Monday, March 29, 2010

Is it Possible?

From the time of my birth until my grandmother passed away and I grew to be a mid-teen, I spent as much time with my Nana as possible. The grandfather and grandmother owned a lot of property just outside of Charleston, WV. PawPaw did many things to support his family and all of his labors related to his land. He had a dairy where he fed and milked cows, mucked out the stalls and laid fresh hay. He raised registered Herefords and owned a registered bull that generated income from studding him out. He raised, mowed and bailed hay for these animals, had horses and a blacksmith shop and more then one vegetable garden. He sold eggs collected from the hens he raised to his list of customers. His was a life of self sufficiency. There were gas wells on his land and a small income was realized from these plus the added benefit of free gas for all the houses.
On this land was his house which set at the highest point on his land and just down the little dirt road and on a lower elevation stood another home where a son or daughter would live, depending on how newly married they were and further down the road and a few more curves away was tucked another house into the hillside. None of these houses were more then a mile apart but still mostly unviewable from each location.
Water wells supplied these houses and none of them had indoor bathrooms. Each house had it's own garden plot and the whole compound was available to each family for horseback riding, hiking and hiding. There was no paved road or even a main road that was close by. To get to the main road was quite the walk for young children but hand in hand we made that walk to get to the little one room school that was within sight after reaching the main road. Through the snow we trudged in the winter and the mud in the spring and the dust in the summer; 5 children walked this road. It would have been unheard of at that time to load the children up and deliver them to school. I was barely 5 yrs old and I can still remember the depth of the snow during those winter walks.
Bath time was filling a square tub with warm water and in the summer time this was always done outdoors. I still remember this. Staying with the grandparents and having a bath was a total treat. They had a long metal tub where you could actually stretch out full length and if you were just 5yrs old you could float in the water. Baths were short. We didn't get to add more warm water when it would cool down. That was the time you knew your bath was finished.
I remember my Nana standing me up in that tub to scrub my back, behind my ears and my legs. She would tell me "I'll wash down as far as possible and up as far as possible and you can wash "Possible".
Until I was quite older, I associated the word "possible" with the area grandmother allowed me to wash. Can you imagine my confusion when I would hear that word in conversation and try to relate the conversations to my bath time?
"Is that possible?", "It's possible!", "That's imPossible", "a possibility?", "not possible!"
Being a quiet child, I would listen wide eyed at the adults; my small collection of gray cells cataloguing all these exclamations, sorting and filing them away to ponder for the next few years. I don't know exactly when I finally discovered that the conversations I had heard had nothing to do with my bath but to this day, the word "possible" has the ability to conjure up visions of my bath in that metal tub.
Carrie takes a bath and her mother tells her to wash her "fancy". Can you see where I'm going with this? How many times will she hear the word "fancy" and where will her gray cells take her? "a fancy house', fancy clothes, fancy car, and on and on. Poor Carrie.


  1. This was my laugh for the day. Is that possible? Tee hee

  2. Joan: I'm so happy you had a laugh! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


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