Saturday, June 21, 2008


Every summer during this period of time my cousins and I would spend at least a month in the summer with our grandparents who lived on a farm in Lower Peachtree Alabama where my mother was born. We had great times in the swimming hole where an older cousin watched us. That is where I learned to swim with her help. She would hold me up by the stomach just enough to keep me from sinking. Another experience I well remember was the outdoor toilets. We did not have running water but there was a pump out in the yard to fill buckets with water. The area around the pump was always muddy. My cousin and I made mudballs to throw at each other. Then we would clean ourselves up at the pump with that cold water. One time my cousin and I wanted to get something to eat and forgot to wash our feet. We tracked mud into the kitchen. My grandmother was very gentle and taught us a lesson we would never forgot. She gave us both a pencil with erasers on them. She pointed to the erasers: "Do you know what these are for?" Of course, we knew the answer. "When you make mistakes you erase them." She gave us both a rag and we cleaned up our muddy tracks and never did it again. Another experience I remember with real joy. Grandpa had a mule named Sadie just like the name of my babysitter. Sadie did everything. She pulled the wagon to haul stuff around. She plowed the fields with her steady slow pace. She seemed to like us when we petted her head. We often rode on her back when she was plowing. I'm sure that little extra weight meant nothing to her. One of the astounding memories about Sadie was our stopping for lunch. Grandma would hit a gong on the back porch to let us know it was time for lunch. it was time to eat lunch. Sadie would stop in her tracks not moving another step. Grandpa unharnished her and put her in the shade where she ate her lunch. We were amazed at her promptness as she knew exactly what was taking place. My cousin and I designed a trick to see what Sadie would do. We hit the gong in the middle of the afternoon. We saw Sadie stop as she usually did up at the top of the hill. Grandpa had no choice but to loose her. When Grandpa came down to the house where we were. we were expecting to receive punishment for our ugly deed. To our pleasant surprise. he was gentle with us: "Sadie is tired", he said. "Can you help me do a few things." He kept us busy for the rest of the afternoon.