We moved to Nail, Arkansas, from Oakland, California, when I was seven years old. My sisters were 12 and 14. We had a nice farm and a house better than most of our neighbors. My sisters say we were poor, but I don't remember that.
I remember waking to the smell of home cured ham cooking. After breakfast we all had chores. Arnnie and Clydus each had a cow they would milk morning and night. I would watch them milk and play with the kittens as they enjoyed their dish of warm milk. Then I would run to the pig pen to see if one of the sows had dropped a litter during the night. I liked being the first to count the new piglets. Since it is cold, Daddy might haul wood into the chip yard to chop for the stoves. I would get to ride on the sled or on the horse holding onto the hames.
Mother might make jam today from any of the wonderful fruits and berries available. We had 10 apple trees, three peach trees, a plum and gooseberry thickets. The cellar was full of canned vegetables, bins of sweet potatoes, white potatoes and apples. After dinner we would parch corn or make pop corn on the wood stove and play dominoes or cards. I think we all learned to count playing games. I didn't have a room of my own, but that didn't matter to me. I would crawl into bed between my sisters and they would snuggle me in. Usually they would tell me a story unless they were pouting because I tattled on them for something. We would be toasty like little rats in a nest.
Sunday, our friends would be at Sunday school and on Wednesday night we would attend Young People's meeting, singing and playing games. Sunday afternoons our house was always filled with people. I would look forward to Christmas always being special. We would have extra treats such as oranges, coconuts, nuts and candy. My sister, Winnie, who lived in California, would always send me something really nice to wear, coat, sweater, or skirt. We would make streamers for the tree from popcorn on a string, crepe paper streamers and berries.
We had a very nice dog named Jolie Blond. Arnnie and Clydus walked all the way to Boxley and picked him up as a little puppy from my Uncle Raster. Best of all, we had a horse that I thought could run like the wind. Daddy told me not to canter her, but I did, then I would jump over the gully in the upper pasture. All was well until Clydus would climb a tree and watch then tell on me. One day Mother and Daddy were fixing fence and I was riding. I made my circle and Mother saw me, she knew I would jump the gully, she said, "Andy stop her, she will get killed." He reached over in the wagon bed and picked up his gun, then said, "Okay, do you want me to shoot her or the horse?"
Were we poor? I don't remember that!