I recently scanned some photos from my aunt’s scrapbook. I think it was actually my grandmother’s scrapbook and now belongs to my aunt. Anyway…I was surprised by the little memories that this particular photo brought back to mind. (There are a couple of other photos in this series that I’ve had for quite a few years. Just never saw this one.) I don’t even know what Mom was doing. At first I thought she might be digging, but that doesn’t appear to be a shovel in her hand. She is laughing for someone, Dad I suppose. She really did have a sense of humor and was no doubt doing something silly.
My first memory was the smell of eucalyptus. There were eucalyptus trees in this yard. I loved/hated the smell. Still do. It’s a distinctive, somewhat pleasant scent often used in potpourri, but it makes my sinuses go crazy. One of my number one allergies.
The next memory is of being left in the field to monitor the irrigation of the cotton. The field shown behind Mom belonged to our neighbor, but beyond her on the next road was a cotton field, and I believe also a small vineyard, that we leased. Dad often left me, along with David, to watch the field, move the pipes, and keep the water moving for a couple of hours. He would do other things, then return to get us. I was twelve-thirteen during those years and I can remember feeling bored, and sometimes annoyed, but never afraid.
I also remember how foolish I thought my mother was to plant flowers in that yard. The house was a dump. It had literally been abandoned and condemned. I’m sure Dad worked out some unbelievable deal with the owner. Anyway, we spent weeks cleaning the debris out of it, rebuilding what was left of it, and adding a porch and small room for my brothers. It had a wood stove for heat and an ice box that really had to have ice. We bought it in big blocks in town. The house never had hot water. We heated all of our water on the wood stove or out back over an open fire (for laundry). But Mom had to have flowers. I can even remember that they were red.
We had that old swing set for years. I don’t remember where or how we got it. It sure got a lot of use. I think we even moved it to Oklahoma with us. I can’t imagine us leaving anything behind since we moved our stuff in a cotton trailer!
The boys played marbles in the yard.
The neighbor’s dog was mean and often fought with ours. One day Dad had to make our dog pass out in order to get him off the neighbor’s dog.
We kept horses in the back pasture for someone and one day when I was riding, bareback, the fool thing walked inside the chicken house and I was forced to slide off its back.
There was a fig tree way back in the pasture and I loved to pick the figs. Found and kept a cat on the way back from one of my fig picking excursions.
Not really enlightening information, but just a reminder that photos are more important than we think. A picture says a thousand words…and they lead to another thousand and another…