DADDY WAS NO WHINER

Known for being a part of the Dustbowl history of the 1930’s—sometimes called the Dirty Thirty’s—my home in Southeastern Colorado in the 1940’s had changed considerably.  Roosevelt’s programs, the WPA and the CCC, had made improvements in land conservation.  Also farmers had learned new methods to care for their fields with the benefit of the modern equipment of those days.  So by my twelfth year, I was bothered little by dustbowls which were rather rare by that time.  Of course that was good news.  Bad news: still little rain.  No irrigation for us.  Little, if any, for neighbors.  Daddy planted crops, and looked to the sky in hopeful faith that the rain would come in time to save the seeds and give them the moisture to sprout into life.  And the rain would come.  Often gully washers.  Replanting.  Looking.  Praying.  All over again.  But I never remember a crop failure.  Did we have them?  I don’t know, daddy was no whiner.  Farmers didn’t whine.  We were “carried” by the bank until harvest time.  Bankers didn’t whine.  The grocer kept a separate statement for most of the farmers.  They would be paid twice a year.  Once when the crops were sold; once when the steers were sold.  But the grocers didn’t whine.  Men were as good as their word.  If disaster struck, all would go down together.  But disaster didn’t strike.  Instead prosperity came.

So I am left with memories.  Walking to school.  Picking prairie flowers.  Gathering hens’ eggs.  Reading library books.  Sunday and Wednesday church.  Two week revivals.  Entering spelling bees.  Churning butter.  Fried chicken.  Baby sister.  Extended family. Health.  Security.  Love.  Jesus.  Looking back, I wonder, “Was life really that good?”  I guess I’ll never know.  You see, Daddy was no whiner.

(Blogging 101, Lesson Eleven—Sentence length.)

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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12 Responses to DADDY WAS NO WHINER

  1. Wow, reading your blog is like time travelling or being able to sit and talk to my grandma again. My mother’s mother was a West who married a Kunau. They lived and farmed around Colorado Springs. They were in Loder during the time you write about. My grandparents were a rock of faith for our family; I still remember hearing their prayers at night down the hallway when I slept over.
    Thank you, again, for the look at history.

  2. shoreacres says:

    i loved that list. These were part of my life, too: Walking to school. Picking prairie flowers. Gathering hens’ eggs. Reading library books. Sunday and Wednesday church. Two week revivals. Entering spelling bees. Churning butter. Fried chicken. Baby sister. Extended family. Health. Security. Love. Jesus.

    No Wednesday church, except during Lent, no revivals, and no baby sister (or brother, either).
    But everything else was there, and I’d have to say yes, it was that good.

    For my parents, my mother, especially, it wasn’t that good. Dad’s family got by, Mom’s was truly poor. Still, by the time I came along, things had turned around, and life was comfortable. But we still lived simply, and were able to enjoy what we had without longing for what we didn’t. What a gift.

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Shoreacres, I had some qualms about saying prosperity came. When I wrote that I realized how few people now would call us prosperous, but we did buy a new car! I love the way you said it, “able to enjoy what we had without longing for what we didn’t.” Thanks for sharing.

  4. belinda says:

    Very vivid and compelling description. I read your post after your comments on mine (thank you again) and yes, I see the effectiveness of the very short sentences. I also appreciate what you said in the comment just before this about “prosperity came.” No doubt you felt prosperous, a valuable lesson for many to understand today.

  5. Bette Anderson says:

    Oneta, good words. I remember enjoyably playing scrabble with you years ago. You were good then too. Love, Bette

  6. I love this. I just simply truly love this.

  7. judyjourneys says:

    Oneta, I remember the two-week revivals also. I was just thinking yesterday about one of those revivals where the evangelist did double duty. He taught an hour class every morning at eleven and preached every evening. It must have been during the summer, because I walked the mile or so from my house in the mornings.

  8. oneta hayes says:

    During our revivals we only had evening services (except for Sunday, then morning and evening); however, during our camp-meeting time, every July, the speaker would preach both mornings and evenings every day for ten days. Do you have FB? One of my friends there has been posting pictures from our old camp days. They were about ten years after me, however, My younger sister is helping identify some of the people. If you are interested I will personal message Pat to friend you. They certainly look quaint. The services were held in a tabernacle in the Colorado Rockies. Maybe I’ll put some on my blog after my writing 101 assignments are over.

  9. judyjourneys says:

    My parents talked of attending camp meetings in Virginia when they were children, and they loved them. No, I am not on FB at this time. My publishing consultant has urged me to join, but I’m not at peace about it yet. If I do take the plunge, I’ll let you know.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I don’t have much time on FB now that I am blogging. Blogging takes more time but is more interesting than FB. However, I do like to keep up with family and friends on FB. Meeting new people is stimulating to me so I like blogging.

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