Back to the simpler times

Published 8:35 pm Friday, June 12, 2020

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On the kitchen wall, I have wooden plaque a friend made for me. There’s a little pigtailed girl hanging “by her feet” from a tree limb. The inscription reads, “Remember how simple life used to be?”

That plaque often takes me back to when I was that little pigtailed girl leading a simple life in a small South Alabama town.

We lived just outside of town. Our four-room house was surrounded by fields and pastureland. There were barns, pens with chickens and turkeys and a pen for Mama’s pig that turned into a hog around Christmas time.

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The fish ponds were so close you could hear the fish jumping in the water.  My grandmother and granddaddy lived just down the hill. Pop was a road commissioner so the county barn held all kinds of fascinating road equipment for us to play on.

We rode saplin’ trees and climbed oaks and sweet gums. Chinaberry trees were for our clubhouses and provided berries for our mud pies.

In the summertime, I “worked” at the ice plant in town. My pay was an ice-cold co-cola or a snow cone with ice from the crusher and Kool-Aid.

When I was not “at work,” I played by myself or with anybody that came along.

I would throw a rubber “baseball” on the roof and catch it when it rolled down and play a game of flies, hops and skinners with whoever came along.

I would skate on the slab of an old chicken house, ride horses, catch lightning bugs, fly June bugs, catch tadpoles, dig worms, go fishing and read funny books

I would walk on stilts, roll tires, kick tin cans and jump rope, yo-yo, whittle, make sand castles and frog houses and pick plums and blackberries.

Together, we young’uns would shoot marbles and play hop-scotch, dodge ball, four-square and cowboys and Indians. We would have

corn cob fights, play in the water sprinkler and watch the clouds make pictures in the sky.

When it rained, we would go on the porch and play jack stones, pick-up-sticks, Chinese checkers and ugh, paper dolls.

At night, we played “hide and go seek” while the grownups sat on the porched and talked.

When we got tired, we played rock school or looked at the moon, counted the stars and told ghost stories.

As I was plundering in a drawer the other day, I came across a yo-yo. Not the old-timey wooden kind but a plastic – Ned brand.

I put it on my finger and, in no time flat, I was yo-yoing, even going “around the world.” And that trip took me back to the simple times when I was hanging by my feet in my grandmother’s Crepe Myrtle tree.

It was good to be back again.