The Pecan Man

This was a good pecan producing year. Some years are, some years aren’t. We picked up buckets and buckets of pecans. Summer and I shelled at least one 5-gallon bucket full. Over Christmas a bunch of the family went out and in a short time gathered six more 5-gallon buckets full. Suddenly the task looked overwhelming.

We have one tree that produces small pecans. They are good and meaty but difficult to crack. Years ago I had gotten an electric table top cracker which I liked but back then we had three trees and the nuts were larger. The cracker can not be adjusted down for the small size of these nuts.

When mama starts thinking watch out! I have some cousins in South Carolina who grow grooves of pecans and have a large nut cracker. I talked to them about paying them a visit and cracking my nuts. But before I got that accomplished, a friend (sales rep) from North Carolina was here and mentioned one of his neighbors has a nut cracker and did some nuts for him. Wilson, NC is a lot closer than Denmark, SC.

So today my friend, Donna, and I took a road trip to Wilson, North Carolina to the “Pecan Man” with 111 pounds of homegrown pecans in tow. It was a fun day and made for an interesting “field trip”.

Jr. Etheridge has two crackers. One for large nuts and one for small. Surprisingly, mine qualified for the large cracker.

He poured the nuts into metal baskets and then set them into hot water for a few minutes until they came to a full boil.
After boiling, they set the basket aside to drain a few minutes before pouring them into the cracker.

I found it very interesting that they boiled the pecans before cracking. They said it makes them crack better. I had never heard that in all our years of raising pecans.

The inside of the cracker. A motor turns the shaft and the beaters break open the nuts. It is amazing they leave the nuts whole.
The Pecan Man’s helper. The crackers are inside those wooden boxes. Large on the left, small on the right.

The pecan’s drop into the chute after they are cracked and take the elevator ride up to the sifter which separates most of the shells from the nut. I still will have to sort out the rest of the shells-every tiny little piece.

Cracked pecans coming out the chute.
Beautiful. The Pecan Man said the end yield is about 60%.
The trash!
I ended up with three of these boxes almost full. 65 pounds of nuts.

There are still pieces pf shells in the nuts and we will have to pick through them and clean out the trash. It was suggested to pour the nuts on a bath towel to sort out the trash from the nuts. The little pieces of shell will stick to the towel making it easier! Oh how sweet those little tidbits of info were! When I was cracking the nuts at home, we had a hard time getting them out as halves. I was amazed how big my halves looked!

They told me a true story, just in case I didn’t know! One person took their nuts home and made a pie just like you see them in the box! They discovered the horror of shells in their pie!!!

The Pecan Man’s waiting bench. It really did not take long. We were probably there an hour.
Jr. Etheridge the Pecan Man!

I enjoyed our short visit with these two guys. They were interesting characters and had a funny sense of humor. It was obvious they love what they do and their hangout was full of interesting signs.

It was obvious we were in Dale Earnhardt country.

Going home Donna got thinking and asked me how much these pecans ended up costing me. It was two hour, 20 minute ride one way so my gas bill was $39.00. He charges 50 cents a pound to crack. I also had to feed Donna! I figure they ended up costing me about $1.50 a pound. We had a fun day, I went home happy with 65 pounds of shelled nuts and I was saved a lot of work. It was so worth it and I will go back again next pecan harvest!

When Covid Hits Home

I guess it is time to write this post. I just didn’t have it in me to write earlier. Gene has Covid and has been really sick but I am so very grateful he is now improving. Here is our story….. it has been quite a trip.

This past Thursday Gene was admitted to St. Francis Hospital with pneumonia in both lungs and low oxygen levels due to Covid. We knew he had Covid, he was under a doctor’s care and had tested positive, but he just didn’t seem to be getting better. During the ten Covid days, he had two different rounds of antibiotics for the fluid in his lungs which was settling into pneumonia. It turned out he had viral pneumonia and the antibiotics were doing no good. He was running fever, coughing, had congestion, and no energy. They were trying to keep him out of the hospital. He was watching his oxygen levels and on Thursday morning it was 82. Under 90 is danger. It was time to be admitted to the hospital.

