I have five sons and recall the good times they had many years ago when they were growing up.
They created most of their own fun for they did not have many toys. They were very resourceful and came up with many different things for their entertainment.
I remember once they fixed a frame of an old buggy, tying a rope to the front axle to guide it. Then they fixed a seat on the back. There was a long, sloping hill nearby and they would start at the top of it. The buggy frame would go really fast until they came to a turn in the road ... then, watch out!
Once I was asked to get on the back axle and take a ride. It was great fun until I fell off. I had on a new dress, and though I wasn't hurt, my dress was torn, and my pride suffered somewhat. That was the one and only time I got on that contraption.
Sledding was another matter. The boys had sleds in the winter and I always joined the fun with them, for I liked to go sledding ... and nobody pays too much attention when you fall in the snow.
Being "mother," I was supposed to be very brave about everything. One time one of them went to the spring for me. When he came back, he said, "Mama, hold out your hand and shut your eyes." I did ... and he laid a lizard in my hand! Another time, he came in dragging a big blacksnake behind him. Times like that, my bravery almost failed me!
One son had a pet goat and he made a cart and some harness, then hitched the goat to the cart. It came in mighty handy for his chores, too. He would haul kindling to the kitchen for the woodstove we all used then. Once the goat got frightened at something and took off, scattering kindling all along the country road. That was one load my son really worked at getting into the wood box.
The boys liked to climb trees and it seemed one of them was always perched on a limb. Now, if one of my grandchildren climbs a tree, I almost wring my hands for fear he will fall. I've managed to convince myself that children are more careful than we give them credit for.
All was not play for the boys, of course. They had to work and go to school. They are all grown and married now, with children of their own. I'm sure their children do not have the fun their dads had when they were young.
One of the sons is a minister and has a church at Strafford. He has two sons who are also ministers. One is a missionary in South Africa.
I am fortunate in having sons living nearby. I have grandchildren who are married and I have great-grandchildren. They like for me to tell them stories of the way we used to live years ago. Some of them have never ridden on a train. It has been a long time since there was a railroad here at Harrison.
My home has been here for 54 years, within one mile of where I was born ... on the same farm where my mother was raised. So I have been around for awhile.
I like to visit the old homeplace. One son owns part of my grandma's old homeplace so I'm able to visit it often.
I enjoy the articles in Over the Ozarks very much. One of the contributors, Ross Brian Rea, of Green Forest, was in our local hospital not long ago. I hope he is well by now.
Many happy days to all of you Over the Ozarks contributors.