Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This is an old house we passed on our one and only drive in Tennessee.  What a waste....another that you can just imagine the excitement when it was built.  Another one I wish that had the ability to tell its tales.  I cannot help but wonder how many children grew up within its walls.
I am in a mood.  We watched The Dust Bowl on PBS....I really liked it.  There was one line in the very beginning of the first episode...I cannot recall the exact wording.  But it was saying something along the line that the farmers plowing up all the land was looking for easy money....whoever heard of farming being easy money?  Does that strike you almost as an oxymoron.  True, they were wanting to make money, but I just do not associate farming as easy money.
This of course got me to thinking of our childhood...how every little bit of money was scraped together.  We raised 4 hogs almost every year that I remember.  And I do not remember once having ham to eat that we raised.  We sold them, but Neal thought we had eaten them, too.  So, I had my SIL ask my other brother...he is the authority that Neal and I usually go to for stuff like this.

Well, he said that we did have ham every now and then, but it would have been when I was too young to remember or before I was born.  So, I guess Neal and I are both right in one sense.

I could remember one person that always bought one of our hams, and he could name another that always bought one.  He also said there were several others that bought them.  And the reason we sold them was because we could get more for one ham than would be paid for a whole hog.  They were salt cured...I do not know how people fixed them.
At one time we had a small strawberry patch and sold strawberries....I was pretty young and don't remember a lot about that.  Or maybe I don't remember much because we didn't have them long.  We also always raised extra green beans....sometimes some of my aunts bought them.  But others either dad or I would call around to the produce markets till we found someone that would buy them.

Another year we had a big patch of okra that we sold...sometimes to local people, sometimes to the produce markets.  I can't remember if we sold anything else that we raised...but any little bit extra was a help.  And anything we sold, we sold top quality. 

In addition to what we raised, we would pick blackberries...they grew wild down there.  I wonder now if someone had originally planted them and they spread here and there or were they there from the start.  I can remember a few favorite places that had them hanging down big, not in exactly a cluster, but like grapes.  Well, actually, I remember two places.  I remember reaching above my head to pick them...and them hanging down so big and dark....

And we hunted ginseng...I can remember when it went to $56 per pound.  We sure thought that was something.  I don't think we always found a pound per year...that is a lot of bunches of ginseng.  And we only hunted it a bit in our spare time for fun.  Now it brings hundreds of dollars...
I need to get busy...Lorelei went home Sunday evening...I just cannot get into anything when she goes home.  So, slow to start blogging again.  In fact, this may be my only post till after Thanksgiving sometime.  Lo and her Mommy are coming back Thursday...her daddy has to work.  Not sure how long the two of them will stay...but looking forward to them being here.


Neal said...

I was looking at this article about ginseng. It mentions in there about walking out of the woods with $500-$600 worth of ginseng. You and I both know a pound is a lot of ginseng and I just don't believe there is any place where you can dig that much in a day.

Susan said...

What wonderful memories you have. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!!!!

Rose said...

Neal--how much 'wet' ginseng do you think it would take to to make a dry pound. I think it would take at least two pounds if not more.

I would love to see it if there was a place you could dig that much in a day!

Sandra said...

and all of this is what made you what you are today. when i think back to the hardships we had from being so poor, i remember they were not hardships, just life and we did not think about how poor we were. almost everyone we knew was as poor as we were. enjoy your family and see you after thanksgiving.

don said...

My family raised pigs and had a few milk cows for milk and cream. We did butcher both hogs and cows and had the meal in a frozen storage place in a nearby town. This period was when I was in grade school attending a all-grades school about a mile from home.

Caron said...

I love it when you reminisce like this. These are always my favorite posts. I can see in my mind the areas you describe.

TexWisGirl said...

so much simpler then - and harder. :)