Friday, January 8, 2010

The Appeal of Simpler Times



Yesterday would have been my aunt Sophie's 92nd birthday, she died back in 1986 after having a stroke.  I believe today she would probably have been okay but back then they didn't know the things they do now about stroke victims.
Sophie was my mama's oldest sister, mama had 8 siblings.  Sophie was such a sweet quiet lady, she was married and had 5 children, later in her life is when I remember visiting her and she was living alone on her farm.  Sophie had a totally immaculate house, there was not a speck of dirt anywhere.This wasn't a modern house at all, she had a wood stove in the living room, then there were two bedrooms and a kitchen.  I don't remember using the potty inside her house and I'm pretty sure she had an outhouse, actually at that time quite a few of my relatives still used outhouses.  Most of them had modernized their homes but I believe Sophie was content with things just the way they were, think about it...no bathroom to constantly be cleaning!!!...but no I do not want to have an outhouse, I love the old ways but that's stretching it too far for me.  I shouldn't say that because if I was given the opportunity to have an old farmstead with no indoor plumbing I'd take it in a heartbeat!!!
Sophie had no TV in her home, she did have electricity but there was no noise at all in her house when you visited, not even a radio.  She was an excellent cook and lived her life exactly the same as she always had, meals at 6/12/6 and to bed probably before 9pm (I'm not exactly sure of these times, just painting a picture the way I saw it back then...some 40 years ago) and then up hours before dawn.  She never drove a car, she didn't need to because she had a farm and grew what she needed, etc.  Life was simple and good, she had everything she needed and her children were all close by with one of them living in Ohio, about 200 miles away but she visited her mother quiet often.  Sophie was a very intelligent woman, she knew her Bible in and out and although she was very quiet when she did speak you wanted to listen because her words were something to hear and remember.
Those were such simple times, visiting any of our relatives down in Kentucky meant time slowing way down.  We would go down every weekend and stay with my grandparents, Grandma would always have a pot of green beans and potatoes and some cornbread made and we never failed to eat most of it when we got there late at night on Friday.  We always went to bed very early and got up much earlier than we did at home, although my two brothers and I always slept later than our mom and our grandparents, by the time we got up they had finished breakfast and had the dishes done but of course they had a nice meal kept warm for us in the oven.
Thinking about it now, we were up by about 7am and went to bed by appr. 10pm but the time we were awake we were constantly busy, we had fields to run through, wildflowers to pick, picnics down by the creek and then wading in the creek.  I remember one time in particular a snapping turtle almost took off one of my toes but my brothers saved me!  Yes, life was so good and we enjoyed the most simple of things, like catching June bugs or digging in the dirt.  We would have laughed at anyone that told us we should do something like sit in front of a TV all day or play a video game all day....we had way too much exploring to do!!!
I loved our Sophie and treasure these wonderful memories!

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