We have now experienced the current state of the art health care experience! After checking him in I had to leave. It is hard leaving when your man looks so rough. The staff was really nice and did their best but there were no rooms available. He spent Thursday morning until Saturday evening in his “suite” in the ER. That had its own challenges and was not pleasant but at least he did have medical care. The bed in the ER is not comfortable, there are no personal toilets, you are under the care of emergency care staff not experienced Covid professionals and there was almost no room for your personal belongings. Your personal stuff had to lay on your bed. He was tattered to the bed so trying to use a laptop or keep his phone charged was challenging. The ER is equipped for stabilizing emergencies and getting the patient into the hands of the proper medical professionals. By Thursday evening they had not given him anything to eat. His blood sugar spiked because of the steroids they were giving him and lack of food. I went to Arbys and got him two roast beef sandwiches and curly fries. They don’t normally feed patients in the ER and weren’t in any hurry to find him some! I slipped into the ER and asked the staff to give Gene my care package which they did. I was not allowed into the hospital so I could not stay with or help him. I mostly understand but hate the policy as it is so vital for a family member to help loved ones with their care. They need an advocate, encourager and someone to pick up the Gatorade that just fell off his bed or plug in the lap top to charge.

Finally, on Saturday evening he was given a room on the Covid floor. That was so much better. The nurses actually had answers to questions and were not evasive. They knew the symptoms they were looking for and what to do. They were reassuring and encouraging. His nurse said, “I have never lost a patient that was vaccinated. I have lost some who weren’t.” It was amazing how positive that statement sounded. Gene had his vaccinations.

This afternoon oxygen was delivered to the house and I got to bring him home. He has to quarantine for twenty-one days. We think most of that is to protect him because I do not have to quarantine any more.

Meanwhile, I was at home answering the phone, text messages, emails, and keeping the home fires burning. It is amazing how many extra small things I had to do or think about. Tim is having to adjust his time to feed the cows, Steve took calves to the livestock market and beef to Farmville to be butchered. Daughter Jill came to keep me company and be my moral support. We played “Splendor” and put several puzzles together.

Mom’s Pantry-1000 piece puzzle
Yoga Cats-1000 piece puzzle

The ironical thing is there are nine people in my immediate family that have Covid right now. None of our three families have been together.

Getting Covid leaves its own set of questions with few answers. All are affected differently, all have different symptoms even within family units. The vaccinated and unvaccinated, masked and unmasked, young and old all get it. Health status, gender or age does not seem to matter. And would you believe, it does not know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat!!! Was Gene’s serious case lessened because he was vaccinated? Why haven’t I gotten it from Gene? Now we wonder if the sinus congestion I had five days before he got sick was Covid. It is very suspicious, especially since I haven’t gotten it from him. If I did, no one else who was around me got it. We wonder why we have been sick more this winter than we have in years and years. Several weeks ago we both had a Covid scare but tested positive for Type A Flu. I was even vaccinated for the flu and pneumonia for the first time this year. Did they make a difference? In September I had Cough Asthma. I have never had Asthma. Why now? The questions are many and the answers are few. Who knows? Who knows?

There is one thing for which I am so grateful and that is a loving supportive family, friends and church family. When we are ill, we pray for one another. There is so much comfort and strength that comes from the care of other people. When Gene was admitted to the hospital our family and church was very concerned. Our church called for a time of prayer at 2 that afternoon for him. I was amazed how quickly that information spread and I heard from friends from all over Virginia and Pennsylvania and beyond who joined the call to pray. God hears, He knows even before we pray. Things don’t always work out the way we wish even when we pray, but that doesn’t mean God has turned a deaf ear. God tells us to bring our petitions, desires and needs to Him. Yahweh God, the great “I Am that I Am” is also the God Who Sees and Hears. (Genesis 16: 11-14)

In my devotions this year I am centering on names and attributes of God, Jesus, and their meaning. This week I have read the following script multiple times, soaking in the truth and reality of who God is. I reaffirmed my trust, faith and praise in the eternal God, my Heavenly Father. I expressed my desire for total healing for Gene. But if that was not to be, I said I would still trust, praise and have faith.

I can not claim authorship of this piece or even give credit to who wrote it, but I can claim its truth. I did find it on the Bible.org website; no author is attributed to it.

God is….

God is Lord Almighty, Omnipotent King, Lion of Judah, Rock of Ages, Prince of Peace, Kings of Kings, Lord of Lords, Provider, Protector, Paternal Leader, Ruling Lord and Reigning King of all the universe.

