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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

While I was waiting in a mailbox store a man came in with an unusual request. He had a box that was sitting in his basement that was damaged by a leak. It was dry, but bore all the signs of water damage. His request for the woman was to help him glue it back together, because he didn’t want to throw it out.  She (and I) advised that Elmer’s probably wasn’t going to hold it together, and offered some other suggestions. As he was leaving he commented that he had used it for over 20 years and was planning to get at least 15 more out of it.

As he left we briefly conversed about the older generation. They know what it is like to make the most out of nothing. The generation who went through the depression is a precious one. They value everything. They let nothing go to waste.

As I was driving home I was thinking about the people I know from this great generation. It made me miss my grandparents.

I was only in my tweens when they both passed away.

Some of the best memories I have is playing on their farm. My brother, little sister, and I would play all over their equipment. One of my favorite things to play on was the Donkey statue in the yard and the wagons my grandpa had. He also had the greatest pile of junk a kid could ever play in. Grandpa didn’t have a small shed for his tools. He had this huge storage area. They kept it locked so we wouldn’t play in it.

I remember one spring I spent a week with them. It seemed much longer. I think I was about 7 or 8. The roosters would start crowing early in the morning. Their little farm-house was so quaint. My favorite thing to eat was grandma’s canned peaches. I could eat a whole jar almost by myself. The pantry was off from the room we would sleep in. It was full of all kinds of canned food she had made. Many great home-cooked meals would be spread out across her kitchen table.

That week I stayed with them my grandma also taught me how to cross-stitch. It was a picture of a couple of kittens playing with a ball of yarn. She would affectionately call me Cookie.

I remember one time my brother and I had been playing out in the cow pasture. When we told our grandpa about it we were scolded. There was a bull out there. We both said “no wonder that cow was looking at us so mean.” Another time I remember going into the chicken coop and all the chickens started pecking at my feet and even made them bleed a little. I never went back into the chicken coop after that. We would also play near the pig pen. One time I fell onto the small cactus patch they had on the side of their house.

It’s funny the things you remember. I remember how much my dad loved the cups they had. They were some sort of metal. He would always comment how cold the drink would stay. They also had a party line for their phone. We weren’t allowed to play on the phone or call our friends from their house.

I remember when one of my older brothers was learning how to kill a chicken. My dad and grandpa were trying to teach him the “fling the chicken so her head pops off way.” That poor chicken. After several attempts they resorted to an axe. I remember how funny it was to see the chicken run around with his head cut off. I hope it was one that pecked my foot.

I wish they were still around so I could have known them as an adult. It also makes me wish that my kids were closer (geographically) to their own grandparents. We can learn so much from those who have lived twice as long.

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