Simpler Times

Wanna take a walk with me? A walk down memory lane to a time that is frozen in my brain, in my heart, in my soul...

Growing up we spent a lot of time with our grandparents, ena and papa, on their farm in a lil town in Oklahoma called Okay, yes Okay Oklahoma, it's small and rural and it holds my roots...

We were spoiled but not in the ways one might think, material things didn't exsist on the farm.

There were 5 of us, all girls, myself,2 sisters and 2 cousins, My Uncle lived just up the road on the farm, on summers and weekends us 5 girls were always together. We were mischief makers, they(my sisters and cousins) will try and tell you I was the ring leader but I beg to differ...Is it my fault I was the oldest and they did everything I ordered them too?

I can remember ena making 5 different things for breakfast, 5 girls all wanting something different, she NEVER complained. One by one as we woke to the sound of fans roaring-there was NO a/c only open windows and fans, ena could be found in the kitchen washing dishes and getting the days supper ready-the noon time meal was always our big meal. One of us would want rice, another said poached eggs, one would ask for pancakes with kyro syrup she always had dark and light, one malt-o-meal, or biscuits and molasses. It didn't matter what we asked for, she made it for us...

After breakfast we would join papa in the living room where he sat on the divan and the Price is Right blarred from the black and white tv with rabbit ears and tin foil and ena could be heard yelling 'PA can't you turn that down!'. We had a huge chalk board and we would play school and house and my youngest cousin was always someones baby and someone was always the mom.

When papa would head out to one of the big metal barns to piddle and tinker with a lawn mower someone dropped off for him to fix, us 5 girls would gather sheets and blankets-that we would sneak out of the house, ask ena for tea,cheese and crackers,sometimes a frozen pie crust she had made would be added,we would load up the lil red wagon and head out into the pasture for a late morning picnic, letting our imaginations run wild, coming up with our own fun and games.

I remember looking back towards the house to see if ena had spotted us with her quilts all spread out on the ground over cow poop and there she was hanging clothes to dry on the line and if she noticed nothing was said. Ena was always in motion, working in the garden,doing dishes,cooking,cleaning. She sat to eat then in the evenings to read the paper, that's it. I love her hands, they hold the key to my past and unlocked my future...

Once we tired of playing in the pasture we would make mud pies on one lone slab of concrete on the farm that was the sidewalk leading up to the house that my grandparents, dad and uncle built from the ground up. 2 small bedrooms 1 bath with no shower, a kitchen and a living room. The house had a basement with a shower, it held all of enas canned goods, pickles,beets,potatoes,corn,green beans and papas kiln and pottery wheel. The basement had a certain smell that to this day I can still smell it in my mind, it permeates my soul.

We would entertain ourselves playing in the hay barn, our grafitti is still there today 'Becky Loves Steven' or 'Gina was here' scribbled on the metal walls, I can't remember what all is written out there, if I was younger and not scared of the bugs I would crawl into the haybarn and lay on the hay and remember, maybe I will talk one of children into doing just that, for me...

I can remember only 2 spankings I ever got from papa, one-there was huge hog trough we used for a swimming pool and I decided bubbles were in order, so I snuck in the house and got the big bottle of liquid dawn and poured the whole bottle in...it was fun till we were found out, my lil idea got all 5 of us whippings with the black belt. The second time I don't remember my exact age I would like to think young enough that a temper tantrum was acceptible but I was probably 8 or 9 way past the stage of temper tantrums. Ena made us lunch and I wanted Hormel tamales, not what she had made, I loved hormel tamales, this is the first and only time I remember ena telling me NO. I had a green metal sand bucket and I was so mad I threw it through the window of the door leading down into the basement, breaking glass, when papa got home I was in trouble. BIG trouble...

Once the sun went down everyone gathered in the front yard,and sat in lawn chairs. Uncles and Aunts would show up, sometimes friends of enas and papas would to, you never knew who would come down that dirt road. We would eat watermelon and we would ask papa to race us to the big light pole for a dollar or tickle us for another dollar. He always obliged our every whim and we always got a dollar.

In the evenings we would gather round the tv to watch the Dukes of Hazard or Hee Haw, ena would make popcorn...on the stove, in a metal pot. I always slept on the pull out bed from the divan and would stay up watching tv while ena read the days paper. I always wanted oranges so Ena would sit up night after night peeling me oranges knowing that I would pee the bed and she would have to wake in the early hours to change my bedding.

I remember the party line and eavesdropping then hearing someone say 'is someone else on the line? We can hear you breathing' then giggling before hanging up the phone.

