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Tuesday, May 24, 2016


The other night, a news program did a story about children and old technology. By old, I mean the stuff we Baby Boomers grew up with. They were mystified by a rotary dial phone and thought a typewriter sent messages. Well, I'm mystified by my smart t.v. so I suppose we're even.

When I was a kid, I spent a couple of weeks each summer with my dad's mother in a very rural part of East Texas. She lived in a two room house with no running water. Laundry was taken down the hill to her well and boiled in a black cauldron, then hung on a barbed wire fence. Her chickens were free range before anyone knew what that was. Going to the outhouse was a challenge because a pair of geese lived in the tall grass nearby and would attack anyone on the path.

My play house was under some old oak trees. Boards and bricks served as shelves where I stocked canned goods (empty vegetable cans) and dined with imaginary friends. The best days were spent picking blackberries for cobbler.I couldn't go too far into the woods because there was a moonshiner's still somewhere nearby. Fortunately, the patch was within site of the house. 

These memories came to me while working on my story about a young woman in the Colorado Territory. Trying to figure out how the family wash got done in the middle of winter, how to keep food on the table and learning to survive made me realize how brave our ancestors truly were. 

Old photographs from the 1800's tend to show people dressed in their Sunday best, grimly staring into the camera. Now, I understand life back then wasn't for sissies. I'm in no way comparing myself to hardy souls who came before me, but I think I have a better appreciation of their grit, determination and fortitude.

Meanwhile, I learned about canning food, entertaining myself and chasing fireflies. Everyday life wasn't easy, but I can't remember anyone complaining. 


  1. Aren't we thankful for modern conveniences? I so respect our ancestors!

  2. Every year I swear I'm going to plant some blackberries, but I never get around to it. Maybe next year because I sure love those luscious juicy berries. Loved your post.

  3. I planted some, but the birds usually beat me to the fruit.

  4. I'm so fortunate I wasn't a pioneer. I do have fond memories of visiting my grandmother when she still lived on the farm. Looking back, she must have been so happy to move into town.


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