Monday, August 27, 2012
Summer in the Past
My siblings and I slept in the attic at my grandparents' house. It was stuffy and hot. No air conditioning there either. It did not exist.
We had fun as I recall. We jumped into the hay in the barn. We picked wildflowers and berries. (Even if we handed Grandma a dandelion, she put it in a vase.) My mother made pies and jam from the berries.
The photo above was taken in 1966. It shows my mother's father and my father discussing world events--a coal miner and a journalist. My grandpa came to this country when he was sixteen and became a coal miner. He always spoke English with a heavy accent. While he had little formal schooling, he was smart, talented, and artistic. He maintained a small farm and built three houses on his property over the years.
Nothing was ever wasted in his household. He built a loom and in the wintertime he made rag rugs from scraps of fabric because nothing was ever wasted. I studied the rag rugs when we visited in the summer and could recognize former clothing woven into the rugs.
The pace of life slowed as we listened to everyone talk. In the evenings, we all moved to the front of the house because it was shady there. The house sat on a hill. A two-lane highway stretched below it and we simply listened to the conversation and watched the cars go by. No television, no radio. Sometimes heat lightning on the other hills gave us a little show.
Nobody complained or said they were bored.
Simple was nice.