Sunday, August 9, 2020

I Washed my Hair with Rainwater

I did something today that I haven’t done in over 55 years; I washed my hair with rainwater.  Back in the 60s my grandmother used to save rainwater, because, according to her, it made one’s hair softer.  If grandma believed in rainwater as a softener, I certainly was a believer, too.  

As her oldest granddaughter and a young teenager it was my privilege (and let us not dismiss the fact that  it was an excuse to drive the car) to wash her hair on Saturdays. Her short coarse gray hair was so easily washed. I can still see her in her cotton dress leaning over the little white basin with red trim, me pouring cups of warm water over her head. The best part was always the suds, and after a gentle and thorough sudsing, I would follow up with a vinegar rinse.  Grandma always thought that the vinegar rinse would cut some of the yellow from her gray hair. I don’t know about that, but I certainly know that it made her hair squeak. Squeaky hair to her, and to me, means one’s hair is clean!  

A few days ago and quite by accident, this tub filled with rainwater.  For many reasons this brought back old memories, and I just couldn’t pour the water out. So as a tribute to her, but more of a remembrance, I washed my hair today using this rainwater. I hope that you look at these pictures, and maybe you have some memories yourself, of a time when everything seemed precious. Not everything was it as easy as turning on the tap.  

Another story about rainwater written in 2011.  Hope you enjoy!

I love you.  ❤️ 

Grandma’s tub was at the corner of her porch just for this purpose.  Remember,cousins?  Sometimes I wonder if my family was the only ones to appreciate this precious commodity  

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Dented Funnel

You know when you reach in the drawer and pull out something as beat up as this funnel, perhaps you are older than you think.....maybe?  I tend to think of myself as a spry young chick.....and then I see this.  What a slap in the face realize I have been using the same funnel for the last 48 years.  Am I that have a 48 year old funnel?  How old am I?

Just look at the stains and scratches and dents and more dents.  No, not me, silly, the funnel!  Am I going to throw that thing out just cause it’s dented?  Oh no!  That hot jelly still slides right through it.  It still works.

I love you, but don’t throw me out just because I have a few dents.  I still make good jalapeño jelly.

P.S.  I wish I had Grandma’s old whisk, repaired with wire and  I would pay premium to have the old flat bottomed metal spoon Mom used to stir gravy.  Priceless memories.  Now, let’s have some jelly.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What Happened to the Night

“What happened to the night?” Johnny asked.

We have been enjoying the night lately. Because our normal has changed, we have been looking for new ideas to keep us entertained. We have discovered that we have a nightly nature show right outside our backdoor.  Tonight after we finished our nightly wildlife session, we weren’t quite ready to go inside so we decided to take a walk in the dark.  “What happened to the night?”, Johnny asked.  It’s true, the night had disappeared. There were outside lights everywhere; lights that come on at dusk, some coming on automatically, some on timers.  It was as bright as a runway. The night had actually disappeared.  Gone was the night!

 I wish you kids could experience the night on the farm back in the 60s. When my dad turned out the lights, it was dark!  All one could see were the twinkling stars above. It was magical, not scary. It was a time when I felt at peace. I felt safe. There wasn’t a need to have a light that came on automatically at dusk; we had daddy.  The night was night!

I love you.  Turn out the lights.

Yes, we did have an outside light but it was a flood light that was turned on only when we needed to go outside. Imagine five children playing under that light in the summertime. Imagine turning on that light to get a glimpse of the glittering snowflakes of the winter.  But when we turned out the light it was night. It was peace. We were safe.  Night was night.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Telephone Recipe Book

Look at this....  What a hilarious menagerie of old recipes!  Or so I thought the moment I flipped through the pages, recipes pasted over every square inch.  All of a sudden it came to me........sort of an epiphany that it wasn't about the recipes at all; it was about the collection.  She really had no intention of making these dishes.  She was just collecting a little HOBBY.  She didn't have a scrapbook at hand, but that did NOT stop her.   

In these quarantined times, we are all looking for things to entertain us, looking for a new hobby or dusting off our old projects. but we whine around, one excuse after another to do nothing.  Grandma wasn't quarantined as we are today, but she had her own limitations.  She couldn't drive so she walked a couple blocks for bread and milk, and only occasionally went into town for essentials.  Maybe she was, indeed, quarantined.  She didn't let the fact that she didn't have a scrapbook stop her from completing her project.  She thought outside her box and she made do.

So when you find this old telephone book filled with recipes, (and I am definitely going to keep this) you will know why I kept it...not for the recipes, but for the reminder that a hobby can be anything you wish; besides it makes me smile.  It humbles me.

Grandma, what a woman!!

I love you.

I love you.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Flipping Pages Back to Front

Good Sunday afternoon.

The weather is somewhat odd today.  At this very moment in time, the sun is beaming in my sunroom.  Soon the sun will be blotted out by the clouds and rain drops will be hitting the tin roof....and then the sun will peak through once again.  Such weather is so comforting to me because while the temperature is not what one would call warm, it somehow evokes spring.

