Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Time of Rebellion

The next few years were a period of mixed feelings for me. I may not finish this in one Blog. It was a growing up time, a time of rebellion, a time of beginning to understand things, a time of not understanding things, a time of hate and a time of love. I was between the age of seven and ten years old, a most difficult time for a young girl who's life was uprooted from family life to one of living with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a mother who now spent much of her time working to provide for so many people.

There wasn't enough food, there weren't enough beds, there were too many people bossing me and my sisters; we didn't know who to listen to. So we formed our own opinions, and figured out our own lives, and some of it was wrong, some right. My brother was living mostly with my dad.

Our one source of guidance was the Pentecostal Church just down the street from our house. It was being run by the Dunnehoo family. Sister Vida Lee Dunnehoo had just married Brother Blanchard Clark from another city, and he was just moving into Kinder to be the Pastor of that church. Our large family were some of the first people to become members. We all went, because it was our only means of a social life. Brother Clark became like a member of our extended family, and Sister Vida Lee was our source of guidance. She nutured us and molded us, and her values have remained with us to this day.

I loved school. It opened up a whole new world for me. I devoured books. The only books I had access to were library books from the Kinder School, so I most always had one checked out. But so many times I got in trouble for 'having my nose in a book'. My Aunt Hazel, a younger sister to my mother, was one of our 'bosses'. She did a lot of the housework and kept us outside so much of the time. She was bossy and fussed when we cluttered up the house, so we had many run-ins. I hated her and loved her. In later life she was one of my favorite people.

My grandparents (and Aunt Hazel) were good to us, but they had a bad habit of bad-mouthing my daddy. They would tell us that our daddy was no good, and all the bad things he did to my mother. And naturally I took up for him, so I would talk back to them. That didn't do well with them and they would try to catch me and whip me. So I learned to run from them. One time I ran out in the yard and 'mooned' them. I have never lived that down.

There is so much to tell.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rough Times, But I Was Young

At first it was exciting. Being in town was so new for me and the family. I started school a few months after we moved, and could walk to school. I liked that for I made some new friends on my way to school. We could roam around the town and explore. It was safe then. We never worried about being careful or watching out for the dangers, whatever that was.

My mom got a job housekeeping for the Kingreys. She did everything, the cleaning and the washings. I remember seeing her doing the wash out under the trees and rubbing clothes on a scrub-board, and ringing them out by hand, then hanging them on long lines out in the yard. She washed the clothes one day and ironed them the next day. She was working from sun up to sun-down and making less than two dollars a week. She walked to her job every day. Must have been hard for her. She finally got a job in a Cafe, waiting tables. With the tips, she was making two dollars a week.
I never knew about money, there was none. We were given pennies to spend, and those were scarce. We could get about ten pieces of candy at Broussard's store with a penny, so we would make that last for a long time.

School was free and we went to school every day, there was never a question about not going. We just went. And we played outside when not in school, so I spent most of my free time outside. It was my safe haven. Somehow my sister Relia was always around. She and I were close in age, so we stayed together much of the time. We always went together, when visiting my dad. She was my big sister, and I followed her around.

The house we had moved into in town was a three room house, not three bedrooms, three rooms with about eleven-twelve people living in one house. There were beds in all the rooms, with one bed behind the stove for grandma and grandpa. I can remember at least three beds in the living room. No one lay in the beds in daytime, they had to stay made-up all day. they were a part of the living room furniture.

Funny thing. I always thought that was the normal way of living.