You Say It’s Your Birthday….

Growing up, I was blessed to live on a family farm. My grandparents bought the land and as each child married, they gave them two acres, but it was situated, so as they were able, each child could purchase more land. I was able to roam over this large acreage, playing in the woods with my cousins, building forts that were someday going to be great tourist attractions. We’d leave as soon as we got up in the morning and stay way past dark. Mom must have had great faith, or was clueless to what we were doing, because we were always armed to the hilt with a BB gun, a hatchet, and if she really was busy, the ax. I don’t remember coming home for lunch, though I am sure we did, though we were well fed on honey suckle vines, and blackberries. We knew what things in the forest we could eat and which made you puke. We fought and quickly made up. From May to September, we were our only companions and we didn’t want to be left out of the fun. I was momma’d by older cousins, barely old enough to claim they were older. I momma’d those younger ones, barely young enough to claim I was older.
Maybe it’s just that I am getting old, but I miss riding my bike on that dirt road. I miss my tree house, that my cousin Jeff and I built all by ourselves. I miss the woods. I miss the old dollhouse. I miss stopping in at Granny’s to get a hot RC cola and a moon pie on the way home from school. I miss the dumb dogs on the way home, that would bark furiously at me, and then stop cold in their tracts when I reached down and picked up some dust. I miss playing kick the can and swamp monsters over the gully at the bus stop.
Funny, because 49 years ago when I was born, my maternal grandmother cried when she realized my parents were going to raise me out there on the farm. I think she was a city girl through and through. But I was surrounded by family. Five generations of it in fact. And though at times, it worked against my favor, like when someone at church decided they’d just spank me and be done with it over telling my momma. After all, they’d known one or both of my grandfathers. I had the best childhood ever. Even through the thorns.

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