He is Father, Helper, Guardian, and God. He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the keeper of creation and the Creator of all He keeps. The architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.

He always was, is, and will be: Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone. He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and eased pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom, He was dead and brought life, He is risen and brings power. he reigns and brings peace.

The world can not understand Him, the armies can not defeat Him, the schools can not explain Him and the leaders can not ignore Him. Herod could not kill Him, the Pharisees could not confuse Him, the people could not hold Him! Negro could not crush Him, Hitler could not silence Him, the New Age can not replace Him and Donahue cannot explain Him away!

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God. He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure. His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me! He is my Redeemer, He is my Savior, He is my guide, He is my peace, He is my joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord and He rules my life.

I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer of the overcomes, and the sovereign Lord of all that was, is, and is to come.

And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size. His goal is a relationship with ME! He will never leave me, forsake me, mislead me, forget me, overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up. When I fail, He forgives me. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am lost, He is the Way. When I am afraid, He is my courage. When I stumble, He steadies me. When I am hurt, He heals me. When I am broken, He mends me. When I am blind, He leads me. When I am hungry, He feeds me. When I face trials, He is with me. When I face persecution, He stills me. When I face problems, he comforts me. When I face loss, He provides for me. When I face death, he carries me home!

He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way. He is God. He is faithful, I am His, and He is mine. My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world, and so, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this: He said, I believe it, and that settles it.

God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.

Kat Rides in the Tractor

Gene went out to feed the cows and there was Kat sleeping on the tractor seat. Gene had left the back window part way open and she apparently scampered up the back tire and scouted out this thing that daddy seems to like to ride off in every day. Kat can be no where around but if Gene comes in and stops by the house in the tractor, Kat comes running. She knows she will get rubbed and fed.

During the day when the sun is shining, she likes to bask in the sun on the upstairs door stoop where she can scope out the land and watch what is happening on the farm and when her daddy comes home for lunch. She seems to be partial to high places!

Your Royal Highness!

Gene shut the window and took Kat on a ride with him to feed the cows. She looked out the window and messed around on the floor. When Gene opened the window so he could see to back up, Kat escaped and off she scampered on adventure.

After feeding the cows, Gene walked around checking on the cows. It wasn’t long until Kat came tip toeing back through the cow lot looking for him.

I wish I had pictures of Kat’s adventure, but I didn’t know about it until later.

The other adventures of Kat:

Kat On the Tin Roof
Kat On the Tin Roof-Part 2

Cornbread

This is a cornbread recipe you can’t stop eating!

I usually date the recipes I get from friends but I did not record that interesting info on my card. Years ago (probably in the late 80’s or early 90’s) we were invited to Peter and Jean Biehn’s home for supper one bitter cold, snowy, windy evening. It was all you could do to want to go out, but out we went. They lived in a big older style farm house in the village of Cartersville. The main heat in the house was a roaring fire in the fireplace. I remember it as being cold but the fellowship was wonderful and the food scrumptious. Jean fixed chili bean soup and cornbread for supper. I was never a fan of cornbread but that night I could not stop eating. I had to have that recipe! I have been a fan of cornbread ever since!

Jean shared it with me and I have been making it every winter ever since. It was worth going out to get that recipe. Thanks Jean. I think of you every time I make this recipe and your precious family.

Tonight I made beef stew and cornbread for supper. It is a cold night, but not like the night mentioned above. It was a wonderful, satisfying supper.

Print Recipe
The Best Cornbread Ever
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 9"x13" rectangle cake pan (greased).
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter Cream sugar and softened butter together.
  • 2 Eggs Add one at a time and beat well.
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder Add
  • 1/2 tsp Salt Add
  • 1-1/2 ` cup cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cup milk Add the cornmeal, flour and milk and beat until smoth.
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter Cream sugar and softened butter together.
  • 2 Eggs Add one at a time and beat well.
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder Add
  • 1/2 tsp Salt Add
  • 1-1/2 ` cup cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cup milk Add the cornmeal, flour and milk and beat until smoth.
Instructions
  1. Half recipe will do an 8"x8" pan.

Puzzles: 2020-2021

I think I have become addicted to puzzles! For me they are not only fun, but also very relaxing. When I start one, I can hardly stop until it is put together. I have sleeked off to bed in the wee hours of the night quite a few times.

Let the fun begin!!!

