Our Farm set a 1 1/2 miles back on a dead end road, you had to pass Mr. Britt’s
Land on the left side of the road and the railroad on the right, this area was about 3/4 mile long, about 1/2 of the way up this road you could cross the rail road to enter our north pasture on the other side of the tracks, continuing west up the drive you came to a sharp curve that took a left and headed south at the little house where Emmel and Clementine lived, (it set on a bluff over the railroad track,) and traveled about a football field length to a dead end that took a shape right back west, up to our farm house. Kind of like and S shape. There were pastures on both sides of the road. At the second dead end was a large 9-10 acre wooded area, you could enter a gap and go into a large clearing connected to the woods. We loved going in there mainly because of the wild flowers and the delicious blackberries that grew in the spring, there was also a large pond in this area. At night we would chase lightening bugs for hours out there, I loved to catch them in a jar. But that’s for another tale….
But……now this wooded area is where one of our many adventures took place, I was about 7 at the time and Sis was 9, we were daredevils and would try anything once. If we could get away with it probably twice.
Clementine was a sweet lady, as big around as she was tall, bless her heart she was busy from sun up to sun down, with 12 kids plus two little white girls who were full of mischief…we adopted her and she was too loving to tell us to go home..lol..I don’t remember all of the kids names, She had 2 boys probably 15 and 18 at the time who helped Emmell work the fields and a 16 yr old girl who helped her around the house and helped take care of the younger children. There was a set of twins Mary & Bug age 8 and Grandma who was 10, but acted like an old Grandma, thus her nickname, and last there was Bear, he was a big old boy age round 13-14. His & Grandma’s job was to take care or rather to keep the twins and me and Dean from getting into trouble…hehehe…we were so good at doing that. As was Bear and Grandma. It was like telling the fox to watch the hen house. There were 5 more littler ones that we wouldn’t allow to tag along.
Well one morning as usual after we finished our chours and Momma was home with Shirley, we were looking for something to do, so we decided to go to the woods and pick blackberries for Clementine to cook, we’d worry about the fact that she was going to kill us for going near that pond after we did it…then she couldn’t stop us. Now this was a different time & place, another whole world apart from our times now. In today's world you couldn't let a child roam all day without checking on them, back in the good old days we could be gone from daylite to dark and no one had to worry. The best place to pick big juice blackberries WAS on the pond bank, now remember this is MS and water moccasins are a fact of life on the ponds in the summer time, the thickets around the pond with those big blackberries was just made for Snakes. But we were bullet proof, and we had Granddaddy’s big English bull dog, Spot (real unusual name) with us and he hated snakes, he had been bitten so many times that it just pissed him off when one bite him.
Me, Spot and Momma
Well after a while and 3 dead snakes later we decided we needed to go to the other side, the blackberries where bigger over there, now this pond was about as big as an average above ground swimming pool, but it had a large brier patch on 3 sides so we decided to build a raft and cross this pond, Well now Huck Finn had nothing on us.. Bear and Bug scrapped up some limbs and some large honeysuckle vines we found near by and we made the neatest raft you ever saw, of course we miss judged the size and when all 6 of us little wayward rascals plus a big spotted dog climbed on board we made it just far enough from the bank that when it went down we looked like a bunch of drowned rats scurrying to the bank, Spot was the last one out cause he found him a big snake to take care of first. I think for the first time we were a little scared, snakes hid under water...We even lost our pail of blackberries, well darn, all that trouble for nothing and boy did we know we were in trouble. We stayed in the woods as long as we could, trying to let our clothes dry before going home, I really don’t know why, there was no way we fooled Clementine, she knew where we’d been the minute she laid eyes on us, and I want you to know Mary and Grandma’s little black bottoms was just as red as our little white bottoms were, when she got through with that hair brush…. Lol…Then she ironed mine and Dean’s clothes so when we went home Granny wouldn’t know…she knew that her spanking was done out of love, but what Granny would have done was anything but out of love. Then it was Bear and Bugs turn, she told Emmell when he got home and he took a strap to them, not bad just enough to scared them to death, if they though that was going to stop us they were so wrong. We forgot all about the punishment the next day and another adventure began.
We heard the train whistle when it sounded at the trestle a mile down the road………..