Growing up was hard but we lived simple then, living in an aging home tucked near a grove of pecan trees. Seasonal southern winds circulated at will. Naturally crafted vents were unsealed cracks, but, still, it was our heartfelt home. Even today, there are inspiring memories that I own.
We ate fresh fruits from our assortment of trees, fresh picked berries and a variety of veggies from neighboring gardens in the summer and, oftentimes, late into the fall. Fruit preserves and frozen veggies took us through the winter. Despite the limits, sometimes we had it all.
Chores came without allowances; laundry was done using a tin-tub and a wooden or aluminum scrub board. Ringing the clothing by hand shaped my muscles and, at times, dryer was naturally powered winds. That was before we were able to get a washer and, even then, we found a purpose for the dispensed wash waters.
Nuts rained from our trees in the late fall and early winter. Children ate peacefully as they walked home, some playing along the rustic tracks. As the temperature dropped, all wore knitted scarves within my neighborhood. We welcomed visitors, and we shared all that we had.
Chopping wood to prepare for winter, filling water containers in case there is a freeze, heating water in oversized pots on the stove, filling a large tub to bathe, were areas common to all. The house carried the sweetness of pies during the holidays. Bags filled with pecans for my grandmother adorned the table.
The cold winters seemed extra-long, considering the external bathrooms sat about 100 feet away from the house; indoor bathrooms weren’t really in, especially for the economic challenged families, certainly not then. But I appreciated a candle or working flashlight to accompany those nightly trips.
Those years were of value and I treasure the lessons. There were times of joy despite despair. Yesterday, days never to be returned, but the memories will forever be here. Times rooted in faith, complemented by grace and family closeness. Memories of a sacred place.