Last year the ladies at church had a puzzle table where we all contributed our puzzles and shared them around. We had to have some kind of entertainment during covid!!! It was a lot of fun and we collected a significate amount of puzzles. This spring when it was time to move them out, I took them home and made a puzzle shelf in our store as most did not want their puzzles back. You can borrow a puzzle just like checking out a book in the library. Feel free to stop by the store and help yourself.

2021 Puzzles

This was a gorgeous picture when I finally got it done. It almost stumped me as there was too much birch tree!
General Store
Map of Virginia
Butterfilies
Farm Country Eggs

Ice-Cream Parlor
Flock of hens in barnyard

Cabin with water wheel
The Presidents
Horse and buggy with covered bridge and cows
Horse, barn and picket fence
Log Cabin

Puzzles from 2020

Shaped puzzle-Cabin with wild animals
Market with quilts and ducks
Valley Farm with Amish children
House on pond with geese and dogs-Sunset
Horse Farm
Sweet Corn and Summer Dreams

Kat Escapade #2

Kat has her own way of talking and it is distinct. This afternoon Summer heard the distressed “meow” that she knew was Kat’s help me call. Summer started searching and calling and Kat would answer “meow”. Finally Summer saw her in the big pine tree behind the electrical panel between the greenhouse and the store.

Kat how do you get yourself in such predicaments? Why do you like to explore high and unusual places?

We looked at her and she looked at us. We meowed to her and she meowed back to us. We told her she was going to have to find her own way down. She just looked at us with pathetic eyes. We called for help-Kat’s favorite.

Gene got a ladder and kept talking to her and coaxed her to jump down onto the roof. At least now she was where we could get her.

Kat is very independent. She disappears for a day or so and then shows back up, meowing loudly which means she is very hungry and wants food now. She loves Gene and he pets and pampers her. He is her buddy.

At first she played a little cat and mouse game.

She finally decided to give herself up and started inching her way to Gene.

This is the bigger view of where she was at. She was on that larger green branch hanging down.

The other adventures of Kat:

Pizza Supreme

I love a good pizza and I have made pizzas for years. Sometime ago I did some research on how to make a really good pizza. I think I have succeeded.

Print Recipe
Pizza Supreme
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Dough
Pizza toppings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Dough
Pizza toppings
Instructions
Dough
  1. Cover the dough and let set 45 mins-1 hour. Roll out onto a pizza stone. Suggestion: You can make the dough several hours ahead and put it in the refrigerator. Makes it really nice coming home from church or home from work and the dough is ready to go! It will rise enough in the refrigerator that you do not need to let it rise more.
Pizza Toppings & Extras
  1. You can add any topping you choose and the amount you choose. Fried hamburger works instead of sausage but I like sausage better. Can use small chunks of ham, pepperoni slices, mushrooms, olives, etc.
  2. If you want you can cheese-filled dough, add adding string cheese around the outside edge of the dough. Stretch the dough out a little more and wrap it over the cheese and press to the dough to seal.
  3. Sometimes I also sprinkle garlic powder to the edge of the dough to add a little more zest to the crust.
  4. I used to put my mozzarella cheese on top of everything but that is not the way pizza restaurants do it. It is much better and much prettier and yes, better flavor to put the cheese on top of the sauce, then add the other ingredients.
  5. Bake in a hot oven. 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

The Class of 1970 is Turning 70!

Back row: Gary Turner, Diana (Suter) Berkshire, Dwight Burkholder, George Lehman, John Augsburger. Middle row: Pat (Heatwole) Hertzler, Karen (Smucker) Shelly, Sherill (King) and Darrel Hostetter, Randy Kiser. Front row: Carla (Janzen) Jacobs, Elaine Strite, Bonnie (Barnhart) Shoemaker, Edith (Layman) Rhodes and Linda (Hunsburger) Booker.

Last year was the scheduled 50 year reunion for the class of 1970 at Eastern Mennonite High School. Ever heard of that pandemic called Covid-19? It had everyone in a panic so officially we did not meet although a few fearless ones met in the garage of our class mom, Diana Berkshire.

Yesterday, Saturday, October 16, we celebrated our official fifty year reunion one year late. Fifteen classmates with some of their spouses met at the beautiful home of Gary Turner. We enjoyed our time reminiscing and one well-kept secret was revealed that only those attending will ever know! It was a good one!!!

