Size Matters

The house I grew up in still sits in the middle of two hundred acres of farmland. To get to this place, you have to drive down a dirt road into the valley. Trees sit on hillsides surrounding the house. The outside of the house still has white shingles on it. I moved into this home with my parents and three older siblings when I was 18 months old. Four more siblings followed after me. There were ten people living in the cramped house. For many years, six of us kids shared one bedroom. There were two sets of bunk beds and a single bed in one tiny little room. One closet was crammed full of six kids clothing. For many years, I had to share a bedroom with siblings. One day, Dad decided to finish the upstairs. The three older siblings moved up there.

Did I mention we had one bathroom? For ten people–crazy. Looking back now, I do not know how we did it, but we did. Bathing consisted of my two sisters and myself in the tub at one time. We couldn’t waste water. When it was time to get ready for bed, we lined up to the bathroom and Mom made sure we washed our faces and brushed our teeth. Air conditioning-what was that? This was 1962. When we did get a fan, Dad had to have it because he worked outdoors as a laborer. Many hot summer nights, we sweated our way through sleepless nights. In winter months, Dad waited until 10 below to decide that we needed to cut wood. If we wanted to stay warm, we had to help.

If the walls of my old home could talk…there were some good times and not so good times. Inside those walls I called home, were laughter, arguments, spankings and crying. When one kid got sick, it would be guaranteed all the kids would catch it. Me and my siblings got strep throat so many times, all Mom had to do was call the doctor and he would prescribe medicine.

By the way, Mom did not know how to drive. My uncle usually took her to the grocery store.

Watching television consisted of us piling into Dad’s truck and driving to Grandpa and Grandma’s house. We only did this on Saturday nights to watch Lawrence Welk. Growing up on a farm there were always chores to be done, before school and after. Sitting at the table when Dad came home from work, was required. No one could talk because Dad wanted to tell Mom about his day. Have mercy on us kids if Dad came home crabby….

I grew up near rural Augusta, Missouri. My childhood wasn’t the best but it could have been worse. I try to only think of the good memories and to stay positive.

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie Jackson 🙂

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