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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


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My family took a vow of poverty.

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It had nothing to do with a religious experience but rather it just showed up and we embraced it like the croup or mumps.  In other words it was ours whether we wanted it or not.

As it turned out our family crest was a man with a patch on the seat of his pants, and the only accessory he wore was a sweatband to soak up that which he expired.

As to schooling we had some but it was got when the crops were safely in the barn and cellar. We learned figures using apples of which we had plenty. One apple and one apple was two apples and so on and fractions were harder because you had to cut up the apple into pieces. One half apple and one half apple was a whole apple. This was testy but we learned it even to the point of figuring out a half apple and half of a half was three fourths of an apple.

The test of whether you were educated or not was if you could spell a word with six letters. Some could spell two or three while others only learned one. Being a proud people we didn’t want to seem to be ignorant to outsiders so the ones who couldn’t spell good always kept in the background.

My folks liked poetry especially that which was in the Bible so when the preacher came to visit he always read the psalms which sounded good but we never completely understood them. For the most part we liked the Song of Solomon because it seemed he knew a lot about farming and doing what comes naturally. Some of it embarrassed the younger sisters but us boys liked it a lot.

Of course being country we loved music, one of our favorite singers was little Jimmy Dickens and his song “Out behind the barn.” It described us somewhat and it sure sounded good.

Because all our folks worked hard - - slowly but surely our vow of poverty faded away. When the young’ens finished schooling they were just like the rest of the town kids, although it seemed to me there was something missing. We older ones had something those hard times taught us when we just did things naturally.

This has been a fun post and I hope you will also enjoy this fun song - -

This post has been linked to Joan’s Grace Café.

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