I'm setting here flipping through one of my favorite catalogs...........from back to my mom would do her magazines.  She always told me it was because she could look forward to the best pages still to come as they were at the front of the magazine.  If she flipped pages from the front to the back, she'd be left with only the continuing pages of stories or uninteresting ads.  Does anyone out there remember all the military and boarding school ads at the back of magazines?  I always felt sorry for the kids that might be sent there.

Anyway.........I am looking at my Sundance Catalog founded by Robert Redford in 1969.  It's a beautiful catalog filled with page after page of all things southwest.....from sheets to shoes, beautiful oversize embroidered tops, a lot of things that are somewhat hippie in style with a hefty price tag.  Sure enough as I flipped from back to front, I finished on the best...........$2500 jewelry..............and that's not going to happen...........  I wonder who buys such expensive things from catalogs?  If I were to spend  that kind of money on jewelry, I'd certainly like to see and touch and try on in person.

The interesting thing I have come to realize looking at this catalog is I am no longer a hippie...not that I ever was....but I wanted to be one.  And that's too bad because I can now afford such beautiful clothes and I do love these cute tops, but...........they no longer fit my image.  I am no longer the svelte thin creature I once was.  The hippie style just passed me by while I was flipping my life from back to front.  I was all to conservative in my dress.  I missed all the "pretties" of the styles of my youth and now I am left with the ads and the continuing pages.  I say all this tongue in cheek, but there is a bit of irony in it.  We go about our business day by day while thinking we will live our best life "one day".  Life is still very good to me, but I realize that I no longer fit the image of southwest hippie as much as I love the clothing. 

So start living your best life YESTERDAY.  If we could turn back time, I sure would.  Instead, I am going to live my best life TODAY....FOREVER...I might even be tempted to buy something with embroidery with that hippie flare.......somewhat tasteful.

I love you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Spoon

It's a dreary day today with snow earlier this morning and intermittent rain expected all day.  The sunroom is warm and inviting with the intermittent rain hitting the metal roof.  We don't even have the lights on because the six sliding doors and one huge sliding window provides just the right amount of ambient light.  So that's where we are, each on our electronic devices....yes, maybe they are VICES.  Nonetheless, here we are. 

Now that the stage is set for memories (and the fact that I just looked at our "Reminisce" magazine), let me tell you about one I had a couple days ago.

Sausage gravy had been on my mind for a while.  Since neither of us are big breakfast eaters, having this dish at night just sounded like the thing to do.  I was stirring the gravy with my olive wood paddle that Rhonda gave me when I suddenly remembered the spoon that was used exclusively for stirring gravy when I was a child.

The gravy spoon was a much worn old silver plated serving spoon.  I say silver plated in the most generous way possible because I doubt any sort of silver analysis could find much silver.  The spoon bowl itself was bent around so much that one dared not try to taste test from it.  The bottom of the bowl was worn from its daily use.

Daily use you ask?  Yes, daily use.  Since we were a family of seven, mom always found ways to stretch her food budget (we never even thought about the word budget back in those was a way to stretch food).  She had five little mouths to feed and gravy filled the bill. 

Do you have a favorite spoon or kitchen tool that is always used for specific meals?  I have several wooden spoons that are much worn because I used them for making specific candy, stews, and even gravy.  Nowadays, my olive ladle has become my favorite for making gravy.  I love it, but I sure wish I had that old spoon. 

I love you.  Don't have the good stuff.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Grandpa’s Coffee

Have you ever had a memory that seemed to pop out of nowhere? Actually, it didn’t just pop out. My daughter and I were having coffee the other morning and the coffee was too hot to drink. I took the plastic lid off to cool and thought for a moment that I might pour a sip or two into it to cool faster.  That is when it hit me.  I remember Grandpa Dawkins doing that very thing. He would pour a bit into his coffee from his cup into his saucer, swirl it around and sip.

I can still see Grandpa setting at their yellow dinette table with his back to the stove, but I can’t remember if Grandma drink coffee or not.  What I do remember is that aluminum coffee pot that perked on the stove.  As I recall it had a little glass top and you could watch the water bubble up.  Eventually the water would turn brown.....not much longer.....

One of my favorite smells is coffee perking; perhaps it stems from those early breakfasts with Grandpa.  Today breakfast isn’t my favorite meal, but there’s something about that getting that caffeine fix to start ones day.  So most mornings you will find me relaxing in my sunroom having my brew......until the caffeine kicks in and I am off......

I love you.  By the way, do you know what a saucer is?  Do you own one?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It Was All so Magical

It was all so magical.

The grandchildren came tonight and I was sucked right back to 1986.  They have gone home now and the feelings I had a few hours ago are beginning to wane.  Before the feeling disappears altogether, I wanted to write about them.  You almost had to have been here with me tonight and experienced 1986 with me first hand to understand, but trust me, it was all so magical. 

