"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, June 07, 2007

City Mouse Visits Country House (conclusion)

Being city suburbanites you may wonder what would occupy us other than sittin' 'round watching the grass grow during a trip to Grandma's house out in small town USA. Oh, there were many new adventures in our summer path ... most of which were purely invented with a good 'ole imagination! Squirrel! Did someone mention squirrel? Oh, I do recall on my first trip to grandma's that she went about fix'in us a squirrel dinner the first night we arrived. Being that she wasn't too sure how we'd take to that idea, and also being that she wanted to fix a tasty meal to please her son (my pop), she prepared an alternate meat entree of country style sausage patties too. I quickly informed my dad that I was opposed to eating anything in the rodent family and promptly opted for the sausage (I have a feeling she may have used the same black iron skillet for both meats now that I think longer).

My grandparent's home was a very modest three bedroom one bath place probably built around 1900. Now being that Mom and Dad got one bedroom, Grandma and Grandpa had one, my brothers once again got to share a double bed in the third room ...that left me (pouting with my lip out) to sleep in a single bed out on the back porch (it was enclosed with windows and screens). Directly next to my bed was the cellar door in the floor... and directly behind the head of my bed was a window to my brothers room ... not one curtain was hung on said porch... To my dismay, there would be an occasional thunder and lightning storm roll through at night. The visions in my head of that cellar door creaking open, my brothers' hands often popping through the window to scare me, and the flashes of lightning were enough to give a gal a heart attack! I also afforded every mosquito a free meal at night on any uncovered body parts and would frequently awake with my eyelids swollen shut or my bottom lip out about three times it normal size from bites.

Come Sunday morning we headed to church. Now in a town of 800 everybody knows everybody and their business. So as would be the NORM, the minister would announce that we were visiting and make us stand up before the congregation. There would even be a blurb in the local paper about our arrival.

For a leisurely Sunday after dinner stroll, it just wouldn't be complete without a trip to the local graveyard to checkout the headstones and imagine what the occupant's lives were like. Many were from the 1800's and there were rows and rows of baby graves ... and off in one corner we found a huge monument size marker for the burial of a horse. These haunted walks would be fodder for my brothers' imaginations to spook the life out of me at night as I slept near their bedroom window out on the porch.

Now since Grandma was a lady from a different era, and being that her laundry facilities which consisted of an electric wringer type washer (down in the creepy earthen cellar) ... and a clothes line outside, we opted to use the laundromat. It was another excursion to pass the time, so come evening, we would load up our car with dirty laundry and head two blocks to town. For fun, we would walk through the thousands of crickets hanging around the entrance, watch the dryers spin, grab a Dr. Pepper float at the DQ, and pitch pennies all in the same evening.

One summer the town opened a public swimming pool; heaven to me! This would be the only way to cool off during our hot sticky stay. Off to the pool my brother's and I would walk. Swim to our heart's content ... and trek back home. As a young girl, my mother always taught me to put TP down on the seat in a public restroom. This is a fine idea unless your legs are still wet from swimming. Down I sit ... and out I go ... yes, walking home through town with toilet paper stuck to my backside. To make matters worse, my brothers were walking behind me and never once mentioned that I had ten yards of paper trailing behind my behind!

Oh, the fun of it all ... my children have gone on many nice vacations, but I bet they never had to use their imaginations as much as we did on a trip to Grandma's house.


Terry said...

Oh Mrs.Mac
My dad said his mom used to cook squirrels too.
Oh how could they?
I am like you, I don't think I could never eat them!
She used the same pan? Oooo!!!
Is this the very same gramma that you used to enjoy Sunday dinners with?

Ha!! Too bad about the waste of that toilet paper!
Well do I remember when toilet paper came in different colors, stripes, polka dots and all kinds of crazy designs!
Was that just plain white toilet paper that you dragged with you all that way?....hee hee..Love Terry

Mrs. Mac said...

Miss Terry ... a different grandma and just plain old white tp ;)

Sara said...

i say we grab a dr pepper float, hop in the way back machine and go visit your grandma and then stop by my farm. soothes the soul just to think of it.

Jim said...

Yes, Mrs. Mac, we didn't have to leave home for all that.
I slept in the front porch on a couch that hides a bed all the time after my sister was old enough to take the second bed room. We just had two.
My grandma would cook the rabits Dad would shoot--for Dad to eat. He was the only one who would eat them.
For a long time Sister and I took baths in the kitchen in a wash tube, she would be first.
And we would go to Grandma's house to wash our clothes. Her wringer machine was on her back porch.

Maggie Ann said...

What a delightful post! I've enjoyed reading about your visits to your Grandparents home. Oh...those mosquitoes sound horrible! About the knitting something from what I've spun...more time please...=). After all I'm still washing the sticks and yuk out of the wool...only about 20 lbs to go. ~~We were taught to paper seats too...still do. Those ornery brothers of yours not to tell you about the tp travelling with you! My Mother once invited my Dad's boss to supper and she had my sister and I all dolled up in fancy dresses. You guessed it..my sister who would have been about 3 or 4..went to the bathroom and came out into the living room trailing tp. Mom said she could have died...and promised herself ..no more 'putting on the dog'...grin. Glad I was too little to share the embarrasement...don't even remember it!

Anonymous said...

Those were the days. I only had one grandma and she died when I was in the 8th grade, so I didn't get to know my grandparents, but I knew my mom and dad. We didn't have an indoor bathroom till I was 15 and I still remember being afraid to go out alone at night, until I came up with a plan. I thought I'd be safe as long as could go out to the outhouse and get back in the house by the time I would count to 200. Believe me sometimes I counted pretty slow. Love Gramma_s

Anonymous said...

BTW, I just noticed you little banner in the top corner of your blog, I like it and think it's an awesome idea. God bless you, gramma again.

Pat said...

Sweet memories. Isn't it something how time just makes them more dear to us? I wonder how much of those precious family moments are just something of the past now? I just don't get the feeling that today's young families have the time or desire to create the same kind of memories. It seems like their days are tied up in organized sports, work and busy lives, or homes are divided with divorce.
Thanks for allowing us to share those great memories with you - it's like we came along for the ride!

Constance said...

That was great! I loved the TP part! Having good ole southern roots, on my Daddy's side, I have eaten many a squirrel and rabbit dinner! Your memory reminded me of the days I'd spend at my great-granny's house with my Grandma. She had an outhouse and I remember digging in the dirt and playing with old metal toys that my Grandma must've played with!

Margie said...

I'm catching up! great posts! i love reading this!!