Sunday, November 11, 2012

November always takes me back to my childhood…

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The early days of winter are upon us.  I love November, everything about it takes me back to my childhood.  It’s the month of my birth, November, and that in itself makes it special.  So many memories are associated with our birth month, and I often  think back to my early Novembers and the simplicity of my life.

Winter came earlier in November than it does now when I was a child.  It would be cold by this time of year and there would undoubtedly have been a hard freeze. I would be wakening to frosty mornings, with ice on the windowpanes, a cold house, staying tucked into bed underneath quilts until Mother got a fire in the coal stove going.  There would be new flannel pajamas, always a small floral print, with great big white pearl two-eyed buttons down the front that she would have sewn for me on her Singer machine.

The cornfields that surrounded our house would have frozen stalks, and often a dusting of snow, and I would watch out the frosty windows, looking at the hunters trudging thru the fields, with their braying hound dogs, and the occasional crack of a rifle, when they found a covey of quail.

Weekends weren’t spent shopping, we did our chores and stayed home on Saturday.  Mother would make a big country breakfast with her homemade sausage chocked full of sage, spices, and lots of pepper flakes, fried in her black iron skillet.  We would have eggs from our hens, with yolks so golden that they are still, to this day,  unforgettable.  And homemade buttermilk biscuits, wonderful fluffy biscuits, slathered in butter and topped with homemade blackberry preserves.  There were always outside pets, dogs and cats to feed and play with, a parakeet or a canary in a cage in the kitchen, and phone calls to make on our big old fashioned oak wall phone, two longs and a short, that was our ring.

There was no television in my childhood, I would listen to the radio, play the piano, read, spend time with my dolls, and most Saturdays there would be a pot of soup simmering on the stove for supper that night.

Sundays were spent at Grandma’s house, we always went for Sunday Dinner, and since Mother came from a large family there would be plenty of cousins to play with.  Grandma would make us paper dolls and snowflakes from old newspapers, we would play in the barn, and sometimes we would get to help milk the cows.

An idyllic childhood, oh far from it, it was a hard life for a woman and a little girl living in the country on a dirt road with no running water or indoor plumbing, but it was all I knew, and it gave me roots.  I was nourished, I was warm and I was loved.  That’s all a child needs to thrive.

I read a quote today that really hit home, “When we look to the outside world to fulfill us, we are usually disappointed.”  I learned this lesson early in childhood, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.  The only things that are truly meaningful are family and good friends, the rest isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

Oh my, I’m nostalgic, it’s just November, it always does that to me…

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