Saturday, February 4, 2012

Memaw's Goat Memories

We had goats back then, too. One Sunday we had company and the kids were playing all over the place and an old nanny goat picked this time to have her kids. She was in an old torn down shed out by the toilet, and I saw her and thought that was about the worst thing I’d ever seen. We were told to stay away and leave her alone. Nobody told us about sex. They just wouldn’t let us see what was going on.

We didn’t have toys. We made up our own games. We made play houses out of anything we could find. We’d find a corner in the yard, sweep the dirt free of trash, and set up house. We made benches from boards and tin cans. The cans were the legs. Our dishes were bits of broken glass. A large tin can would be the stove. Sometimes we would sneak matches and make a little fire. Then we’d boil an egg or potatoes or whatever we could sneak from the kitchen. We had lots of fun. Even the boys would play with us sometimes.

I used to like to see Daddy shave with his straight razor. He had a mirror on the wall by the front door, and it was above a nail that held the razor strop. He’d sharpen his razor on the strop and then shave himself. I thought he was brave to run that sharp thing over his face. The razor strop had another purpose, too. We all knew about that.

The front porch had a shelf that held the water bucket and dipper. When you got thirsty, you went to the bucket and drank from the dipper. It sure beat washing all those glasses. Everybody was invited to drink from the dipper. (Except the blacks--and yes, she used the N word.) Ole Uncle Abe would take his hat and make a dent by crushing in the crown of his hat and pump water in the dent and drink from it. I thought that was so neat.

Everybody was poor back then. Daddy, Mama, and all the older kids were in the field working and I was at the house with the little ones. G and E were still drinking milk from a cup. The goats were all over the place, on the porch and in the yard. J.W. Bailey was there playing with us. He picked up goat droppings and put it in their milk. We were really mad with him. We had bad kids then, too.

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