“When we move, you will have a room all by yourself, and so will Bubby,” promised Momma and Daddy.  And they kept that promise.

About a quarter of a mile south of the sandy creek in the Southeastern corner of Colorado where  the climate was dry there was a white wooden house built like a picture I would draw for a child—a square box with inverted V on the top of it with a window in the V.  That’s probably the way I would have drawn it when I was seven, and, alas, it is the way I would draw a house now given my lack of artistic ability!  The door was on the long side of the house which was probably about 16 x 32 feet divided inside near the middle into two rooms.  We spent most of the time in the north room which served as kitchen and setting room, where we ate, talked, entertained extended family, and listened to the radio.

Just inside that door, you could step to the right and go up some steep stairs.  You would step onto a little landing from which you turned left to my bedroom and right to my brother’s room.  Across my room was the window from where I could see the dry creek when the cottonwood trees were not dressed in their white blossoms or green foliage.

My head tells me it must have often been hot in that room, but that’s not my memory.  My memory:  Cool breezes lifting the corners of a the ruffled curtain made from chicken feed sacks.  A cot-sized bed always neat with clean and ironed sheets which were also a valued gift from feed sacks.  Hand pieced tied quilts.  An all purpose wooden crate. Yellow and pink floral wall paper under which the walls had been prepped with pasted newspaper to give the walls a smoother texture.  Laying on the floor playing with paper dolls. Sitting on a stair, feeling beautiful with my new Toni permanent.

Crucial habits and changes came during my tenure in my attic room.  I decided that I was a good student, who could make good grades without cheating.  I formed the bed making habit.  I found out about “ownership.”  I developed from my childhood to girlhood.  I didn’t think much about “beauty” but I did think my mom dressed me in pretty dresses.

I became patriotic.  Even out in the wide-open plains, my family cooperated with “black outs” that were announced on radio during the days of World War II.  I understood with thankfulness that most of the men in our family were exempt from selective service because of the fact that they were farmers.   On one clothes washing day, Mom called me to come down stairs,  she was very serious as she told me President Roosevelt had died.

I learned John 3:16.  I learned integrity as shown by my family and their associates.  I learned N, E, S, and W because my mom printed the letters on the walls.

Some things I wonder about.  I wonder where mother kept those fancy frilly feed sack dresses.  I don’t remember a closet in my room.  I wonder what I kept on that wooden crate.  I wonder why books didn’t seem to be a part of my life then; however, I never remember a time when I could not read.  I wonder why mom did not make me work more.  Gathering eggs is the only farm chore I remember.  I did have to wash dishes, but I think mother washed the hard ones before giving the duty over to me.  I wonder that so much love and respect was a part of my life, although I seldom remember hearing “I love you,” or receiving kisses.  I wonder how a daily life of servant-hood and care by my mom and dad with an occasional squeeze around the shoulders could have been so satisfying!

A room with a view.  A fairly non-descript view of the room, but a life-forming view of  the world!

(Picture is a drawing by my mom, Amy.  This is edited post from a couple of years ago. I had very few readers, so I decided to go again.  Besides I have been working with her memories, albums, and such and found this picture.  Wanted to use it.)

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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23 Responses to ROOM WITH A VIEW

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    Wow. This is so substantial. How is it that our culture has become so very “fragile”??! Stability was a way of life, love and structure and respect, so natural.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Fragile, sensitive, selfish, envious, moody, bored, in debt, and filled with gadgets. I’m so sorry for that kind of people. I credit television as the major culture changer. Same Lord who wants the same for us. So many water him down to a Sugar Daddylevel. My, I guess it is wise that my tenure on earth is winding down – hold on, I mean I must be in my last twenty years or so. I still like being here, and I don’t complain all that much! I’m just sorry for the masses.

