Saturday, January 29, 2011

Forget the birthday girl (my 9th).  Forget the presents.  Forget the kids.  See the slide?  At one time THAT slide was probably the most used slide outside of a city park!

Not only did Mother and Daddy have 8 children, they adopted one niece and another niece lived with them for a few years after Mother's sister passed away.  As hard times hit relatives, Mother and Daddy realized that they were blessed to have a home and was glad to have entire families move into our 6 bedroom house.  I never knew the difference.  I simply had more people to play with.  Six bedrooms seem like a lot of bedrooms, but with so many children and one bedroom being essentially a large upstairs hall that opened into another bedroom, I am sure it did get crowded.  Because so many of us were 'slide age', the slide has a workout.  (I won't talk about the fact that we had just one bathroom!)

We monkey brats (as Daddy always called us with a big grin on his face) used that slide.  Our favorite addition to the slide was a water hose.  On a hot summer day, the metal slide could make us sit up and take notice fast.   In hot summers, the water hose was essential if we wanted to use the slide. The hose would be hooked to the top, running water down the metal slide.  

At the bottom of the slide was a little dip in the sand where feet hit the ground hundreds of times.  When the water hose was added, the little dip in the sand become a little pond, the dip growing a bit larger as we hit the bottom and splashed out water and dirt, again and again.

We girls would wear either sun suits or swim suits as we impatiently waited our turns when the water hose was turned on.  Before long, we were covered more in mud than cloth.

I've wondered how many band-aids were used to cover scrapes, burns, and cuts from sliding down that slide.  

When we weren't sliding, the slide didn't always sit alone.  It seemed like we always had puppies and kittens at the farm.  Cats and dogs were wonderful at helping keep the mice and rat population a little under control.  

Jean with mommy cat and a few kittens

Puppies and kittens had a turn on the slide. Not that they asked and not that we necessarily thought they'd like a turn.  But they had turns, like it or not!

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