Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey of a Lifetime

Hey, Y'all,
I had a difficult time choosing a "J" subject, but decided to combine a couple of them. In 1947, my family took a short journey that changed our lives forever. We moved twenty five miles from one of the largest cities in the state of Tennessee to one of the neighboring counties, to a farm of seventy five acres. It changed my dad's life in the fact that he had not farmed since before he and mom were married. He was 22 years old when they were married, and 51 years old when we moved to New Market on the farm. He was kind of new at farming and got a lot of help from our neighbor who lived down the road from us. They became great friends.

My mom was only 17 when they married, and she was 46 when we moved to the farm. However, she continued to stay in Knoxville during the week, living in a one room apartment belonging to one of Dad's sisters,and work at the hosiery mill and came home to the farm on the weekends, stopping at the store and bringing groceries home, riding out in the delivery truck. A black man, called Chick, drove the delivery truck and delivered mom and the groceries. Mom rode the Trailways bus from Knoxville and when she got off the bus at New Market, she would walk over to the grocery store, and then ride out to the house. On Sunday afternoons, she would walk back to New Market and catch the bus to Knoxville. It was a two mile walk. We had no car or mode of transportation except for Shank's Mare (walking). She finally retired after fifteen years of doing that, her health broken down.

My sister's life was changed merely by the fact that she could no longer see friends she had made in Knoxville, and had to wash clothes by scrub board (no electricity for two years, and water was gotten by pumping it from a cistern on the back porch), plus she had to help dad with so many outside jobs. She worked just like a man, and never married. 

John and I changed schools and had to make new friends (many of the kids considered us to be "city kids") and we also had to help in the farming in the summer time. 

My brother, Hugh, who was near graduating from high school, finished up his final half year in Knoxville, and then lived with us for a short time before he was drafted into the U.S. Army (which would have happened even if we had not moved to the farm).

Now, I was going to write about jam and jelly (2 more good "J" words) but I'll save that one for another time.

UPDATE: My grandson, Matthew came over yesterday and installed my new overhead light with fan in the kitchen which he and his brothers and sister (and their respective spouses) so generously gave me for Christmas. So now, I have a ceiling fan to keep me cool in the summertime. Thank you, Matt! Also he fixed the alarm thingy that has been irritating the hoooey out of me, by disconnecting the wire that gave it power. So now, hopefully that irritant is taken care of. I so much appreciate my family!

Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you, my friends and family. Bye for now. More later and on to "K" tomorrow.


Cathy said...

Moving from the city to a farm must've been quite a shock. Living on a farm always sounds like fun, but it must be a lot of hardwork.

Glad you've got such a great grandson to help out. Loved your post. Take care.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks so much for sharing your memories with us. The first house we lived in had only a pot bellied stove in the kitchen to provide heat, but we did have electricity. And indoor plumbing, which not all of our neighbors had yet. (But one neighbor did have a two-seater outhouse!) Take care.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It was lovely reading about your journey Ruby. You've led quite a life .


Grammy said...

Cathy, it was a lot of hard work, and of course, with no electricity there was no radio to listen to, and no heaters or fans to turn on. I hated working in the fields in the spring and summer, so I stayed in and cooked dinner, and swept the house. I got the hives when I worked out in the sun.
Susan, we had a "two-holer" down the hill from the house, and I got the job of carrying the "chamber pot" down the hill each morning to empty it. UGH!
Yes, Yvonne, I have had quite a life. :)

Marjorie said...

I wish my Grandma would write a blog. She grew up in the hills of Kentucky. It really is a fascinating look into what life was like back then. I love your blog, Ruby!

Grammy said...

Thanks Marjorie...Here is a suggestion of how you could get her stories. Have her record them on a hand held tape recorder and then you can transcribe them. Do you live close to her? If so, you could interview her on tape or maybe do video of her telling the stories. Thanks for sharing. :) Ruby

Better is Possible said...

It is an honour to follow your journey...past and present.

Ella said...

Thanks for sharing; I do know some of the battle of moving, being a military spouse. What a difficult time, for all involved~
I love reading your memories!Thanks for reminding us, of the journey of life~

http://athursdayschild.wordpress.com said...

We live on a farm and still use a cistern.

Manzanita said...

Found you through the navigation button. I like your memories. Moving to a rural area after living in a city can be a shocker

Whitney said...

Hey, Grammy! I enjoyed your blabbin' on J. :) I live in Tennessee and find this snapshot of your journey from city-life to farm-life interesting. As for Knoxville, I've heard that many national studies are done there because there are so many people with a variety of backgrounds that pass through the area.

Take care!

Margaret Hall said...

Again, you have given us a great look into your memory bank, Grammy!! I was raised some in the country and found that the background that was instilled into me with the farm chores made me appreciate the discipline that came with them...Goin' into the city was super! Sort of a Saturday ritual...Pumped many a bucket from the cistern and then heated it in a reservoir on a wood stove...Whew! What a change now!
Your writing is so very special and enjoyable, and I am so glad that you are on my "favorite" menu!
Hugs from rainy Oregon...