Many summer days were spent at my Uncle Harry's house. When we arrived for a visit I would be the last one inside. The dogs always scared me. They had a big black dog that had big white teeth that he would show as he growled and barked at us as we walked toward the house.
Once inside we all would give Aunt Irene a hug and a kiss. My mother would then hustle us all out the door. Being such a nice sunny day the children had to play outside. I often wondered why the parents never played outside on a nice sunny day.
My cousins Tiva, Pam, and Belinda looked funny with their hair done up in rags. Aunt Irene would put their hair in rags so that they would go into ringlets. The boys Harry and Gordy wanted to play a game of hide and go seek. There was so many good hiding places around their house. It was always a game that we loved to play. My brothers Bill and Jack were already scanning the area for the best place to hide.
It was mid afternoon and time for lunch. Mom called us all inside. Aunt Irene had just placed a plate full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the middle of the picnic table. It was so neat to sit on a picnic table inside a house. There was a stack of empty glasses sitting on the table next to the sandwiches. Aunt Irene went to the refrigerator and took out a big galvanized pail which held the fresh milk. She ladled the milk from the bucket to the glasses and set them on the table in front of us.
When we were finished it was time to go outside again. The day was still young and we were ready to play. But, first we all had to go to the bathroom. Well the bathroom was out back of the house. You had to walk up a path, past the storage shed, and next to the pig pens. You couldn't be sure which smelled worse, the outhouse or the pig pen.
My cousin Harry said to watch out for snakes in the outhouse. One nearly bit him on his privates last week. Fear now consumed me. What if a snake were to bite my hoo hoo. The door swung shut as I entered the old wooden shanty. Bang! I jumped a mile. Slowly I peeked into the hole in the wooden seat. Flies were swarming below. No snakes. With lightening speed I pulled down my pants and sat on the seat. Then, the sound of something scraping the side of the outhouse made me fly off the seat and with one sweep of the hand lifted my britches and out the door I went. There stood Harry, Gordy and my brothers laughing like fools. I growled at them and went off in a huff to look for Tiva, Pam, and Belinda.
We played up until dinner time. Mom called us to come inside. Once again we were all seated around the gigantic picnic table. We had hot dogs and beans, and the cold milk from the pail in the fridge.
It was now about 7:00 and boredom was setting in a bit. What to do now? It was decided that we should engage in a game of tag. The flattest place around was the cow pasture. My cousins said that we just needed to watchout for cow plop.
Now, cow plop is clearly visible to the naked eye in daylight, but when it dusk falls it tends to blend in with the land. We were laughing, squealing, and chasing each other around that field and having an absolute blast when the inevitable happened. My right foot encountered a slippery substance, my left foot lost hold, my body went up in the air and fell into a huge pile of cow plop. Sqooosh! My hands landed on either side of my body and right into more piles of cow plop sending the slimy stuff oozing between my fingers. I sat there in disbelief for about a minute.
My brothers and cousins gathered around me and helped me to my feet. My cousin Tiva said "we're gonna be in trouble now". One of the last things my Uncle Harry said was not to play in the cow pasture.
So with nothing left to do but to try to get some of the offending crap off me. We took big leaves and sticks to scrap off what we could. Walking with my hands out to my side, my cousins and brothers keeping pace with me, we slowly made our way back across the street and up the hill to the house.
I can't recall who went in to tattle on me, but before I got to the house there stood my mother, my uncle and my aunt. They were laughing at me. I must have looked a sight.
Aunt Irene gathered up a bucket of water from the rain barrel and brought it inside the bathroom. The bathroom only had a sink to wash in. She handed me a washcloth and told me to wash up. A few minutes later she brought me some of Tiva's clothes to wear.
Once I was cleaned up and dressed I joined my brothers and my cousins in the living room. Some were playing checkers, some were playing cards, some were busy coloring on paper.
Looking back now I remember how much fun we had and we had so little. Wonderful times, wonderful memories.