Monday, June 24, 2013

Moving Into Town

We made the move into Kinder in two stages. The whole family. Children were never told the why of anything, but I always thought it was for convenience. No one was bringing in any support or money, with only the measely earnings grandpa and his two sons were making by helping float the logs, and by bartering the few Axe and Hammer handles. So we moved into a run-down shack about half way into town, out by Lola and Attale Fontenot. Lola was from the Bushnell family and Attale was related to the Fontenot's.

First day we moved in, it rained, and my stomach began hurting. That was the first of what would turn out to be a bad Appendix. I lay on the bed, and the rain was leaking through the roof. I called out to Mama and she came to see about me and put buckets to catch the drips. I was not feeling well, but it was more a feeling of frustration and disappointment. Maybe I was missing my Dad.

We didn't stay in that house very long, maybe a few months. I had a craving for salt; yes, plain old table salt. While we were still in that horrible place, one day I ate salt until I threw up. Funny the things one remembers, and associates with a particular place. Maybe that's the way God helps us keep track of time and places as we grow up.

So once again we were moving. I don't remember how we moved, for we owned no automobile. This time we moved into a little better house right next to Broussard's Filling station on the south edge of town. I liked the place. We lived there for three or four years. I started my first year of school.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fooled By A Turtle

After we moved in with my grandparents, it was a houseful. Grandma and grandpa Bill, their two sons, and their two youngest daughters, plus my mom and her four children. All in a four room house. I don't know how grandma and my mom did it, but I was too young to understand. Grandpa Bill kept a Turtle fattening up in a barrel out by the kitchen door, by throwing food scrapes in the barrel.

One Sunday we all sat down at the kitchen table to eat. Grandpa always blessed the food, and we children bowed our heads in respects. It was required. We were having Chicken Sauce Piquant (that's exactly what it was called). When we were almost finished, my aunt Hazel asked me if I knew what we were eating. I said chicken and she laughed out loud. Several people at the table laughed, and I was embarrassed, because I didn't know what they were laughing at. My Aunt Hazel was famous for that. "It was Turtle", she said.

I had never eaten turtle, and was a little picky about my food, so I ran from the table, into the woods (my safe haven) and stayed there for a long time, cried a little, until I got over it. We were never humored, nobody came looking for me. But I have never forgotten it, and to this day will not eat turtle meat.

Another thing. One day a mad dog was hanging around the house, barking and foaming at the mouth. Don't know who determined the dog was Rabied, but we were all huddled in the house, and grandpa had his shotgun ready. My mother's two brothers were there giving their opinions. There was a lot of excitement.. Finally my uncle Dillion said he had always heard if you put a copper penny in a biscuit and get the dog to eat it, the Rabies would go away. Or the dog would die. So that was the decision, only who to get to give the biscuit to the dog. It was decided. Someone would throw the biscuit out the door. Dillon was the chosen one. He opened the door just enough and threw the biscuit toward the dog. Well the dog didn't eat the biscuit, he just continued to threaten. So my grandpa shot him.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another Safe Haven

We walked to my grandparents that day. My mom, my two sisters, my brother, and me. Across a dusty road, through a grassy field, another dusty road, and down a small grassy trail, about a half-mile near the Calcasieu River. They were living in the Little Mill Settlement. I was about 5-6 years old. My Dad was away at work. I didn't know what was going on, but my mom and grandparents were whispering and not letting us children hear what they were saying. It was early afternoon, we had had a tiring trip walking. I was glad to play with the other children. We hardly noticed when my grandpa readied his horse and wagon and departed with my mom.

They were gone about three hours, and came back with a load of furniture. I didn't know what they did with the furniture, but noticed later that an extra bed or two had been set up in the back bedroom. We children had our supper, and played behind the stove. It was just getting dark. We heard noises, like arguing; my mom, my grandpa and then I recognized my dad's voice - they were almost shouting. We children became very quiet. I heard my grandpa say, "get off my property and don't come back, she is not going back to you."

My mom had left my dad! That was my first to understand what was happening. We children ran into the back bedroom and got in bed. It was a room with wooden shutters which were closed with a lock from the inside. Grandpa must have locked them down earlier. My dad came to the back door and began calling us children by name to please let him come in and talk to us.

Grandpa ran him off with his shotgun. My mon never did go back to my daddy.

Had I entered another Safe Haven?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hello, This Is My First Blog

A Safe Haven

Since I grew up in Depression years, many of my first posts will be on my early childhood.

Ethel & Relia ages 3 & 5
One of the first memories I have is on a day when I was about 4-5 years old. My sister and I were out playing in the yard with some neighbor friends. We were all playing around an old tree stump, and I was trying to pull a piece of wood off the stump. I gave a hard yank and the piece came loose and my hand flew up toward my forehead and the splinter stuck in my forehead just above my left eye. I couldn't get it out and went crying to my mom, who was out in the woods gathering firewood. I couldn't find her and ran back in the house and sat in a box behind the kitchen stove waiting for her, and holding my head. She came in, took one look at me and yanked the stick out. She put a cloth bandage around my head, said a few soothing words, and I was fine, but I stayed in the box behind the stove until time to go to bed. I knew my mother would be cooking supper on that stove, so it was a safe haven for me. I still have the scar over my left eye.

A strange first post, isn't it?