We never wore shoes on the farm and we always got bee stings and when we did, we hobbled, tears running down our dirty faces out to the metal barn where papa was working. He would take his hankerchief, wipe our tears then take the tabacco out of his mouth place it on the bee sting and wrap the hanky around our foot like a bandage. Papa always took care of bee stings...there wasn't much that tabacco for bee stings,vicks for colds,nyquil for bad colds or bleach for when you were sprayed by a skunk, couldn't fix.

Papa was the wisest man I have ever known and I miss him more than words could ever convey, but my memories of him sustain me and I share those memories with my children. I could go on and on about the farm and ena and papa...it makes me happy...

On the farm time stands still, I can take my children there and it's like the rest of the world doesn't exsist. You won't see the kids with their cell phones in their hands on the farm because on the farm there is always something new to discover.

My confession for today: Yes we were spoiled, spoiled with over-flowing love and joy


  1. Very good Georgie (with two hearts), I felt like I was right back there at the farm with you.

  2. I too felt like I was right there with you :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, I felt like I was right there with you. Thanks for walking me down your memory lane.

  4. Oh Georgie...what a great post with wonderful memories of how you were raised!!! If only we could turn back the clock....and go back to when things weren't as plentiful and the days seemed longer! Now everything is so quick. Meals, information, cars, communication. I had lots of pen pals growing up from all over the country. Imagine today kids waiting for a letter! And we had a party-line at our house until I was 21. And talking to the Operator to make a long distance call! (Your # please?) Smells and sounds are not the same anymore either. I miss the factory whistle, the train and knowing a bus schedule!! (Not really--but you know what I mean!!!) Thanks for making me smile on a busy day at work when I needed a lunch break!!!

  5. What wonderful memories to share!

  6. What a fantastic post. It made me long for my great aunt/uncles place in Texas.

  7. AWESOME post!!!!!!
    felt like when i went to my great grandparents farm when i was young!!!!!
    thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  8. You are a woman rich with treasures.Thank you for sharing them with strangers.Take care,Tina.

  9. Georgie what a beautiful post! You are so fortunate to have such wonderful memories of your childhood. Thanks for sharing with this city girl.

    p.s. HOG that's another word for pig right? ;)

  10. Girl, I loved this! Did your Ena make grits too?

    Sounds like your childhood was wonderful with your papa and ena. There's nothing like sharing time with people who are memory creaters and they were.

  11. I LOVE this post!! I've got goose bumps because it felt like I was right there with you! It sounds like such a special time out there and I am glad you were able to experience it!

  12. Some of my favorite childhood memories are those spent at my Grandmother's and PaPa's! Only, I was the youngest and the ringleader!
    I hope my little Grandson will have the same good feelings when he looks back at times he spent with me. Even now, at 18 months, his little face just lights up when he sees me. I fully intend to spoil him rotten!
    Have a wonderful day~

  13. Nice, Georgie. I'm not sure there are many folks like that left out there.

    You deserved that whopping didn't you? ;-)

  14. Wow. Central NY sounds a LOT like Oklahoma. :-) I grew up the same way. I had a conversation with someone yesterday about our childhoods and how amazing and vivid the memories are...thanks for sharing.

  15. Georgie--
    What a great story--it's always nice to reflect back on good times.
    Have a great Friday!


  16. Precious memories sustain us. ♥

  17. i'm envious! it sounds so wonderful. thanks for taking us on that trip. i could see you running with the tears and bee stings.

  18. OK you brought me to tears Georgie....outstanding post!!

  19. I too felt like I was right there with you :)
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  20. Georgie, you know I love treasured memories of loved ones. These were great.

  21. Best post you've ever done.

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  23. What wonderful memories! I loved reading this!

  24. I can't imagine what would have happened to ME if I had dared show the level of anger that you did when you broke that glass. We were DAMN poor, which is two layers below poor and glass would have been too expensive to replace. To this day, I'm careful around windows.

    I made my mud pies with pieces of daisy's and grass for decoration. I knew enough to love it at the time.

    Now? Everyone is too scared of germs to get mud on their kid's hands. Here comes the PURELL!!!

  25. I grew up in Muskogee and in Wagoner so I know exactly what you are talking about. Those were the best days. Thank you so much for this post.

    Such sweet memories.

  26. Thanks for sharing. I too remember going to the farm in the summers to see grandma and grandpa. Slapping the bull on the nose for being greedy and all those snipe hunts too!

  27. What a nice find! I have a lot of the same happy memories from my childhood! I was very blessed to live half a pature away from my Grandpa and Grandma in the country. I never knew we were not rich until I grew up and moved to the "big city". I am still tearing up missing my beloved Grandma and Grandpa after reading your memories, Thank you!

  28. wow! my farm days! i remember going to granny's farm was always something we waited for! i really miss that time, thanx for bringing in the nostalgia back again!

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