A box of memories that helps push out some of the bad stuff

Gee willikers! It has taken me some time to figure out what I wanted to write about. Then it came to me! It was delivered in an old box taped on the bottom. In it were all my memories from my childhood.

After my mother died, the family pictures somehow got stored in my brother Terry’s house. It was when he moved to Indy that he discovered the box, and boy did I love it! I have dementia, so short-term memory is horrible, but the pictures refreshed my long-term ability.

There are pictures of my Granny when she was 4 years old. She looked like a little Shirley Temple. I discovered a picture of my Grandma Barr that was stunning. She was wearing amazing jewelery and had the rosiest cheeks.

It made me remember the good times that brightened my childhood. There were some awful things lingering in the back of my mind, and these pictures were therapeutic. It pushed some of the bad out of the way and replaced it with a better memory. I realized I had a family in its own dysfunctional way that loved me.

There were pictures of my great grandmother and great grandfather, Ollie and James Fender (my Granny Madden’s parents). It is funny, but I always remember them snapping green beans under Granny’s pear tree, and these are what the pictures are. My Granny’s home on County Road 68 in DeKalb County had no running water and only a little oil stove in the front room. We would pump water into a bucket, and in that bucket was a ladle that everyone shared. Germs did not exist when you were at Granny’s. She had an outhouse, and we never gave it a second thought that the toilet did not flush. If we ran out of toilet paper we just banged on the wall until some one came to our aid.

We had what used to be called “Family Doin’s” at her house about twice a month. My cousins and I would play Red Rover and Living Statue, jump rope and climb trees.

We did not watch TV or use the phone. We used our imaginations. I admire parents who do not give into the hype of technology. Peer pressure can be awful as well, so I do not fault the parents who do.

Sometimes I re-live those days. I can still smell the sheets and blankets kept in a chest by the side door of her home. A door that was never locked by the way. I remember snuggling into the makeshift bed awaiting the next day’s fun. Then 2 o’clock in the morning would roll around and I would have to give up dreams to take my baby sister home. She needed her bed, her blankie and her familiar surroundings. Not me! I was bound and determined to pump water, play games and drain Grandpa Mel’s beer bottles. I also ate dog food they kept in a barrel in the kitchen. Perhaps if Grandpa would have let Peggy drain the last tiny bit of beer we all would of gotten a good night’s sleep!

Thanks for reminiscing with me. And thank you, Terry, for a box full of fun.

I do have a serious issue. Prayers are needed for my brother Tom. He desperately needs a kidney. So please pray it happens soon. Thank you.

Thank you, God, for one more column! Lot’s of neato keen love from a happy-go-lucky person with a slight memory problem.

I would tell you who I am, but my husband Jim is too busy to tell me. Ha, ha! <br>

<i> Patti A. Barr Hagadorn, future president of Frankie Avalon’s Fan Club. </i>