Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tender Years: Jenny




"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson


Peeling back the layers.




Let me preface today's post by saying as a young child, I was incredibly scared of the dark and my parents had a very hard time teaching me to sleep in my own bed.

Fast forward about five years and I am around 8 years old.  We are back in Silsbee, living on Cooks Road.  Not too long after we moved there, being thrilled to have enough land to "garden", Daddy purchased a jenny (female donkey) that was already broke to the plow.  He acquired a "georgie stock", "trapsings", reins and assorted plows and implements.  He was ready to go about gardening the way he remembered it as  a boy.  The place had fences and part of the fenced off land became Jenny's pasture and part was the garden area.

In this old rent house, my bedroom was in the front and the porch ran along in front of it down to the hallway and the front door.  Built long before air conditioning was the norm, my bedroom had four windows, two on the side of the house and two facing the front porch.  This and the fact that every room had two doorways, allowed for making the most of any breezes on hot, muggy summer nights. Like most homes built in the same day, the porch had cement steps leading up to it.

I had outgrown my predisposition to fear in a dark room and was sleeping snug in my bed, which faced the front porch.  Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by "clomp, clomp, clomp" and instantly all the fear of  my younger years came flooding back!!  I was too frightened to yell, too frightened to move as I realized the sound was coming from the front porch!  I lay there waiting to die.  Finally, I got up enough nerve to open my eyes and peek over the covers and out the front windows.  There, staring back at me was a huge, ghostly white face!!!  That spurred me into action.  I hopped out of bed, ran through the connecting bathroom and into my parent's bedroom not even pausing before I leapt into their bed.  There were probably a "damn it' or "what the hell?" being exclaimed by my folks as I hurriedly tried to tell them there was a ghost on the porch and it was after me.

Daddy got up and went to check it out in his pajamas.  He was soon back, laughing at me and telling me it was only Jenny.  She had found a weak place in the old fence and apparently wanted to spend a little more time with us, perhaps see what we did in this house.



Daddy & Jenny plowing when I was about 13 or 14 at our home on  Hwy 1122.



What about you?  Ever afraid of the dark?  Have you ever got to see first hand someone plowing with a "georgie" stock and animal?  Have you ever lived without air conditioning?  Tell me about it!  Or anything else this entry brings to mind.

Thanks for sharing!

Barbara





18 comments:

  1. My parents still don't have air conditioning. It boggles the mind. Of course, it's only hot where they live two months out of the year.

    I used to wake up with terrible nightmares when I was a kid. I'd run to my parents' room and sleep on the floor on my mom's side. Worked every time.

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    1. Mama used to tell of her mother, sitting up to fan them on the sleeping porch when her and her sisters were little.

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  2. We never had air conditioning growing up. Just box fans in windows. More often than not, that was good enough. Never saw anyone garden before but when I was married, my wife's father was a dairy farmer and I even helped milk cows a few times. That, for me, was an interesting experience.

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    1. We did the box fan thing too. The first 14 years of our marriage, Pete put a shop fan in the window of our house, pointing to blow outside. Often times we could just crack windows in the room we were in and stay good and comfy! But at times it just gets unbearable down here in June, July and August if you can't turn an A/C on.

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  3. My great grandma did not have running water . She had a huge well like you see on petticoat junction but not that highly off ground. We bathed on the covered porch that faced the garden with water heated from the stove. She had an outhouse that had a zillion spiders and it was dark in there. It was away from the house with no lights so we had to take a flashlight even in the day. That was only time I was scared of the dark. My family on both sides has farmers and they used mules for their plow.

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    1. I had an aunt and uncle who lived that way! And the funny thing was, he was a carpenter by trade!

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  4. I grew up without air conditioning. I don't think that my parents got air conditioning until after I got married. David and I had it from the start.

    I'm pretty sure that I was afraid of the dark at points in my life. I had awful nightmares as a child that often led to me yelling at the top of my lungs that someone was in our room. That always scared my mama half to death, too. She knew she had to come check to make sure nobody was in there, but she didn't want to come in there and find somebody either. I guess I gave us both nightmares! It would have been easy enough for someone to get in that old house. We had the windows open throughout the summer.

    I don't recall ever seeing anyone in real life plowing with the georgie stock or animal. Everyone around here has huge tractors.

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. Daddy is the only person I have ever known who chose to plow that way. It was what he knew, what he liked.

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  5. i might have wet my bed hearing those clomp clomps :P

    J is for Jungle Book

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  6. Oh yeah, I lived without air conditioning. Wouldn't want to go back to those days.

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    1. In mild weather, I still prefer windows open and perhaps a fan running. But when that Texas heat cranks up, I'm all about the AC!

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  7. We had no air conditioning, not even a fan. Also no refrigeration. The ice man delivered a block of ice to our house. We put a big sign in the window telling him how many pounds we wanted that day.

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    1. We always had an electric icebox. And I still to this day call it an icebox, as that is all Mama and Daddy ever called it. Even my kids say that instead of refrigerator.

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  8. Don't like the dark but not afraid of it. Never saw anyone plow with anything but a tractor. Lived many years without A/C but thankfully not here in SC.

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    1. There was a nice/gently rhythm to Daddy and Jenny's plowing. And the way the rows and garden looked was so much better than any I've ever seen done mechanically.

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  9. I love the look of your blog and your theme. Where we live air con is far from the norm. But being in a city it never seems totally dark, there always seems to be some light. Re your comment on my recent post - our public toilets often charge a fee :( but you can usually find a cafe or department store where you can go for free.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments and for making the trip over to Caneyhead! Thanks for the toilet clarification.

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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