Days of Growing Up

by Barbara Nicholas

House full of kids..hard times always present,
Hot-water and plumbing problems ever incessant.
Outhouse behind homes was a common sight
Chopping wood for kindling
for the old cook stove was a daily plight.
Washing clothes on a scrub board
knicking your knuckles in the process
Many a load on washday- a day always full of stress..

Hanging clothes on a rope tied between two trees
propped up by large branches so clothes could dry from
the breeze.
Starching & Ironing sheets and pillowcases with heavy irons
heating them on the old cook stove
made us so very hot and tired.
Taking baths on Saturdays, a ritual in an old tin wash tub
Heating water on the old cook stove to warm our bathwater up.

Poor as church mice, but  taught to always be nice
Happy even though we often looked twice
At some of our neighbors who had color tv's
with the latest inventions making life such a breeze.
Often wondered why we didn't have the things they had, 
but the love we had for each other always outshone the bad.
Worked in grandma's garden, hoeing and pulling weeds
producing many a meal for us including canned greens
Fruit trees for days all over our grounds
providing  snacks easing our growling tummies
'til supper time was called  to gather round.
Foot races, tag, mumbly peg and hide & go seek
were just a few of the games we played on back streets.
Homemade go-carts, racing  down hills with curves and bends
zipping lickety split, not worried about wrecks or the scars we could get.
Farmers in wagons pulled by horses,  
is remembered very well
riding around the neighborhood
calling out "Watermelons, 
Corn and other Veggies" to sell.
Truck's selling blocks of ice was a daily
occurrence, didn't have a refrigerator, just an old icebox for
Going to church on Sunday was a must
for black folk in the neighborhood.
Coming home after church knowing Sunday dinner was always
gonna be good.
Neighborhood stores selling candy four pieces for a penny
kids  always going there to get them a plenty
Nut chews, nowalaters, jawbreakers and koolaid straws
just some of the candy we all so loved and enjoyed
A neighbor selling flavored icy cups for 10 cents a cup
then Mr Softee came round changing everything up
Hearing Mr Softee's music in the air
dropped whatever we were doing, 
begged for money from our parents
and in hot pursuit took off a-running.
All these memories of growing up, gives me a good
feeling inside of  times that I adored
It's always a joy to reminencse about the golden days of yore.

Days of Growing Up by Barbara Nicholas

© Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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