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Southwestern Woman

Education > Early Childhood > What If ?

What If ?

Many of my friends are writing stories of their lives. I am wondering if they will write the whole truth. I would not because there is a lot I would not want to reveal and it might hurt some people. It is all in the past and I just want to be remembered as someone who did the best they could under the circumstances. I still have vivid memories of my childhood. It took forever for my family to claw their way out of the depression. Rural families suffered so much. There were the dust storms, the lack of money and with it the lack of good nutrition. Meat was a luxury at our house because the family had to sell all the animals. We ate a lot of potatoes and canned vegetables.The exception was chicken because they were so easy to raise. I wanted desperately to be pretty and I was not a pretty child. I saved up 50 cents (it took two months) for a charm curl home permanent wave and Mama made me buy two pairs of panties instead because I needed underwear. On the good side, we had all kinds of animals to pet, horses, dogs and cats and pigeons. We had pet calves...even knowing what their eventual fate would be. I always loved nature and practically lived in a mulberry tree with branches you could lie down in and read. Ted asked me how we had reading material and I told him our mother bought second hand books and magazines. They were one of our priorities. I am so grateful for this. When the garden started to bear fresh vegetables and the little chickens became frying size, we had fried chicken every day with mashed potatoes and gravy and of course wilted lettuce salad. One of my teachers had tried to encourage me to get a further education and eventually law school but I was so eager to make money that I took the first job that was offered and it was at South western Bell telephone company. I made 26.00 a week. Restaurants got ten dollars of it and I paid 2.50 room rent for a pretty room in a widows home. She rented out 3 rooms and was able to survive. Survival was a goal.

posted on Jan 22, 2022 5:06 AM ()


Some of what famous people share in print is amazing. My life was rather dull and I'm not famous enough for anyone to care, but I have no interest in, as the title of the Stones album says going "Through the Past darkly".
comment by jjoohhnn on Jan 22, 2022 2:49 PM ()
I enjoy remembering. Also I like to research the past of my family. My first American ancestor arrived before l690 from France. He was not a catholic and so he had to flee the persecution.
reply by elderjane on Jan 23, 2022 5:16 AM ()
Oh, I wish you would write it. Out of all the memoirs I read in my writing group, the only one I recall was by a woman who grew up during the Depression and retold her family life, which was tough but they were happy together. Everything she remembered was so interesting, from the household stuff like washing & stretching curtains, to the details of living around the glass factory and the mine her father worked in. I could go for a book all about southern life, too, the young girls putting buttermilk on freckles and all that.
comment by drmaus on Jan 22, 2022 10:46 AM ()
My family made us wear bonnets and put buttermilk on our skin before we went outside in the summer. We also had another cosmetic which was to beat egg whites into a merengue and put it on our faces. It tightened the skin and was very uncomfortable but you had to leave it on until it tightened. Pretty was a high priority in our family else how could you get a husband?
reply by elderjane on Jan 23, 2022 5:19 AM ()
A year or two after my dad died I found a handwritten account of his World War II experience in the South Pacific. It was not much like what he'd told us a time or two. Not that it's a huge deal: no atrocities or anything racy, but what he actually did (or said he did with regard to aviation) was far more interesting than what we had to talk about at his funeral that was attended by all his pilot buddies.

The difference made me wonder why he couldn't have just told us in the first place, instead of there being two versions.
comment by traveltales on Jan 22, 2022 7:07 AM ()
I think sometimes we are not comfortable with the true version. After all these years of being married to Ted, he just recently told me that when he had a flash back he could smell the blood and see the body parts hanging in the trees. Maybe more of that kind of truth would take the glory out of war.
reply by elderjane on Jan 23, 2022 5:22 AM ()
I find your story fascinating. I think many people would be interested but I understand completely not wanting to reveal all the thingsā€¦ we all have skeletons.
Thanks for sharing this little bit, I enjoyed reading it.
comment by kristilyn3 on Jan 22, 2022 6:11 AM ()
None of us want people to think badly of us. I have made a few bad decisions
and I hope I have been forgiven. Linda's girls have been brought up the way I was which is the Southern way and Bobby's girls are a whole different story. They have a Russian mother and their father is gone. However they have all turned out well. Adrienne has a degree in chemical engineering and is working in Wisconsin, Ashley is in the nursing program and bless her heart wants to be an oncology nurse. Russian women love their children in a smothering way. Linda's girls are much more independent but still close to their Mom. The other MIL and I got to know each other when Bobby was sick and are fast friends. We take note of the cultural differences.
reply by elderjane on Jan 23, 2022 5:32 AM ()

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