Barbara Mandrell released a song about being country when country wasn’t cool. I always liked that song. I can relate to some of what she was singing and I love my country roots. While she shared putting peanuts in her Coke, it was me putting peanuts in my Pepsi. I never did like Coke.

Growing up a country girl in the 1960’s meant none of my toys needed batteries. Barbie was basic (I still own mine) and a jump rope was for jumping. While doing a little research for this blog I discovered a few things. Did you know you can buy a cordless jump rope? Seems like it would take some of the fun out of it. And one other thing I thought was interesting; you can take jump rope LESSONS. Yea. I’ll just leave that right there.

Mud pies were made with real mud and if we went to the lake to swim, we used an old inner tube to float on. Those things were, and still are, big, black and HOT. You learned real quick to flip the inner tube if you wanted to change positions. Floats today just can’t take the abuse of an old inner tube and I was surprised you can still buy them.

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My cousin had a pogo stick and I can remember hopping around on it trying to get in more than two jumps before it fell to the side. The one I used as a kid wasn’t as fancy as the one pictured here. — My dad built some stilts one time. They were wooden and I actually mastered walking on them. It was a lot of fun walking around the yard looking down on things and feeling a lot taller.

One year my dad grew peanuts. He pulled the plants out of the ground and my brother, Tommy, and I sat on the ground pulling the peanuts off the vine and tossing them into a bucket. I can still remember the smell of the damp earth and the feel of the peanut as I rubbed the dirt off with my fingers. Even now, the flavor of a raw peanut takes me home to Edgefield. Not one has ever been as good as the dirty ones. 🙂 Maybe the reason I’m so healthy is because I ate a little dirt growing up.

Hen and chicks. I’d love to insert an audio file here.

A visit to my grandparents’ home was always a treat. My grandma, I called her “Mother”, usually had chickens; especially hens. There was always fresh eggs in her kitchen. Too bad I didn’t like eggs; I still don’t. Mother would often allow one hen to sit on a clutch of eggs so she would have chicks. If she just wanted eggs, she would encourage the hens to lay by leaving a golf ball in the nesting box. The hen would think there was a clutch of eggs already started and would lay more eggs. I didn’t mind the small flock of hens. Their calls and clucks always seemed musical and rather therapeutic. The rooster was another matter. I think Mother only tolerated him so she could have chicks in the Spring. If the rooster got too rowdy, fried chicken was within the realm of possibility.

This is Sam Crow. He is the rooster of a friend. I have it on good authority that he is NOT ornery at all. (Grin) Way to go, Sam Crow. Cock-a-doodle-do.

Mother’s mom and dad lived up the hill and one of my tasks was to walk up to Ma and Pa’s house with an empty gallon jug and bring back a full jug of milk. I had to cross the field where my grandpa was either growing cotton or corn. I always loved the cornfield. By the time the corn was tall enough to hide me, I’d have a well-worn path through the lush green stalks. My favorite beagle, Cleo, was always at my side. She and I used the cornfield to hide us as we pretended to be jungle explorers in the depths of the tall vegetation. — Back to the milk: it came from a cow and my great-grandma churned butter with a churn that was plugged into an outlet in the ceiling. I always thought that butter churn looked out of place in the middle of the kitchen floor.

I can remember meeting Pa as he came in from the milking. If the weather was cool, there would be steam rising from the the galvanized milk pal and the white liquid would be foamy on top. I still love a glass of cold milk but now it comes from a jug I bought at Ingles.

Until next time, thanks for joining me on a trip down memory lane.

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