favorite fall memory is the smell of wood smoke, when the stoves are fired up for the first time!

  4. Such wonderful stories of your childhood, Susie. I always wondered if it was true about the tongue thing and frosty mornings, and now I know it is. Your poor brother. Kids will do the silliest things. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, and it brought back a few of my own. We used to roast marshmallows too, especially when we went camping.

    love, ~Sheri

  5. What can I say, Susie, except I loved it all. I had no brothers but a cousin who was like a brother,and we played outside all the time. I wish kids now could know the joys of those bygone days. I detest the constant use of cell phones!

  6. Wonderful memories, Susie! Reminded me of quite a few of my own. Blessings, my friend!

  7. Another great story full of memories, Susie. Those days were hard, but they were fun too.

  8. You have a fabulous memory and you have recounted your younger days very vividly and interestingly.

    Best wishes

  9. Passalidae is a family of beetles known variously as "bessbugs",[1] "bess beetles",[1] "betsy beetles"[1] or "horned passalus beetles". Nearly all of the 500-odd species are tropical; species found in North America are notable for their size, ranging from 20–43 mm, for having a single "horn" on the head, and for a form of social behavior unusual among beetles.

    Thought you'd get a kick out of this definition of Bess bug...I think it was the horn on top of the head that made your Mama think of it? lol
    Blessings and love~Lisa