Childhood memories are something I suppose we all cherish. I grew up in the small community of Traphill, North Carolina, a "hole in the road" as they used to call it- between Wilkesboro and Elkin, and surrounded by the beautiful blue ridge mountains.
One of six children, mom and dad worked hard to give us what we NEEDED. As a family, we all had our share in the responsibilities of everyday living. I wonder how many of you can relate to some of the things I am going to talk about here.
A list of some of the things from my childhood follows. How many of you can remember these?
Milking a cow and helping to churn the butter and skim the fat from the milk.
"Slopping" the hogs- and after fattening up these hogs all summer, when it got cold enough we would kill the hogs and scald them in a vat of hot water. Following that, we would grind and make homemade sausage, and use every part of the hog in some way. The ears- snout, tail, hogs head etc were used to make homemade souse meat. A treat for my dad was "brains and eggs" for breakfast just after hog killing time, something that still makes me nauseated to think about to this day. Yes, they stirred up the hog brains in with eggs and many folks ate those. Pickled pigs feet, you name it, all the hog was used in some way or another,
Making molasses. Made from sugar cane, this was a yearly event in the fall. It was a time when families got together to stir the vats of molasses, a time consuming process. While stirring the molasses, they would use this time to get together and socialize , sing, and visit with the neighbors. When the vat was emptied, the children would be allowed "sop" or better known as "taste" the molasses from the leftover syrup in the vat.
Planting tobacco- hoeing tobacco- suckering tobacco- priming tobacco- watching over the tobacco as it "cured" in the barns, then going to the market with the family and watching the auctioneers while the tobacco was sold to cigarette companies.
Feeding the chickens- and on Saturday evening, going with Mom to pick out one of those chickens, place it's head on the chopping block, and preparing it for Sunday dinner after church the next day.
Having a corn shucking party. Those were the days before modern equipment- with corn cribs for storage of the corn.
Using a peck bucket on a rope to "wring" water from a well.
Having an outside toilet or a "johnny house" as they used to call it.
Heating water on the stove before the days of hot and cold running water in the house.
Saturday was baking and washing day- when all the clothes were hung out on a clothes line to dry while Mom baked pies and goodies to last through the week.
Digging your own worms and taking an afternoon off to go fishing.
Playing hide and seek with the neighborhood kids till bedtime.
Ok- these are just a few of my memories, how about sharing some of yours. What are some of your favorite childhood memories. What did you love and what did you hate about growing up in your time. I am anxiously awaiting your replies. It seems like only yesterday- those were the days.