Friday, January 2, 2009

Land of Plenty


I have to write about things in my past because nothing much is happening in my present life. I’m hibernating until the spring thaw.

Life wasn’t easy, living in Oklahoma during the 30’s and early 40’s. Between the sandstorms and droughts, if you were living on a farm, you better prepare yourself to starve to death or get out of Dodge. So we did, we sold it all, and went to the land of Plenty. We moved to Colorado. But we soon hightailed it back to Oklahoma. The fortune we were seeking couldn’t be found in Colorado either. We had come this far so we tried to make the best of it. We ended up setting up camp on the bank of the Rio Grand River in the San Louie valley. It was a nice place to set up housekeeping or I guess the term should be tent-keeping. We had hauled some belongings around with us in a small four-wheeled trailer that followed us everywhere. We fished from the river and ate fried trout, fried spuds (we called them potatoes in Oklahoma, but in Colorado they were called spuds) and pork and beans. We saved the cans from the Pork and Beans to drink our Kool-Aid from. There was an Ice-house near by and we could pick up all the discarded ice we wanted. So we had our, Kool-Aid over ice, out of a tin can. We were living pretty high on the hog. Rent free, and the world was our playground. One day I heard the head of the Tenthold make an announcement. He said, "We need to find a house to live in, so we can get these children in school". Daddy always referred to us as children. I once heard somebody ask him why he called us children instead of kids. His answer was, "Because my children are not goats, a kid is a goat". I thought that was funny so I started calling my brothers, the goats. That didn’t go over too big with the goats, so I had to stop.
We moved into a white two-story house, which was haunted by a ghost. The ghost never really hurt anybody, but he sure scared the bejeebers out of us. He lived upstairs and we lived downstairs. I respected his space and never went upstairs all the time we lived there. He made strange noise at night. Everybody respected his space, nobody went up there after that first day.
Life goes on forever and this is just a small segment of it. I was seven years old during the tent living episode and this is the way I remember it.

10 comments:

Robyn said...

You bring a smile to my face every time I read your blog...thanks for that!

bejewell said...

Wow, I love your stories. Feeling slightly guilty now about calling my son a "kid."

Jimh. said...

That is SO like big brothers not to enjoy or appreciate the brilliance of little sisters!

For some reason my little sister was never very clever or funny...but that is me remembering a little sister.

Jan said...

I wouldn't mind to be called a goat if I were your brother. :) The ghost was largely territorial? Didn't follow you to Washington? Hehehe..I love your stories so much I had to make a post about you in my blog. Favorite Blog of the Week is a new feature in my blog, and you're my first "awardee." No memento for clinching the award, not even a coffee mug to take away. I'm just so eager to share your lovely posts with readers in my corner of the world.

Stephanie Frieze said...

My own family criss-crossed the country between the Pacific NW and the Midwest beginning in the 1920s when Grandpa was enticed by his sister and brother-in-law into coming to WA. They traveled with a tent. My father and uncle kept a quilt over their heads to keep the dust out of their eyes. Sometimes my grandmother would shut her eyes so the boys could take turns using her goggles.

Their time in Vancouver, WA didn't last too long as Grandpa got homesick for the MO Ozarks. The next trip was during the Depression. My dad stayed behind with his grandparents to finish a year of school before joining the family in Vancouver where he finished high school.

That wasn't the end of it. My grandparents returned to the Ozarks in the late 1960s when my uncle bought a resort there. Toward the end of the '70s they returned to WA where they stayed until Grandma passed and Grandpa went back to MO again. I think you can take a Midwesterner out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of a Midwesterner.

Jen said...

Your flashbacks are great. They remind me of my dad's (who was born in '34). He grew up on a dairy, so they always had the necessities, but it was the same kind of simple life, with simple fun. Too bad it's got so complicated!

Annie Valentine said...

Jen was right, you are something fantastic. Honestly, I couldn't have invented such an entertaining travel log. I have the same dad as Jen, and I gotta say, I'll never feel sorry for his "two pair of school pants from the Sears catalogue" story ever again.

You know, sometimes I wish life was still that uncomplicated, ghost and all.

Raggedy Girl said...

I am a new reader and I love your blog and was going to follow but it would not let me join.
Roberta Anne

angelnina said...

People often ask me why my family moved all over the USA and why we lived in tents, campers, and efficiency motels. Often I don't know what to tell them. I do believe it was the Oklahoman blood that moved my dad and my grandfather all over the place. We had traveling fever I suppose.
One thing I've always admired about Oklahomans--fantastic sense of humor and yours is very well intact.

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