Saturday, February 5, 2011

... pesky little sister that couldn't throw worth anything ...

Dinner scraps.  Empty bottles.  Empty vegetable cans. Torn clothes.  Newspaper and used school papers.  Lumber scraps.  Broken bits and pieces of everything become trash.  A family of 10 generated a lot of trash.

Dinner scraps were given to the animals.  Every time we did dishes, we scraped all the scraps onto one plate or into one pan.  The scraps were taken out to feed to the cats and dogs.  Of course, there weren't too many dinner scraps.  I don't remember leftovers until I was older and some of my older siblings had moved on to their own adult lives.  

Empty glass bottles were returned for a deposit if one was offered.  Coke bottles used to bring 2 cents, then 5 cents, then 10 cents.  

Clothes eventually became torn or too stained to continue using, even on a farm. Newspapers and school papers had to be disposed of somehow.   Bits of lumber that were just not usable for anything else became trash.  

The burnable household  trash and pieces of old wood were taken out behind the little shop and burned.  Included in the pile were sticks and moss from the yard.  What fun!  Fire fascinated me and throwing the trash on the fire created a bigger fire.  We would place the ends of sticks in the fire if it was near or just after dark.  After a while we'd pull them out again and swing them around in the air, writing our names and creating designs in the dark. The only problem I had with 'taking out the trash' was a certain brother named Donald.  He would hide behind a tree or other object and when I walked by, he'd jump out and yell.  I'd take off flying to the house, crying.  At least Donald had to sense to wait until I was on my way back so there wouldn't be a lot of trash to pick up again.  I'm sure Mother had a time with me because I was scared of so many things and most of the things I was scared of were imaginary.

But reusing and returning containers for reuse had its limits.  Ketchup, mustard, deodorant, vanilla, milk, bleach, cologne, shampoo, and other kitchen, personal, and household items came in glass jars that didn't have a deposit.  

There were many other things that were trash. Things like empty tin cans that were left at the end of preparing our meals; peas, corn, baked beans, and many other foods came in cans.  

These were the things that wouldn't burn.  They went to the sink hole that was sort of in the middle of the farm. 

In the photo above, you can see the irrigation pond, tractor shed, school buses, and the trees were the house sits.  The arrow points to the sink hole.  Surrounded by a few big trees, it was a depression in the ground. 

In Marion County, sink holes would open up every now and then.  Marion County is full of lime rock, caverns, and natural tunnels. Sometimes there would be an underground tunnel collapse, leaving a depression only a few feet deep to leaving a huge hole in the ground.  After I left home, a school was closed and removed when a sink hole opened on the property it was on.  The land was totally cleared for a while.  I'm not sure how deep our sink hole was, but to me it was huge.  Looking at the photo below, I can see why I thought it was huge!  It looks like several school buses could fit into it. You can see two school buses in the foreground.

For years, rocks that were in the field were thrown into the hole.  Non-burnable trash went into the sink hole.  This was the most fun!  Old empty glass and tin bottles and containers of every kind went into the hole. When we could get away with it, we'd throw the glass against the rocks to hear them shatter.  When Mother or Daddy were around, we were quickly told "NO".  We knew better than to break the bottles, but the fun was just too irresistible.  

It was always a contest.  We'd see who could throw the furtherest.  I say 'we' but truth is, THEY were in the contest.  I was the pesky little sister that couldn't throw worth anything and insisted on joining in when the competition began.  It was OK to have a contest with rocks, seeing who could throw the furtherest into the hole, but when we picked up glass to throw in the contest, it was only when Mother and Daddy weren't with us.  When I first began helping to empty the truck of rocks, I did good to clear the tail gate with my strongest throw.  

Later the hole was filled in and the trees removed.  If it were dug up today, there would be many old broken bottles and many old intact bottles.  Thinking of it makes me want to go out and start digging!

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