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Meoww
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of my fondest memories come from this time of my life. It was the way of life for most American people living on the Tennessee side of the Tennessee Kentucky border in the southern country side.

In the summer I wore a pair of shorts or underwear and no shoes. To this day I don't like to have on shoes or clothes and I don't until I have to. I played outside all day. Back then you had to amuse your self. We had no Tv, they were very expensive and we could not afford the luxury of one. Computers could not fit in to your house.

Guns

Guns have been part of my life ever since I can remember. I was introduced to guns at the age of 3. My father got his Colt 22 pearl handle revolvers out, took me out side and unloaded one and showed me the parts of the gun. The grip. trigger, safety, all the parts. Then he handed it to me. I almost dropped it. To me it was really heavy. Then he would point at a part and ask me what it was. Some I remembered some I did not. He went over it again and again until I did remember every part. Every so often he would get it out and point to a few parts and ask me what it was, just to make sure I did remember.

Then he took the gun and asked me to pick it up. I went strait for the trigger. He stopped me and said never pick up a gun by the trigger. You could shoot your self. Try again. I went for the barrel. He stopped me and said never pick it up by the barrel it could go off and shoot you, try again. Not wanting to displease him I slowly started for the grip. I looked at him and he just looked at me so I picked it up by the grip. He grinned and told me I was a good girl. You know that grin kids get on there face when they get the approval of a parent? Thats the one I had on my face.

He showed me how to load the gun.

It did not scare me when he said I could shoot my self until.....
He said never touch the guns unless I tell you to. This is why. He got a chunk of wood from the wood pile. Set it up and shot it. The noise did not scare me, it was what happened to the wood that did! He walked over and picked up the wood and showed it to me. I don't want you to end up like this peace of wood! I love you and It would hurt me realty bad if this gun was to hurt you!

I'm choking back tears. I lost my father almost 40 years ago. I loved him dearly and still miss him. He was a good teacher and parent.

Out Houses

We had an out house. I did not know what a bathroom was. You went to the out house to do number one and number two. You took a bath in a # 2 wash tub in the kitchen. When it was cold or at night you used the chamber pot under the bed. The first time I saw a bathroom I was amazed! What!? you don't have an out house?! You take a bath in here too?! You don't heat water?!How do you get hot water? What is a hot water heater? Wow thats cool!! We pump water out of the sink. Heat it up and put it into a # 2 wash tub with some cold water in it. We take a bath in the kitchen. We don't go to the out house at night. There is a chamber pot under the bed. No it dose not smell, you clean it out in the morning. And yes you got the inevitable eewwwwwww thats yucky!

Cast Iron

Cast iron has been in the family for generations. It amazes me just how many people don't have or don't know how to use it! Cast iron is the best non stick surface there is. It will last you longer than your life time as long as you take care of it. You can pass it down to your children and your grandchildren. I have cast iron pans that are over 100 years old and they are still going strong!

Some people will tell you not to wash cast iron. BULL HOCKEY!!
Scrub it! The secret is to dry it on the stove. Turn on the burner at a medium low heat, let the water evaporate. Get a paper towel and some oil. The best in my opinion is lard or strained bacon grease. wipe the oil all over the inside the pan, just a thin coat will do. Heat it until it smokes. Wipe the excess off.
 

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The simple things... are the best ... :2thumb: Thanks for sharing.

Guns - Yea, my dad did it the same way as yours ... only we used a watermelon. :)

Out House - While I do not remember our out house, I remember Grams and a few others... but we do have a out house on our farm now. If the need should ever come. (aslong as you do snake check first. :gaah:)

Cast Iron - I love it ... and don't care to do without it. :2thumb: I have both of my Grandmothers cast iron pans. (no one else wanted them ... they don't know what they missed out on. ;)) I also ended up with my Grams copper kittle. The one she used to make gallons and gallons of apple butter with ... again no one wanted it ... crazy people ... lol
 

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I am a little teapot
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That was quite a post. I'm too young (35) to have experienced much of that first hand but I do live in the house that my grandparents lived in and know that during my dad's childhood the house was plumbed and wired and they redid the barn to make it a modern (for the times) dairy farm. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how they did things at our place years ago. I have a teriffic respect for my elders (family or not) and always listen with a keen ear when the old stories are brought up.
 

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Thanks catsraven for the memories.

The older I get the more I'm thankful to my parents for some great childhood memories even though at the time I didn't think they were so great.:) Who would have thought all the skills my parents possessed would be skills we all may have to depend upon to survive. Compared to them I feel so inadequate.

Growing up we lived in a rural area and my parents lived about 20 years behind the times. My dad trapped all his life, farmed, salvaged scrap metal/iron, and together with mom purchased and restored antiques. My mom raised 11 kids, gardened, canned and was a master quilter. Today, when I smell dill and garlic it evokes such strong emotion because when mom pickled the smell permeated for days.:) The other day I make her cucumber salad and when I added a little dill weed to it I broke down and cried! They were almost totally self-sufficient. My two most prized possessions when my parents passed away was a bear trap my dad owned and a quilt my mother made.

Since we only had 1 bathroom with all those kids we often had to utilize our outhouse too. I didn't realize when I got married that there was any other type of skillet besides cast iron.:) And yes, I've always washed my cast iron too. I don't have lard like mom used but I always oil it.
 

