The Manchester Enterprise: A Boy's Memories Bits of Clay

How Did We Survive

The other day my daughter was giving me a few “parenting lessons” on what the so-called experts, say about how to raise her son (my grandson) Carson. I told her I have had a lot of experience on the matter, but still she held firm on what information she had gathered on the subject from them .

I told her I had raised her and her brother and I thought I had done a pretty good job. But still, she made me feel like I must have made a lot of mistakes along the way. So it got me to thinking about how I was raised and it made me wonder what would the experts say if I shared with them some of the facts?

I was born to a family where both my father and mother lived in the same household as husband and wife. Today, that is a rare thing. I was raised on breast milk. My butt was covered with a cloth diaper (Pampers were still years away).

I slept in a baby bed that I’m sure wouldn’t meet today’s safety standards. And when I got older we slept two, three, and sometimes four kids to a bed. Plus, we didn’t have separate bedrooms. Until I was eleven or twelve all of the kids’ beds were in one room, all three of them.

Our cars never had seat belts, air bags, anti-locking brakes, stability control, or traction control. We rode around on re-capped or bald tires that never matched. We never had any four-wheel drive to get around in bad weather. But you know what? We were never hurt in any accident. We even rode in the bed of pickup trucks.

We never had a car seat or booster seat. Unless you could call my Momma’s lap one. But, I was probably safer there than in any car seat you could ever buy today. Momma would have wrapped us up in her arms like a steel cage if she had thought we were about to get hurt. She would have gladly traded her life to save one of us.

We never carried a water bottle along anywhere. Most times a mountain stream would do, tap water or the water hose. I wish I could have foreseen this fascination with fancy bottled water coming. But who would have ever thought people would pay for water to drink?

We never had trouble getting in our house because we didn’t have any locks on our doors or windows. We did have a burglar alarm system but it never cost us a penny. We called our dog Jack. Nobody came into our yard unless we gave Jack the order to let him or her pass.

Nor did we have the drawers on the kitchen cabinets locked shut. I don’t know how many times we used those big pots for a set of drums, to catch a leak in the roof, to go gather something from the garden, or to make snow cream in.

We played with knives, sticks, bows and arrows, slingshots, and BB guns. We climbed trees, swung on grapevines, had acorn and corncob fights. All without getting hurt seriously.

When we rode our bikes, we never had helmets, kneepads, or elbow pads. The skin on my feet was so thick I could “scratch-off” barefooted in gravel. Our hands were so callused we played around by sticking needles through them without feeling any pain.

There were no pill bottles around for us to overdose on. The only medicine my family had around was Bayer aspirin, Vicks salve, Ex-lax, Benadryl, coal oil, Mercurochrome, iodine, mineral oil, Betty Rose liniment, Black salve, and Dad’s homemade cough syrup. Momma could cure a dying man with those ingredients.

He made up his famous cough syrup starting with moonshine in a kettle and then added honey, lemon juice, red pepper, ginger, vinegar, and either peppermint or horehound candy. All of this was heated up and he called it a “hot toddy”. One thing for sure, after a few drinks, we slept like a baby. You wouldn’t believe how many people came to our house for some of that cough syrup.

We ate pork bacon, sausage, ham, real eggs, gravy, homemade biscuits, real butter, whole milk, and Kool-aid made with real white sugar. We cooked with pure lard. We all drank from the same water bucket and from the same dipper. And all of us are still pretty healthy. I think all those additives and preservatives the manufactures now put in all of our food is what is killing people.

We never had cell phones, computers, video games or cable TV. We had freedom to run and play. We had the chance for success but also experienced failure. We were taught about hard work and about responsibility. Parenting today has been replaced with Ritalin and Prozac.

There were lots of things I didn’t have growing up. But what I did have was a loving family and a childhood I wouldn’t trade for anyone’s. We weren’t rich if you measure it in money but we were millionaires if being rich was measured in love.

Now getting back to my conservation with my daughter. I told her when she was a small child if she wanted something to eat we got it for her. If she wanted to take a nap, we didn’t try to stop her. If she wanted a drink of pop, we gave it to her. When she cried, we picked her up. And then I asked her, “We didn’t do too bad with you did we?

And then, I went on to tell her that most of the so-called experts don’t even have children. And if the do, they probably have a baby sitter to take care of the kids.

You don’t need to have someone tell you that they know a better way of raising kids. Here is really all you need to know.

You feed them when they’re hungry. You teach them right from wrong. You tell them nothing in this world if free. You teach them that hard work will pay off. You make sure they get a good education. And you give them all the love you have to give.

Do this and I promise that you will have a kid you will be proud to tell everyone “That’s my son!”

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 16:01


Snow Cream and the Bomb Shelter

When I was young we couldn’t wait for the year’s first good snowfall. Because with the first snow came Momma’s special winter treat. And for those of you don’t know what I’m talking about. Let me tell you all you need to know about snow cream.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 15:35

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Ain't It Funny...

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Here are some more of the things my Mom and Dad said when I was young that now they seem so funny. I hope you get as much fun out of reading them as I did just thinking about them. By the way, I still catch myself using most of them almost everyday.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 15:04

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Supper or Dinner?

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I was at a restaurant the other day with a couple of friends when we got into a big discussion about whether the meal we were eating was supper or dinner. I argued with one of them that dinner was the meal eaten in the middle of the day, usually around 12 o’clock.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 15:03

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New Years Bucket List...

It seems almost everyone makes a New Year’s resolution where they promise to do something or not do something in the upcoming year. Whether it’s losing weight, exercising more, to quit drinking, smoking, or just to be a better person. These resolutions usually last about a week. I wanted to do something a little different this year. I wanted to make myself a bucket list.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 December 2010 13:17

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Page 24 of 25

e-Edition A-Section 10-23-14


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e-Edition B-Section 10-23-14


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