  2. Faye says:

    what a great post. It gives a true insight into what constitutes a background for both respect, patriotism, Godliness and gratitude. Thank you. Colonial Australia so very similar and the home my father was allowed to purchase after the war remains like a fairy palace in my imagination but really was just a box. Certainly a box filled with sharing and caring. Wonderful memories. Thanks.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks for the comment, Faye. It is nice to get a glimpse into the other parts of the world and find God present to some extent in them all. But it would be nice if we were prone to remember him in our good times. Sounds like you appreciate the good things that made your foundation stable.

  3. luckyjc007 says:

    Such a great post. It brought back a lot of memories for me. Times were simple back then and of course I appreciate them more now then I did then. It sounds like my life ran pretty much along the same as yours. The world is so complex now and some changes are good, but there is so much that is not.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I had some city relatives but their lives didn’t seem so very much better than ours. They loved to come to the country. I don’t think I felt either good or bad about how we lived. I was content but I don’t think I ever even considered that others had more than we had. Perhaps the grown ups were more concerned with upward mobility but I didn’t know of it. I do know they were quit happy to become land owners instead of working for others.

  4. calmkate says:

    What lovely memories … I still have my Mum!

  5. Salvageable says:

    Beautiful memories–thank you for sharing them. J.

  6. judyjourneys says:

    Oneta, I also remember the thrill I had when I got my own room. I was thirteen. Before then, my three brothers and I had been sharing the same bedroom. One was in a crib, two were in a double bed, and I was in a single bed. My parents were in the other bedroom with my baby sister in a crib.

    • oneta hayes says:

      You finally had a feeling of ownership, huh? My room. Did your little sister go with you? Mine did but not until I was about eleven and we lived in a different house. She slept with me but I don’t think her “belongings” were in my room. I think that did not last too long though. The way my mom took action, she probably added a room for her.

  7. agshap says:

    I grew up in a one bedroom apartment – me, my sister and brother slept in one bedroom, mom and dad on a fold out couch in the living room..simpler times….aunts and nana lived down the block…..I am blessed to have all (but one) of my children nearby – not down the block but in the neighborhood

    • oneta hayes says:

      Simple and loving time for me. I’m thankful, but of course I live in a four bed three bath 2500 square ft house now. Just my husband and I. More space. Actually I have the great grands here quite a bi. They will be here Friday. I’m glad to have space. There house is much smaller for five plus mother and daddy. I think they are blessed. The oldest is almost nine. As they get bigger it might get “smaller.” At this point they do lots of things together. I went to your blog and marked follow. See you.

  8. vronlacroix says:

    Beautiful memories. I love the simplicity and purity of your childhood bedroom. I also like the fact that you knew you were loved without hearing the words. Seems an important revelation to me.

    • oneta hayes says:

      My fifty year old son keeps us up with the “I love you’s” to this day. And his actions match. Between the two, actions do speak louder than words – but words are like icing on the cake. I don’t ever remember going to bed with a fear or a dread. Pretty amazing really. Thanks for making me stop and “soak up the good” again.

  9. Mandibelle16 says:

    It’s a beautiful piece Oneta. I like the detail about the feedback frilly dresses and your mom doing all the hard laundry. It sounds as if she sacrificed a lot for you (her and your dad), doing the hardest chores and ensuring you were dressed pretty/fed well, and got to play lots. I like how you demonstrate the love they showed for you, not by touch a great deal or even things, but love in their sacrifice for their kids. Interesting about the WWII blackout dressing too, I never knew about that, but I think it’s very appropriate.

    Hope you’re well and Covid has stayed for from your loved ones and friends. 🤗

  10. Mandibelle16 says:

    *far from yourself as well 🙂

  11. oneta hayes says:

    Thanks for appreciating the pleasant memories from my childhood. We were very patriotic in those days. Blackouts in the country at least 150 miles from any city with more than 20,000 population. Just joining to show our loyalty. Somewhat for the same reason I am staying quarantined. However, we are coming out a little. You be safe also.

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