Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas I Remember

Christmas mornings for me were always just like the books that you read. My sister and I woke up, always very very early, and since I slept upstairs near my parents bed, I would ask if I could get up. Of course they would say it is not morning yet and after a while I would ask again. Finally after Janice would wake up also in a nearby bedroom then they would let us get up.
We would run downstairs to see what our special gift was, sitting on our special chair and to see what was in our Christmas Stocking. The night before mama would help us set a dinning room chair right in front of the Christmas Tree, one for each of us three girls. We left cookies on a plate on each chair and hung our Christmas stocking on the back of the chair. We always used one of mama’s nylon hose for our stocking. You could get so much more in it!! (This was before Panty hose!)
I don’t remember believing that Santa Claus came, I knew it was mama and daddy filling our stockings. They filled them mostly with apples, oranges and peanuts in the shell. I went to bed and thought they must get up in the middle of the night and put things on our chair and in our stockings. That part I never could figure out. How did they do that without me waking up. As I became older it finally dawned on me that they just did it before they went to bed! ha
We didn’t get a new doll every Christmas. A new doll was a very special gift that we received just a few times as we grew up. My very special friend, my Judy doll, I had as long as I could remember and I loved her very much. When I had my tonsils taken out in the hospital I had to have Judy with me in the hospital bed. And before I would let them give me a shot or anything they had to give it to Judy first. But over the last couple of years before this special Christmas all of her hair had fallen off, it was just glued on when she was new. I felt so sad that she was bald. And I guess I thought she was ugly. This Christmas the folks asked me if I wanted a new doll for Christmas. I said "no" what I want is new hair for my Judy doll!
So what did I see sitting on my Christmas chair that Christmas morning?! Judy, with a whole new head of hair, beautiful golden curls all over!! I was so very very happy!! I remember I started crying I was so happy. And I told mama that now I know what it means to cry because you are so happy. That was the first time I had ever experienced that. I never could figure out how they had that done without me knowing it. I had to have Judy with me all of the time. In later years mama told me they had gone all the way to Wichita, 60 miles, to a doll place and bought the wig and they told daddy how to glue it onto Judy. Daddy even had to buy special glue.
I still have Judy and she is still wearing the same wig. It is tangled now so you can’t comb it but it is still beautiful and I still love Judy as much as ever.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Consoling Factors for Recession

I enjoy quotes and really like this one....

In times of recession and shrinking money, the arts is one of the great consoling factors because you can turn to books and paintings and literature for insights into the human condition which greed and money can't buy.- Joan Bakewell, British broadcasting personality

I want to add to this quote with the idea that Photography and Nature are two things that also can console and present enjoyment, and are also things that greed and money can't buy or take away from you.
Here are a few to console you and to enjoy.....

Catching the Sun

Garden Blues

Rosey Pink

White Spider

Yellow Summer Days

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Playing in the Pasture

One of my favorite things to do on the farm was to go play in the pasture. This was a 20 acre area that was used to keep our cattle in. It was like going out into the wild!
There were so many things to do and see.
Just to walk around in the pasture was an adventure.
There were large bare areas where grass and weeds would not grow. Daddy told us that these areas were volcanic ash and that there had once been a volcano is the area. This always fascinated me. I could just see a big volcano spewing out ash and smoke, probably east of us where the city dump was at. At least this is what I had decided. And in these bare areas were always lots of rocks. We could find all different shapes and colors. The best ones were the petrified wood and the agates. I always had a bucket of rocks around the farm and my favorites would be in my rock collection sitting on a shelf in my room. One year mama even helped us to make plaster of paris molds that we stuck these rocks into to make a keepsake. I still have one of these that mama had sitting on the back porch even after they had moved to town.

While you were looking for rocks in these areas you could see a lizard run by. I would chase him and try to catch him and once in a while I would. The horny toads were easier to catch and there were more of them. I would usually be carrying home a horny toad as I walked back to the house. Sometimes I would keep a horny toad in a large coffee can for a few days but the folks would have me turn them loose after a while so they would not die. I do remember once when I caught one of those lizards. I tied a strong thread around its neck and put a safety pin on the other end of the thread and wore it to school like a pin! That was fun! A live lizard for a pin!! Most of my friends thought it was neat but I think most of the other kids thought I was goofy! Then when I came home I had to let it go again.

After a big rain there would be a new adventure in the pasture. There was a dry wash that ran through it. Most of the time there was not water in it but after a good rain there always was. There were three areas along this wash that would hold a pool of water for several days or even longer if we had more rains. Then you could go to these pools of water and find crawdads and tadpoles and all kinds of water bugs. I liked to play with the crawdads best. You could walk barefoot in the water and when you would get near a crawdad they would run real fast backwards! It was so funny! I knew not to get to close because they had pinchers that would nip your toe but they never seemed to want to do that, they would just run from you. To see them run backwards was so much fun.

Another fun thing with this dry wash was the gold that I could find in it! Just ask my cousin Savilla she knows about this gold! She and I would go out with our little shovels and buckets and dig for it. In this wash were places where the water would rush through the pasture and leave a deep washed out area, it would leave a bare wall of dirt three or four feet high. Here is where we found our gold. We would dig into this wall of dirt and find blue-gray colored dirt, (clay), just a strip of it, a vein of gold!! We would keep digging, taking the blue-gray dirt and placing it in our bucket, and follow the vein back into the wall of dirt. After a while we would be rich!

Sunflowers were another adventure in the pasture. The wild sunflowers would grow so very tall. At least 6 foot or more. In the pasture there would be huge patches that had just sunflowers growing side by side. This area was just like a jungle to my sister and I. We would try to walk through them and then we would start bending them over by standing on the stems. And we could make a “room” in the middle of the patch. Sometimes we made a path and made a second room! We had a play house made out of sunflowers!
In the pasture is also where I developed my interest in insects. Of course there were many of them around. I would just sit out in the middle of the pasture, in one of the bare spaces, or by the pools, or even in the sunflower house, and love to watch the bugs. But this will be another story!

City kids didn’t know what they were missing . Although we did enjoy playing in the city parks once or twice a year when there would be a picnic or something that the folks would take us to. But my favorite place to play was in our pasture… Kansas in the Wild!