Memories Remembered

It could be that the life you lead today is much like the one you grew up with.  School, work, shopping, entertainment, shuttling kids hither and yon.

I remember sitting at the edge of my mother’s bed while she was messing around in her closet, perhaps hanging laundry.  She said she could see me living in a fancy house, decorated just so.  I’d probably marry a white-collar guy (my words, not necessarily hers).  Did she know or just hope that my life would be different?

I hadn’t realized that I was beginning to forget some of my childhood memories until I saw a movie this weekend, Winter’s Bone.  No, I didn’t grow up in a meth-using family, but I did grow up in a rural environment (and many family vacations were spent in Branson, where the movie was filmed).  Part of my childhood was in Southwest Missouri, too, on my grandparent’s farm.  I would go to the sale barn on weekends, sometimes get treated to a Frito-pie and a coke (which is what all carbonated beverages are called around here, even if it’s not a Coke).  I couldn’t hear anything much over the auctioneer, “yep”ping farmers and traumatized animals.  It was Saturday entertainment to me, though I wasn’t aware it was a means of survival to others.

We also hunted chicken eggs in obscure places when the hens rebelled against the coop.  I have to admit I let my little brother reach his hand into the darkness between the stacked hay bales more often than I would.  There were snakes, too, of course.

At a family friend’s dairy farm, we hopped from bale to bale over the circular mounds.  The dark pits between went straight to hell, I was told.  You wouldn’t want to fall!

Today there are chain stores and strip malls on what was pasture.  Our communities have grown with each new subdivision.  But downtown there are signs of the past.  In the still-small communities, there are the boarded up shops and abandoned homes.  I’ll have to remember to air out my own memories every once in a while, lest they, too, be neglected or worse . . . forgotten.

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