I was actually born on “turkey day” more years ago than I care to remember – in fact I can’t remember them whether I care to or not! This is not an especially exciting or even a milestone birthday except that I am still alive and kicking and with my pretty-darn-good-health, that alone is worth celebrating. I don’t expect anyone, including me, is going to make a big fuss about it.
I’m not sure if I’ve shown you a picture of the cabin where I was born. I certainly have talked about it a lot. Although the farm is still in the family, the cabin, playhouse, outhouse, and the barn are no longer there. Even the bridge over the stream has gone on to a more streamlined, less-satisfying-to-the-eye version. Some of the trees I used to climb are also missing…but then again, I’m missing a few things, too, height and memory come to mind.
This gives a good overview of the property where the cabin lived. It also includes my little playhouse above the fence and behind the big tree in the middle of the picture. Just above and to the right of that is the chickenhouse where my mother put the new baby chicks in the spring with probably electric heat. It was so much fun to watch them grow but, unfortunately, they got uglier as they grew wings. Such noisy little things, but they were scrumptious when they were old enough to brown themselves and sit on a platter for Sunday dinner along with bowls of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Just above and to the right of that was our outhouse. I remember it as a three-holer, but my four brothers always insisted it was a two-holer. Each was a little bigger than the other to accommodate one’s buns! To the right was the old barn. Above and just to the right is the old barn where my cousin Sara and I used to have a second play house on the second floor. That barn looks so small in the picture but it seemed much larger in real life. To the left by the big maple tree in the yard is the swing I used to sit in with my mother and swing and swing (in good weather), one of the few things I remember about her. The porch on the cabin was where my youngest brother and I slept in the summers when the weather was hot, one of us on either end. When it rained, the water would spray through the screen onto our faces. Daddy-long-legs often walked across my face.
Taking the door inside from the porch was the kitchen with a big round table in the center. To the right of it was the pump and sink. The old stove had a water well and a place to put wood to keep it going. My folk’s bedroom behind the stove was where I was born. The full living room had a davenport, a big old piano and a potbellied stove where I had my Saturday night bath. Between the living room and the kitchen was the landing that led to the two rooms upstairs where all the kids slept.
Funny, that place is such a delicious memory from growing up, but I can’t remember what I had for lunch two days ago!
If you have good memories of your childhood, write them down for your children and grandchildren. In the meantime, God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”