The grandkids came about 4:15 p.m. which was the perfect time to catch an hour or so outside.  In the house no more than an minute and the boys were off to finish up their fort that they'd started last Saturday.  Little Audrey was perfectly content to stay inside and work on a craft project at the kitchen table while I fixed dinner.  I looked out and the sky was just forming its pink glow into twilight and I was immediately transported back in was magical; my own kids playing outside on a cool November evening as the sky turns pink, Johnny watching the news, and me in the warm kitchen fixing dinner.

Night falls, and the grandchildren come in asking what's for dinner?  (Pleasant words for a grandmother.)  With dinner over Blaine jumped right on his homework.  Okay, this was NOT a memory I remember regarding my own children.  It was usually a knock down drag out.  Logan began practicing on "Moonlight Sonata".  Okay, maybe the 1986 memory was a little different, too, because somebody would be complaining about having to practice and the other child would be screaming for them to stop.

It was all so magical tonight......for a minute, my own little boy was playing and my little daughter was the one working on a craft project....................

I love you...........It is all so magical. 

Twilight is always a magical time for me.  Sometimes I forget to look up for twilight and my day slips into night without me noticing the magic.  Many, many, many pleasant memories occurred at twilight for me.....bringing in the playing outside until we call them in.....listening to "Prairie Home Companion"..........going to visit mom and dad....the list could go on and on..............It is all so magical.

Don't you wish we could harness these fleeting magical moments to pull out now and again when we began to feel sad or lonely? Oh, I guess I memories are my magic, too.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

I Need Christmas

Good evening.

I was going to type about the wonderful weekend I have had and I will, but when I turned on the computer, Pandora on my iPad was playing "Country Roads" sung by non other than John Denver.  Nobody will ever sing this lovely, poignant song like him.  NoBODY!  The clarity of his voice was made for this song.  So many wonderful singers have left us and their unique voices will never be replaced.......his near the top of my list. 

Back to my day..............  We drove around town looking for Christmas lights for the outside of our home.  Is it just me, or does it seem this year, particularly, there is less selection and the lights are not displayed in a way that is pleasing to the eyes?  We left without any lights..............Maybe ...........Maybe North Pole City, but after today's outing, Target is currently in first place. 

(Okay, I might not ever get back  my day.)  Now "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel is playing.  I just want to close my eyes and be transported back in time.  Nothing like listening to music with earphones listening to the beautiful harmony of these two gents.  Greats of my generation.

As we were looking for lights, I told my husband that this year I'm especially excited about Christmas.  I'd like to decorate tomorrow.  We discussed the sad state of our world/country situation.  I just don't want to hear about it another minute.  I told him that, sometimes, I'd like to live in the middle of New Mexico, miles away from the nearest paved road....and he agreed totally with me.  We understand each other.  I would try to describe that feeling to you, but I can''s just too hard.  So rather than describing something that only we feel, I will just share my Christmas light quest and décor with you.............maybe tomorrow."

 "Danny's Song" Loggins and Messina
"Annie's Song" John Denver of course!

I love you.................................Good night!!!

Right now, I am going to close my eyes, listen to this transporting music.  Nothing better than "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett......until the next song comes on. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Grandma's Bed

Good Sunday evening everyone. 

On Facebook a friend wrote a nice little post about her mother wrapping a hot flat iron with some fabric and putting it in the bed to warm her feet on those cold winter nights back in the day.  My friend is a wonderful writer, and after reading her post it brought back my own similar memory and I wanted to grab my computer and start writing.  Here own memory. 

My grandparents each had their own full size beds in one tiny bedroom.  Grandpa's bed was a fluffy feather bed which was fluffed every day as per my memory.  Even with the bed made, the indent of the feather bed was always inviting.  Inviting me to occasionally climb up and sink right up to my nose.  What a wonderful bed!

But the bed I remember  with the most fondness was Grandma's bed.  No feather bed for her, but a simple mattress.  It wasn't the finest bed by any stretch of my adult imagination, but as a child it was the best!  So warm, so safe.  Every once in a while I was allowed to spend the night with her without the rest of my sisters and brother.  Those nights were what I remember and cherish the most especially on the winter nights.  They were special nights feeling extra special by having one on one time with my favorite grandmother.  I remember her heating a couple of old flat irons on the stove and wrapping them in towels and sliding them in the bed to keep our feet warm on those ice cold nights.  She'd snuggle in with me and tell me a story or two.  I remember her cradling me in her arms................  the sensation still lingers...........

I love you, my friends.  I hope you have a wonderful memory that still envelops you when you need it most.  And I hope you have a nice warm flat iron.

Is it me or do the winters of my childhood seem colder than they are these days?  Of course, back in the day, each room wasn't heated as I have in my home today.  The car was left outside and not garaged; no key fob to start the car to get it warmed.  Yes, our creature comforts are something that I'd hate to give up.  Let's hope we appreciate them.




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