Posted by: patwogan | January 2, 2014

New Beginnings

2014, another new year.  I wonder what it will bring.  Will this year be memorable?  Will it be better than 2013, which was pretty good…or will it be just an average year.  By the way, whatever happened to 2013.  It seems to have flown by as have the last several years.  

I once asked Old Grandpa Williams when he had turned 100, what that felt like.  He responded, ” It took a long time to get here, but as I look back, it was the blink of an eye.”  I now know what he meant.  I am 81,  and it took a long time to get here, but as I look back, it was the blink of an eye.  

It is funny what we remember of our lives.  We remember the big things, but the ones that stand out are the little mind pictures we have  of things that were seemingly unimportant.  I remember the lay-out of our house at Glencliff.  It had three windows facing the south and they had a window seat in front of them.  The kitchen was a kind of porch that was at one time screened in.  The screened in part was replaced with windows, which meant it had windows on two sides.  The back door came into the house from the south, and that was the door we used.  The central room of the house was a dining room and to the north of it was a living room.  My parents’ bedroom was off the living room.  My bedroom was east of the dining room.  I visited the house a couple of years ago, and although I did not go inside, I was somewhat surprised at how small it was.  It was the house I was born in and lived in until I was eight years old.  I know it did not have an indoor bathroom.  I know it did not have running water, unless you count the pump at the sink in the kitchen. I know we took baths in a number 2 washtub which was placed in the kitchen and filled with water heated on the stove.  We had a wood stove in the dining room and that was it for heat.  We were a little bit fancy in that we had a “government” toilet out back.  A government toilet was one that had a deep hole lined with concrete, a concrete floor and a built up seat.  It was like we see now in National Parks in the wilderness.  I do not remember using that toilet, although I am sure I did.  I do remember dropping something down it and only once did I do that, for it was “lost forever”.  There was a bucket of lime in the corner of the toilet and my parents frequently put lime in the toilet to help disintegrate the solid waste.  

A little aside here, my Mother did not have indoor plumbing until we moved to North Second Street when I was in the ninth grade.  She said she went into the bathroom, sat on the stool, and thanked God for modern plumbing.  

Perhaps this does not go with the title of new beginnings, but it was where I had my beginning.  There have been a lot of new beginnings in my life.  l went to Riley School in Independence through the third grade and then started to Peebler when my Mom and Dad moved to Great-Grandmother Hudiburg’s house across the road from Grandma.  Grandpa had died and we moved there to take care of Grandma.  That whole situation was another new beginning.  It was a great beginning of a whole new lifestyle.  It was a bigger house, a new school, and some new sleeping arrangements because I stayed the night at Grandma’s house.  It was because of this sleeping arrangement that I became very close to Grandma Hudiburg.  We slept under heavy wool comforters and on a feather bed.  Once you got into bed, there was no way you could turn over.  You were sunk in and heavily covered.  Grandma liked ghost stories, and to me the ones she told were true.  She also told me about a lot of murders that had happened in our area.  Those really were true.  I think I was really glad that I was hidden in that bed and had Grandma in there with me.

 Grandma had rheumatism….what we now call arthritis and she rubbed her joints with Absorbine Junior and Ben-Gay.  If she had a cold, she also used Vicks Vaporub.  Quite an assortments of smells.  I especially remember the Absorbine Junior.  If you, dear reader, ever get a chance to smell Absorbine Junior, you will understand why I remember it some seventy years later.  

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