Thursday, February 04, 2010

Memories of My Childhood

During my second year of elementary school, my family moved atop what was known as "Crocker Hill," so named because Mr. Joe Crocker and his family lived on the East side of the red clay road at the top of the steep hill. We lived across the road from the Crockers in a three-room house with a pantry and another little bitty house out back.

The house was "L" shaped with a door opening into the front room which served as both a bedroom for my parents and our living room. It was that room which became the center of attention on Saturday Nights when the Crockers would come over and my Mother's parents would come up the hill to eat chili and watch wrestling. I still remember Mrs. Crocker yelling at those referees for allowing "Gorgeous George" to be treated so badly by other wrestlers.

Next to the front room was the room shared by my sister Sue and me, until I was moved into the pantry behind the kitchen. Aunt Eunice Ivey stayed with us at one time because my Mom was working and my Dad was driving a truck, so she stayed in the room with Sue and me, also.

Behind our room was the kitchen. It housed the refrigerator, a pot-bellied wood heater, a butane fired stove, and our eating table. The pantry was a small room about six feet wide and about ten feet long.

A door opened to the outside from the kitchen and down several concrete steps was a huge oak tree right in the "L" of the house. The exposed roots made a great playground as I imagined myself a character in the Dick Tracy comic strip, or Sunset Carson, or Johnny Mack Brown, or any number of other contemporary heroes. Hour upon hour was consumed playing with or without my sister on those roots.

I regret that my grandchildren and their contemporaries have not learned to enjoy the roots of a tree. Electronic gadgets have opened new vistas for their exploration, but I doubt they'll be happier than I was as a child. My parents did not have much in the way of material things to give us, but what they did give us has remained with me these sixty plus years-- the memories of childhood.

Today, while pondering the financial pressure parents bring upon themselves in order to give their children a better life than they had, I wonder if the children could possibly be more fulfilled and content than I, or if those "gadgets" bought to satisfy their cravings to conform will prove as worthwhile as those hours on the roots of that old oak tree.

Aah--The memories of childhood.

© 2010 Mike Rasberry


JEAN said...

Mike, I agree with you about the electronic gadgets occupying so much of our grandchildren's minds and bodies However, there are those rare times when they surprise us. A while back, three of our grandchildren (ages 13,10 and 3 at the time)were outside after it had rained and they discovered a muddy water hole. The youngest one came running to her mama and asked if they could play in the water. Her mama said "sure" not realizing that it wasn't just water, but a red sticky clay mud hole. After a little while we went to sit on the front porch and we could see the kids. All three of the were covered in mud from head to toe and they were having a ball.
They were doing belly flop slides,
throwing mud balls and anything else that could be done in a mud hole. Needless to say when they got through they were almost unrecognizable. All you could see were eyeballs. They actually had fun without the gadgets they are so familiar with. Later on when we tell them about the good time they had and how muddy they were, we will have proof from a modern day gadget, the popular digital camera. Ah, the good memories of childhood!! I enjoyed reading about your childhood memories because it brought back memories of my childhood as well as those of my grandchildren. I believe we need to pray constantly that we as parents and grandparents will be the role model that God wants us to be for our chidren and grandchildren.

Mike Rasberry said...

Yes Jean,
I do appreciate those digital cameras. We can take multiple photos and decide which we want to publish or save.

And yes our role as parents and grand parents should remind us constantly that our first ministry is to our family.

Thank you for an excellent post.