We discovered that the class of ’70 is now turning 70. We remember when seventy looked old and 50-year reunions were unimageable! They were for the old folks! We think our oldest classmate is Randy Kiser who celebrated the big 70 on October 11 (no, this is not the secret!) and was quickly followed by Karen Smucker and Phil Kanagy on October 14. Sherril Hostetter had a birthday on October 13 but she just turned a young 69 making her probably the youngest in the class. We have seven classmates that are deceased: David Neer, Bernie Christner, Grace Driver, Dennis Kauffman, Margaret (Oswald) Jackson, Ted Brilhart, and Darwin Wissler. There were 79 outstanding students in our class.

It is interesting how our conversation topics have changed through the years. Now we find ourselves talking about our health, dementia, limitations, retirement and VMRC (Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center). One couple is looking to move there in the near future. Another couple moved to the Harrisonburg area to retire. A least three of us have a parent or parents at VMRC and are now or have been caregivers for them. Most of us have buried at least one parent. Fifty years ago it never entered our minds to talk about these subjects.

Pictures of the day…….. taken by Pat Hertzler and Karen Smucker.

Carla Jacobs and Sherill Hostetter
Diana Berkshire and Pat Hertzler
Sherill and Darrel Hostetter
Jim Shelly (Karen) and Allen Berkshire (Diana)
Edie Rhodes and Linda Booker
Bonnie Shoemaker
Gary Turner
Gene and Pat Hertzler
Elaine Strite
Dwight Burkholder
Edie Rhodes, Gene Hertzler, Linda Booker and Randy Kiser
John Augsburger, Randy Kiser and Darrel Hostetter
George Lehman and John Augsburger
Elaine Strite and Gary Turner
Gene Hertzler, Edie Rhodes, Darrel and Sherill Hostetter and Paul Doctorian

Paul Doctorian was a junior when we were seniors and was invited to stop by as he was friends with a number in the class and a part of the touring choir. He even took one of the senior girls to the junior-senior banquet!!! (This is not the secret either!!!) There were many shared memories together.

I will close with one final class picture. There is usually one clown in the group. Do you see who it is this time?

Until the next time….God bless each of you as we grow old together….gracefully!

I loved the view from Gary’s house, looking out over the rolling hay field. Might I be a farmer’s wife!!!

Past Blogs:

EMHS Class of 1970: 50 Years (2020)

The Class of 1970-45 Years Later (2015)

Oh The Games We Played

Recently I posted on facebook a comment about the games I remembered playing as a youngster. The response was so interesting, resulting in a trip down memory lane for many of us. It was funny how we had trouble remember the names of the games or even how to play them. But we remembered bits and pieces. That must be a sign of our age! I didn’t remember that so many were rough and tumble, contact games that involved chasing, tagging, catching, running into each other or hitting another with a ball. Parents today would probably shutter at the thought of their snowflakes playing these games. We all had memories; mostly good and few bad. I thought I would list the games. The descriptions came from the people who listed the game.

