There were no external entertainments growing up other than what we kids made up. Outside is where parents sent us.
Raining? I was shoved inside an over-sized raincoat, maybe boots. All rain did was create more of a mess for mom when I returned. I was lucky in that mom never really minded the mess, as long as I took it all off in the garage.
A sandbox was a joy to behold. Dad did not make one for me because there was no way to ever be clean enough to come back in the house. Sand on a daily basis will find its way into every nook and cranny. Between bed sheets! But friends and neighbors who had a sand box worked.
The sandbox was a world into itself. There was always a small plastic shovel or two, outside toy trucks, tractors and assorted construction materials. Worlds could be built given enough time. Kids played and did not want to be interrupted. Parents could visit with out being interrupted. Win win.
There were summer times mom had me strip down to my shorts, throw my clothes in a pile next to the washing machine and then stand outside on the deck to be hosed off. Building worlds was messy. I never ever minded being hosed off. Maybe a little cold, but it was the only path available that led to a bath and fresh clothes, only to continue with the rest of the day.
These early years led to me spending a good portion of my life building things. Problem solving to this day. Building worlds in sandboxes required thinking, making up solutions, failing, leveling the sand and starting again.
Bigger walls, different blocks for a structure, finding any small object that could become what ever I named it. Problem solved from what was on hand. Lots of prototyping in those early days.
Failure was part of the process that offered up creative thinking. Picking up my head and looking for something out of the ordinary to fix a problem. If it was not in the sand box, was the fix in the near by woods, flower beds or near by work shed? A few of “the dads, uncles and grandfathers” sheds proved to be gold mines that helped me solve many a problem in the sandbox. Quite often I learned that a trip through one of these sheds/shops before entering the sandbox would offer up worlds built from materials I never knew existed.
As I grew outside the sand box, spending time in others sheds and work shops was time spent learning, touching, picking up putting down, and marveling at machinery beyond my ability to manipulate. But the brain stored millions of images, that to this day, archived solutions for problem solving.
More than anything, those sandboxes built a curiosity inside of me that is still alive and well.
Just recently, one of tomato plants bent over 180 degrees with the top to down touching the ground. The others were leaning nearing collapse. My mind raced for what to do. Quick fix! Strong fix! Easy fix! I would lose my whole crop in one more strong thunder storm wind.
I hopped into the side by side and headed to our neighbors. He has serious workshops and many a “thing” laying around from years of working the East Texas lands. I told him my problem, needed to stake up tomatoes and it needed to be simple, strong and work for the remainder of the season.
We drove off to a near by field, found steel fence posts (T posts) that, once pounded into the Texas dirt, would be very strong. He threw in a tool for pounding stakes in the ground. I said thanks and headed home. An hour later, both tomato beds were staked and supported around the beds. Bamboo, zip ties and garden string completing the structures.
Another upside, her did not have to hose me off coming back into the house.
These past few weeks have been full of new discoveries of the area we moved to.
Dairy farm and raw milk products. Drinkable flavored cultured yogurt. Swiss, paneer, mozzarella cheese; farm fresh eggs, home made bread-large loaf. Chocolate milk (from raw milk).
Never been a real fan of chocolate milk. And, it has been a “million years” since I have had a glass, but this past week, opted for a small container of their ice cold chocolate milk. Damn!! Now that was chocolate milk at its very best.
Dairy farm also finds itself with kittens from time to time. Barn kittens. Wild kittens. We are on a list now for two sisters. Her is very excited. She wants “pet” cats again roaming this land now and managing the snakes and other assorted varmints. Just bought the cage. Apparently we are getting cats.
Found a new restaurant that specializes in blooming onions.
Found another new restaurant that specializes in chicken and dumplings. Absolutely kills it!!
Saw a road sign advertising the world's best Ruben sandwich not too far north of here. Love Rubens and will report back on this.
Growing grass in the Texas mud and dirt. Every time rain is forecast now, her and I are throwing grass seed. And it is working. Mud/dirt holes filling in with new grass. Our efforts are being rewarded.
Second planting of veggies. Texas offers longer growing seasons to the point of continued planting several weeks apart allowing longer harvests.
Back to canning fresh veggies, relish and pesto. Dehydrating yellow squash and zucchini. Practice for longer term storage of these veggies. Has worked in the past and will try to improve on the process.
Canning more beef. Shortage and inflation is real. Prices up yes!!
...completed this past week. Starting year 77. As much as I have learned so far in this life, this aging experience brings with it unforeseen challenges. I think I/we are doing OK, but sometimes we both wonder and mutter to ourselves (out loud). But never in the times of my life have I so enjoyed each/every day.
Every minute and the simplicity of the wonders of the world around me. Aches and pains can be lived with. I missed these hours and days in my youth.
I believe much in life has already been written. That God answers prayers and has looked over me since I was born. We are now surrounded by many outspoken folk who also believe and live closer to Him. Not crazies nor fringe. Just down home folks from every walk of life, every color and as polite as can be. Will protect what they built with their lives and give you the shirt off their back without hesitation. Hard days work are the norm as is sunrise and sunset.
We are giddy young kids these past several weeks who feel that we get to live out our last stories here.
COLLAPSE, FAILURE, SHORTAGES..
and the dollar in trouble. These are on-going stories, headlines and side bars I see daily now. No good news about tomorrows. World-wide. Talk of aliens being real may soon become a distraction. As if we need more things to fear and to distract us.
I have said many times here that I believe in other beings. How can a universe beyond imagination not be filled with life? Cave drawings from the beginning of time to so many reported sightings.
Do I worry? Nope, not about aliens.
But we have all gone through shortages due to C19. Being prepared has been a cornerstone in this blog. More important now than ever.
We are modifying our purchasing behaviors. We are avoiding big chains as much as possible. We continue to search for local businesses to support. Shopping weekend markets is supporting local growers.
I urge visitors here to consider this as we may all again find ourselves in more down times ahead. God forbid we have to ever stand in line for hours just to survive from day to day. Long term planning/action for you and yours is a solution.
Thanks for your weekly visit. Keep your heads up and have a blessed week.