It Was The Thing To Do

April 30, 2013

Passing the time away seems like a thing to do, but when you conjure up all the enjoyable things that where considered fun as children, suddenly takes on a whole new meaning in life.  Playing house in the woods with a set of  used plastic pots and pans that were excitedly retrieved from a dumpster was the highlight of my childhood.  Making mud pies and pretending to be all grown up when in reality, it never dawned on me that looking back, I would much rather relive those days.

In those days, it  may seem like a poor life to some, but it was a joyous time for me.  I didn’t have a lot growing up, but somehow seemed to appreciate whatever toy or trinket my mom gave me.  It was the very thought of having something to play with…it didn’t matter where it was from.

From doing chores washing my own clothes in a ringer washing machine, I was still obedient and was a very well mannered little girl, but often found solace in my room as a means of escaping the crowd.  Crowds…never too good around them…never found any interest to be a part of the adult world unless I was playing house in the woods with my used set of plastic pots and pans.

Those pots and pans, oh how I wish I had them – while the sound of rain bounced off the roof of the house that often sent me scouring around for a pot or bucket to capture water from the leaky roof, it appeared to be normal.  I looked normal,  I had dolls,  pretty clothes like any other girl; even though they were often bought at a yard sale.

It was at a yard sale that I lost my one dollar bill I was given to purchase a couple more trinkets. Seeking to be my own person, I would often pretend to be someone I wasn’t…maybe deep inside, I wanted to escape, but didn’t know how.

I didn’t know how  to escape so I would pretend I was driving and my car went off a cliff while rolling down the grassy slopes – screaming from the top of my lungs.   Not considering the bites from bugs or the ticks that had made themselves home in my flesh.  I read how you can get lime disease from tick bites.  

Reading was what lost me in the world of day dreams.  Oh to be the lady in the book.  It was a way to build a man according to my likeness.  We all want our husbands to have some of the qualities of our dad, but unfortunately, I never got to know my dad.  

Not having a dad in life, I would often lose myself in a world of make believe, it was a way to shut out all the was real.  Seeking higher ground and to be that which every one wanted me to be was and untruthful spirit of who I didn’t want to be.  

The truth would later open my eyes to watching my older siblings have the time of their lives while I was often left home alone due to my lack of social skills.  Desiring all that could enter into an already thoughtless situation often left me questionable and scared in the dark.

The dark was not my friend.  I heard that all undesirable things happen in the dark and I didn’t dare turn my lights off.

Lighting the way to understanding and finding out my purpose was what lead me to make friends with the ones no one liked.  It Was The Thing To Do.

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Things My Granddaddy Told Me

By Mimi Jenkins

My granddaddy was a wonderful man, full of stories and tall tales.  However, one particular story he told me when I was five years old, stuck with me and I wonder right today if granddaddy was telling me the truth or was it one of his fabricated tales.

“Back when I was knee high to a grasshopper, I had to pick cotton,” said granddaddy.

“How old where you,” I asked.

“Let’s see, I had to be about four or five years old,” He spoke in a low, whistling tone.  You had to get nearly underneath him in order to hear what he had to say.

“You didn’t know how old you were?”

“Well, back then, we didn’t have birth certificates.  Folks would guess how old you were based on your stature.”

“What if you were only five and they thought you were twelve and made you fight in the war or something?”

“Funny you should ask that, because there were a whole lot of us mistaken for the wrong age.”

“Like who,” I asked with concern and excitement in voice.  My eyes were bugged out as if I had seen a ghost.

“There was my daddy, Jethro.  He was a huge baby from the get go according to my grandma.  He weighed fourteen pounds at birth.  Well, to make a long story short, he was eight years of age, when he mistaken for a twelve year old boy and sent out in the war to fight.”

“Why didn’t his mamma and papa stop them from taking him granddaddy?”  By this time, I went from concerned to stress in a matter of minutes.  I just knew a couple of grey string had popped in my hair.

“It’s like I told you, no birth certificates.  There was no way of knowing for sure how old he was.”

“They just let their son go off to war without putting up a fight,” I said with tears rolling down my face as if someone had turned on a faucet.

“Oh, come now child, no sense in getting all bent out of shape.”  His countenance showed no expression as he patted me on my head all the while telling me it was no use in crying over spilled milk.

“But granddaddy, how did they overcome the loss of their son to the war at such a young age.”

“Singing,” he said as he jumped to his feet with a smile on his face and reached for the radio.

“How can anyone sing at a time like that?”

He looked at me with an earnest look and held out his hand for me to take.  He could see his story was depressing me to no end.

“Come now child, we can’t change the past, but we can do something about the present.”

“What does the present have to do with anything? How can you forget about the past,” I asked while standing on his feet for guidance and looking up at him for an answer.

He thought about if for a while and said, “With hope, you can do anything.”

“What’s hope granddaddy?”

“Hope is when you never give up no matter what trials and tribulations life drags you through.  Hope is believing in yourself and thanking those that have paved the way for you to look towards your future.”

“You know what granddaddy?  I think me and hope are going to get along just fine.”

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