  • Tag, Freeze Tag: One person is it and runs to tag another. The tag person is now it and does the tagging. In Freeze Tag when you are tapped you have to freeze exactly as you are until someone unfreezes you. The goal is to get everyone frozen.
  • Hopscotch, Russian Hopscotch: Russian Hopscotch was similar to Hopscotch but consisted of 2 sets of three large squares side by side. We’d throw the rock into successive squares and hop with one foot into the squares with no rock, not touching the line or falling and pick up the rock.
  • Red Rover: Two teams line up facing each other holding hands in a horizontal line. One team says, “Red rover, red rover send dear _______ (person’s name on other team) over”. That person runs over and tries to break through the line. If unsuccessful, they have to join that team.
  • Piggy Wants a Beckon: It is a version of Hide and Seek that can go on for a long time. “Piggy wants a beckon” is what a player shouts from base when they are caught. You need to see someone that is hiding wave their stick to you… beckon…before you are free to steal away from base.
  • Dodge Ball
  • Basketball
  • H-O-R-S-E: Competition between two or more people shooting basketballs. One person would shoot a basket. The next person had to copy the exact same stanza and distance. If they succeeded they got to be the leader. If they failed, they earned an “H” and that continued until someone spelled H-O-R-S-E and they were the loser.
  • Hide and Seek
  • Softball
  • Prisoner’s Base
  • Badminton
  • Croquet
  • Horseshoes
  • Button, button, who has the button? (Or thimble)
  • No Bears Out Tonight: We would take off from the porch, run around the trees by the road and have to get back to the porch without being caught by the “bear” (another sibling), who was hiding in the darkness to chase us down.
  • Annie Over: Form two teams, one on each side of a building and we would throw a ball over the roof to the other team, while yelling “Annie over” – if they caught it in the air, they would run around the house to try to tag someone before they got to the other side of the house. If they missed it, they threw it back, again shouting “Annie Over.”
  • Mother May I: One person is “mother” and everyone else lines up in a vertical line about 25 feet away from “mother”. Mother gives each player a command. They have to say, “Mother may I” before beginning to do what mother requests such as take 2 steps forward, etc. If they don’t, they have to go back to the starting line. The person who makes it to mother first wins.
  • Kick Ball
  • Jump Rope, Run Through the School
  • Football
  • Blind Man’s Bluff: We tied a man’s hanky around our eyes and you had to find someone and guess who they were.
  • One O’clock Ghost: A form of Hide and Seek
  • Burney Ball: The person who submitted this said, “the players stood in a circle and a bouncy ball was thrown into the air. That’s all I remember”.
  • Twister
  • Old Gray Wolf: A form of Hide and Seek
  • Marbles
  • Bum, Bum (New Orleans Here I Come): We would divide into two teams. One team would figure out something to act out and tell the other team only the first letter of each word and act it out. Then the team doing the guessing would ask the questions and the team doing the acting would answer. Where you from? New Orleans. What’s your trade? Lemonade. Get to work and show us something. When guessing what they were doing was correct, the “acting people” turn and run back to their home base without getting tagged. Losers transfer to the opposite team until one team wipes out the other.
  • Football
  • Drop the Hanky: Everyone forms a circle. The player who is “it” runs around the outside of the circle and drops the hanky behind a player who picks it up and tries to catch the one who dropped it. Whoever makes it to the spot where the hanky was dropped is safe and the other has to go around the circle and drop the hanky behind another player.
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Bouncy Ball: A schoolyard game where players hit a bouncy ball against a wall, using their hands. The game requires the ball to be hit to the floor before hitting the wall.
  • Run For Your Supper
  • Four Square
  • Crack the Whip

Besides all that, we caught lightning bugs, played in the creeks, climbed trees, went fishing, swam in the creeks/rivers, ice skated on the ponds, roller skated in the basement/sidewalks, sledded down the hills, walked on stilts, rode bikes on the road, slide down metal roofs, walked the top rail of the board fence, and took the gullible on snipe hunts. A lot of our friends and family had hay barns which were great fun. Those were the days when all the hay was square baled and stacked/piled in big barn. We loved to climb the mountains of hay, build tunnels and forts and swing from the rafters. Us girls did all of these fun activities in our dresses!

Our yard swings hung from long ropes hanging from the tallest tree, not a chain from an eight foot metal A-frame. At our home the big elm tree close to the house made for the perfect swing. We could go upstairs, crawl out the bedroom window onto the front porch roof and jump off the roof with the swing that was thrown up to us. It was thrilling, however, I never got brave enough to do that daring feat!

You can see our swing hanging at the corner of the house from the tree.

We had a good childhood. Our play was creative, competitive and interactive. We were not afraid to get dirty and didn’t worry about getting hurt. I wonder how many of today’s children know what half of these games are. The only telephone we played was the gossip game. We would sit in a line and first person would whisper something in someone’s ear and then would repeat it to the next person to the end of the line. The end result was often hilarious.

These were only the outdoor games. We had a whole arsenal of fun indoor games. That is a post for another time!

Cat On the Tin Roof-Part 2

This morning, like every morning, I heard Gene open the patio door and go “meow, meow”! It struck me so funny! He was calling for Kat and soon she came running for her breakfast.

A little later we saw her on the warehouse roof. This is a low roof with only a mild grade, and a low-hanging tree for climbing up and down. We saw her there the other day playing a game of “pounce” with the leaves.

Obviously she has not learned her lesson about roofs! She was sitting on the roof crying “meow”.

We snapped a few pictures of her looking over the edge and left her to her own devices. After a while she disappeared.

Sorry, Kat, but we are not going to play your little “come get me” game-unless you are in real trouble!!!

Other adventures of Kat:

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