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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Those Precious Memories
By Sandra Eastridge


I remember mornings on Papaw’s farm in southwestern Kentucky. We sat on benches at a long oil cloth covered table. Fresh milk was served in goblets for the cousins. Aunts and uncles drank strong hot coffee and sometimes I was allowed a cup with milk and sugar added. Platters of bacon, eggs and biscuits all cooked to perfection were made on Grandma’s wood fed range and served on her Blue Willow dishes.

After breakfast the men headed for the fields, the women to house duties and the children to play. There was so much to do. We could grind corn in the barn, play in the soft dust of the country lane, swing in the old porch swing, climb the ladder and eat cherries from the heavily laden tree, gather fresh honey, make homemade ice cream, or take a walk over the daisy strewn pasture to check out the pond. Sometimes we would go inside and rock the treadle of the old sewing machine. Some days everyone would knock off early and we gathered at the old swimming hole. What fun to see my adult kinfolk acting like children at play. Oh there was much for a child to do and one never got bored!

There would be trips to town. What excitement to climb into Papaw’s old truck with the bed piled high with bushels of cucumbers and green beans for “tradin’.” Then we were each given a nickel to buy a pack of gum. What a treat that was.

Summertime brought tent revival meetings with my uncles preaching. Sunday mornings meant Sunday school at Sweden Baptist Church where many headstones bear the names of those I love. My grandparents, uncles and most of my aunts are gone now. Some of my cousins are gone. Some before their time like little Teddy who died with polio before he was a year old. We lived within walking distance and I played with him every day. I was six. This was my first experience with the Grim Reaper.

My family enjoyed a sense of humor. One hot day my cousin Susie and I walked into the shadows of the barn. Papaw was in the loft with his pitchfork. Suddenly in front of us was a very long snake and Papaw could be heard snickering above us. Well, I immediately knew what had happened. His inner child had taken over and what could be funnier than to scare a couple of girls by throwing a harmless snake in front of them? My feelings were so hurt that my quiet Papaw would do such a mean thing.

Another time my sister, cousin and I were playing in the yard. I looked up to see a horrible old witch come around the corner of the house. She had gray streaked hair that grew long below her waist. Immediately, I began screaming and when I did the witch started cackling which made me scream all the more. The louder I screamed the more the old hag cackled. They had quite a time convincing me my grandmother had taken her teeth out and let down her hair.

Then one time Uncle Ode pinched my nose off and threw it into the coal stove that heated the front room. I screamed bloody murder until someone brought a mirror to show me my nose was still on my face.

My favorite time was after supper. Fast time had not been invented and dark came early. Everyone would gather outside and talk and laugh until bedtime. These wonderful memories make up a part of me. They are my heritage, my legacy; and I am richer for them. I had the fortune to grow up during a time when life was slower and simpler. A time when married children went back to the old home place with their families every chance they had. We worked hard and we played hard. We were poor people who knew the value of family and our Patriarch, Papaw Chambers, showed us by his example how to live a Godly life.

How I looked forward to those weekends and our trips back to the farm. You never knew how many relatives would be there or which ones would come. What was certain was there would be a house full of folks laughing, loving and enjoying being together. It was a wonderful time to be a child.

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This article has been read 390 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
These are precious memories and I feel all the richer having you share them with me. I had to giggle at some of the practical jokes. As you now know, we adults have to have our fun too. Nice job.
Marina Rojas05/03/12
Warm loving descriptions of the things that you see so well in your mind's eye that you can share them with your reader as if it is happening in front of them.

I felt as if you took me by the hand and gave me the grand tour of your beloved life.

Thank you!
C D Swanson 05/04/12
This made me smile, I really enjoyed the whole piece. It was light hearted and a feel good entry. Nicely done.

Thank you. God Bless~
Hiram Claudio05/07/12
Right from the opening paragraph, you painted a warm feeling of home and simplicity that carried throughout the entire piece. I had to laugh at the pranks the older folk played on the children - and how today they might get reported. Truly was a different time for sure.

This was so moving, bringing the reader back to a place where lifelong memeories were created - ones that give strength that lasts a lifetime.

This was excellent!
Genia Gilbert05/07/12
I found this warm and sweet, taking me back to some things in my own childhood. Great writing.
Leola Ogle 05/08/12
I enjoyed this tender, poignant story immensely. What a wonderful childhood for any child to experience. Good job! Well written. God bless!
Edmond Ng 05/10/12
Memories of a fun past make us richer today, while sad memories make us a lot poorer. May we keep only the good memories that encourage us and not store up memories that keep us moving forward. Thanks for sharing this. A nice story for light-reading, beautifully written.