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Meoww
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643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
*Andi
Watermelon was a treat at that time. We got it once or twice a year when it was in season. I would have pounced on the cast iron and copper pot and yelled MINE MINE :D

Jason
I think you living in your grandparents house is so cool! :2thumb: My grandparents lived in a shack in the woods. They were very poor so hunting and fishing was a way of life for them.

prairie
Your welcome for the memories. :wave:
 

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The wanderer
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What beautiful, poignant stories. Thanks for starting this thread, catsraven! I hope you and others keep adding to it as you think of more stories from your past and they from their pasts.

I grew up in rural Wisconsin and my parents, who have both passed away, produced most of what we ate, at least until I was a teenager. That's when my mom went to work to help out with family finances and it's the first time I ever had this new food called "Kraft Macaroni and Cheese"!

I was my Dad's shadow and I trustingly followed him around, helping more and more as I grew up. He took advantage of that trust once! He was cutting wood by the creek in winter and the head came off his favorite ax and skittered across the creek and through a hole in the ice. Without a pause he told me to slide out there on my belly and he'd hold my feet, and I was to reach down into the water and retrieve the ax head.

Well, the water was a bit too deep to reach it, so I had to duck my head under as I reached for it. It took a couple of VERY COLD dunks before I got my fingers around the ax head and pulled it out. Dad pulled me back across the ice by my ankles. I was about 13 years old at the time.

I didn't realize until I heard him tell the story later that he had been joking when he told me to slide on out there and get his ax head. He had a dead-pan sense of humor. I just obeyed what he told me to do, and he just shrugged to himself and let me try. Wanting to please him, I did what I could to get his ax head!

Man, that was COLD WATER! Almost 40 years later I can still remember it! It was worse than an "ice cream headache"!
 

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Meoww
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
gypsysue your story of the ax head reminded me of one told to me by my late aunt.

Why you did not hand an ax to my dad.
He was out splitting wood when he missed and hit his foot. Split it between the second and third toes. After it healed Once again out splitting wood he did it again, in the same place!! On the same foot!!! We all laughed until we cried. My dad was beet red. I know it embarrassed him but he was a good sport about it. I never seen him using an ax. My mother always split the wood.
 

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The wanderer
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Oh my! That poor guy! I don't know whether to laugh :lolsmash: or cry :cry: or both!
Thanks, catsraven!

And Jason, how neat to be living in your grandparents' house!
 

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Meoww
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643 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The monster!

I was playing outside when I saw something out by the road. It was in the yard. I could not see it well because it was in the high grass. The house sat way back off the road so I decided to go look. At a full run I got to about 30ft from it, turned at full speed back to the house screaming MOMMY MOMMY THEIRS A MONSTER OUTSIDE!! She came out with my brother in tow and said monster? where? I pointed to it and she said lets go look.

I fallowed her out to where the monster was. She said Baby thats not a monster. She picked up a stick and said dont go near it and put the stick by its head. That snapper snapped the stick in two. She got a bigger stick and did the same thing.This time the stick did not snap in two. The turtle would not let go no mater how hard she pulled. Its a snapping turtle and if it gets a hold of you it wont let go! We let the turtle alone.
 

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I am a little teapot
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In 1928 my grandfather's parents split up. My great grandmother moved to the farm with (I think) 11 kids. Somewhere close to that ammount. The farm was owned by my grandfatehr's uncle (not sure on which side of the family). The uncle, Boyd, had the farm because he was some kind of land dealer. He sold the farm to some guy from town who put his home in town up for the downpayment on the farm. The buyer's dreams of making a fortune in the moonshine business did not pan out, so Boyd ended up owning both the house in town and the farm.

My grandfather was 12 at the time, and he and his older brother Clarence (AKA either Apey or Chise) had to walk the small herd of cows maybe 20 miles from the old place to the new one, stopping twice to milk along the way. Once was apparently within earshot of a pretty nasty coal miner's strike.

The rest is history. My grandfather, among the youngest, ended up with the place. He did some other work too but they always had the farm. We still have the first 2 tractors that ever worked the place-a '43 Farmall H and a '49 Farmall M. My grandparents bought both new and next summer I plan to start fixing them up.

They modernized the barn in the late '60s. My dad, the second youngest of 7, went to college on the GI Bill (mechanic in the Vietnam war-he was stationed in Korea with the Army) did some other stuff, and eventually farmed the place full time until we quit milking in 2000 due to the lack of a milk hauler.

Times have changed but we are still on that land and still thriving-we have decent jobs and still farm what we can. 2028 will be 100 years. I'll be 52 and have every intention of working that land with those tractors well past then.

That's our story in a nutshell.
 

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I lived outside in the summer as a kid, no shoes or shirt and short pants made from that past years pants...ate watermelon, went swimming, drank from the water hose and played till dark everyday.

Such good times....

We were rural, but did have one bathroom. We got a tv when I was about 4 or 5. It was a little thing b&w.

I was grown, gone and married before mom and dad got a color tv. Seems we only got 2 stations....

Jimmy
 

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One of the best things

about growing up country is watching a city kid when he first learns his morning eggs come out of a chickens butt !!!... makes the cold outhouse seat worth it!...
 

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I am a little teapot
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Hozay-you reminded me of another one. I raised a couple turkeys one year. My girlfriend at the time had a set of cousins, triplets (2 girls and a boy) who werer city through and through. The turkeys were huge-DRESSED one was 32 pounds and the other was 34. Well, my cousin and I butchered them but we were a little rusty and lets just say that one of the dressed turkeys ended up with a bruised back and the other didn't have any legs. We had to decide which would traumatize the city kids less at Thanksgiving dinner-the bruise or the lack of legs. I think they ended up with the legless one. They had never eaten fresh from the farm meat before.

Side note-both turkeys were deliscious.
 
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