Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Childhood Memories

On Facebook someone asked; something you remember you did in childhood that a younger person wouldn't know about or hasn't done. There are just a few of the things I remember;

Occasionally we would go to town, my mother would give each of us kids 10 cents. That would be for anything we wanted to buy. (This was late 50's early 60's) I would get a small sack of candy it would last all the next week. My older sister and older brother would get a soft drink or milkshake at a drug store that had a soda fountain. My younger brother and sister would be with our mother. 

Sometimes I would save my money to buy my mother a piece of stoneware. Once, I bought a package of flower bulbs for my grandmother that lived down the road. (After I got married and had my own home, my grandmother gave me a start of bulbs…these bulbs are still lovely each spring.)

If we were still in town at lunch our mother would buy us large burgers; 5 for $1.00. In today prices they would be a least $4.00 to $6.00 each.  


Many times before going to town, I would go out in the woods to pick poke salad to sell in town at a grocery store, they would pay me 10 cents a pound. 


We would start our school year when it was hot weather and they would turn school out in fall for farmers to get their crops of cotton and peanuts in. We would go back to school after harvest.

We farmed peanuts. Weeds had to be removed around the peanuts; we did this with a hoe. When it was time to harvest our field of peanuts, my brother would use a tractor with disk to bring the peanuts to the top of the soil, the next weeks we were out in the hot sun using a pitchfork shaking out dirt and turning the peanuts over, this was done until they were dry. My oldest brother would pull a combine with a tractor, my oldest sister and I would be up on the combine to catch the peanuts coming out, my sister would hold a 50 lb toe sack until it was filled, she would pass it down to me to sew up. I used large needle with twine to make a bunny ear, sew in the middle and then another bunny ear and pull it off to fall on the ground. When we were through sacking up the peanuts, our dad drove a tractor pulling a long trailer down the rows and my brother would pick up the sacks of peanuts and then drive the trailer to the elevator to sell the peanuts about 10 miles away. 
That was a hot and dirty job. We took a quart jar of water for drinking water. It would be placed under a tree. 
My dad would farm us out to get other farmers crops in when we finished our crop of peanuts. 
Our mother would sew us a 10 ft. canvas toe sack with an over the shoulder handle, we would drag it behind us when the cotton was ready to pick. It was painful job picking cotton with bare hands. When our bags were full, we pulled them to the person that would pick it up and put it on big brass scales at the end of the rows, they would pay us 10 cents a pound. That was a hard way to make a little bit of money. In the evening our mother would have to sew a patch over the holes in the canvas sack. 

One year when we didn't farm peanuts, I got a job babysitting 5 children from daylight to dark, the parents left 5 gallons of milk on the counter for me to strain and put up in their icebox. The oldest child was 6, a 5 year old, a set of twins and a baby. That was one year I was happy for the time to go back to school. I was 16 years old. I made $60.00 that summer.

My mother was a very good seamstress, my sister and I would pick a piece of clothing from a show windows then our mother would go down to Sharp's or Anthony's to buy fabric material. She would go home and without a pattern she would sew us a blouse or dress. I recall wearing a circle skirt with a poodle on it. One memory I have; picking out material from National Bella's Hess and ordering the material and mother making me one of a kind shirt. When I went to school, no one would believe my mother made my clothing. To this day, at age 91 my mother still sews although she no longer makes clothes. She makes crafty projects or fabric handbags. Mother still uses the sewing machine they bought the year I was born.


2 comments:

  1. You maybe worked hard but I think just like us in this neck of the woods it taught good work ethics which helped us in our later life. We got stuff from National Bella's Hess as well as Sears and Montgomery Wards. But sometimes mom had us pick out a dress we liked in the catalogs and then she bought similar material and a lady she knew made almost the same dress design for us girls. My mom sewed a lot herself and made aprons and sold them to lots of department stores. She also raised chickens and sold spring fryers and eggs. And we kids helped with her huge garden and also helped my parents with their dairy operation. We also went to town on Saturday to get groceries from the money the cream and egg sales brought. We each got a little money and bought penny candy. Sometimes we even went to the theatre while our parents shopped. We had to pay a dime to see a show.

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  2. Seeing you memories reminded me we went to dime show as well when the weather was hot. When my parents didn't have crops, they raised chickens too. We had a very long brooding house but raising chicken wasn't easy. We had neighbors that would sneak in at night and steal the chickens, Other times it was wild animals that got in to kill the little chicks. In the winter one year we had a bunch of snow, it was so heavy the roof fell in. That was the end of chicken raising. I couldn't help. I would get asthma getting around the chicken feathers.

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