Monday, February 23, 2009

Next Installment Of 100 Things...

I thought that it would be difficult to figure out 100 things about me and my life, but that has not been the difficult part for me. Onward and upward...

11. Saying "I" so much is very hard. From childhood's hours I have been taught that "we" is more important than "I'.

"We" had cocker spaniels growing up. The one in the photo at left was Domino. There was another one at the same time that was spotted and was called Checkers. I had lost my two front teeth in this photo.

12. I have been horse crazy all my life. Here I'm getting my first "big horse" ride. I was absolutely a pest about it, I'm sure, to please take me for a ride again. All I wanted to do was be around horses. Pet them, ride them or just look at them. This was at one of our family reunions in Tennessee and my cousin (third or something) was kind enough to ride me around for a bit.

The only thing my father ever apologized to me for (and there were many things he could have picked) was not living in the country where I could have a horse. He was on drugs after his prostate surgery in his 70's when he surprised me with that little gem.

13. My oldest sister, Lu Ann, died when she was 23, about a month before I turned 13. She had a brain anuerism and died very suddenly. She left behind three children. More about her at another time.

Here I am, passing on the first ride to my niece. Nancy Lu went to Tennessee with us the summer after her mom, my sister, died. She is the youngest of the three children and is the only girl, so mom felt it was important for her to go with us to keep surrounding her with love and making her feel safe. She was two and she loved that Aunt Helen took her for a ride.

The horse we were on belonged to my Aunt Fannie (dad's sister) and Uncle Ed. He was half Tennessee Walker and half American Saddle Bred and was like sitting in a rocking chair when you rode him. I don't remember his name, but I can still feel the ride. The saddle was a plantation saddle. It was different from western saddles in that there was no horn, only a swell and overall much flatter, more like an English saddle. Lightweight and comfortable.

14. I loved to make mud pies. And I was very good at it. Mom always liked the pictures of me when I was younger because I usually had a dress on, not like when I got old enough and dressed myself. Then it was shorts or britches. If you look closely you can see, under my right hand, my toes... Barefoot again.

15. I'm a 'half-breed'. Half Tennesseean and half Texan. I used to tell dad that I was sure he was my dad because I got my 'one leg shorter than the other' from him. From always walking around on the side of the mountains...
My Texan side was responsible for my love of horses.

16. I took some modeling classes when I was 16. My sister Sue said I'd be a good model. I was tall and I 'swaggered' when I walked.

17. I got my first "perm" when I was 4. My mom and my Aunt Mack rolled me up and smelled me up. The permanent solution smelled so bad back in the day. Even worse than now. Mom was so excited that her baby girl had some curls. I don't remember it but I'm betting it didn't last very long. My hair is so straight and fine as frog hair, so unless my hair is short, the curl falls out of it pretty quick.

18. My grandmother, Lucy Irene (Morgan) Venable, was a school marm. She is on the left side of the photo, in the light lapels and she is holding a school bell in her right hand. You can click on the photo to make it bigger. There will be more stories on Lucy down the road.

19. I learned how to spin a rope when I was about 10. The only neighbor that was a girl my age, her daddy made both of us spinning lariats and taught us how to spin them. I'll have to try it again to see if I can still do it.

20. When I was in 5th grade the school had a talent show. I cracked a bullwhip. I did a repeated double crack for them and I cracked a piece of paper out of my brother's hand. Without hitting him. They would let me put out a candle, though, because of the fire codes. My daddy taught us how to crack a whip. He had used one growing up on the farm in Tennessee.

21. I was a hippie chick. Bell bottoms, hip-huggers, Indian bull hide sandals and shag hair cut. I thought I was cool, with-it and hip.

22. I love to sketch and paint (mostly watercolors). I don't do near enough of it since I got to computing. I need to try to do more. It satisfies my soul.

23. My favorite toy as a child was a ball. In my baby book my mom wrote that I could dribble a basketball 100 times with0ut missing before I was 4.

24. I went to summer school between my freshman and sophomore year in high school and again between my sophmore and junior year, because I liked school.

25. I have an exaggerated fear of throwing up. For that reason alone, I rarely drink and when I do, I will only have one or two drinks over an extended period of time.

Whew... I hope you all are enjoying this... I didn't mean to write a book. 1/4 through 100. Time for a rest break now and to go do some reading.


jojo said...

I love your walk down memory lane. It brings back so many menories for me, even though I was not a country girl or ever been around horses or made mud pies or family reunions...oh wait...I'm getting depressed! The pics of you are so darn cute and ohhhh the shag hair..wasn't it the best!
Thanks for sharing Helen, it's been fun, can't wait for the next installment ;)

Twisted Fencepost said...

Such cute pictures. Pigtails and curls. Not long ago I wanted my hair cut in a shag. No one knew what that was. Except a lady about my age. It still didn't turn out like a shag is supposed to look.
Thanks for telling us a little more about you.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

ohhhh cool stuff and I am so loving the pics that accompany your journey!
HUGS laura

farmlady said...

I think it's great that you're telling us about yourself. It's interesting and since I was raised in the same time period, I can relate to a lot of what your talking about.
Thanks for the memories.

darsden said...

Awesome, I really enjoyed that Helen. Wonderful pictures. I love the one of you being taught then you later beans!

U Go Ms Thang rock'in the bell bottoms.

hetty said...

I am enjoying your memories immensely! And I can relate to a lot of what you experienced. I love getting to know people this way.

Nola said...

Of course I am enjoying it!!! I am finding myself hanging out for the next post! I love this picture story of your life:)

Mary Ellen said...

Love the photos! I especially enjoyed the perm pic. I remember getting those nasty home perms when I was a kid. The smell was so bad it made my eyes water, and I'm pretty sure the chemicals burned my scalp.

Can't wait for the next installment!

Gerre said...

This was fun, ReddirtWoman! Our mutual friend told me where you are in cyberspace. Didn't we all just die to have a horse back in the day??
We just moved from TN to TX. Didn't know you had roots in those places. Love to C & N!

Staci said...

If you still have your hippie chick clothes, I think they'd be right in style today! How about that loss by the OU kids (both sets) last night? Oh well, I think both teams will win the Big XII.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

These pics are amazing. I really enjoyed reading and seeing all the photos.

And thank you so much for your comment today - what a wonderful thing to find. It meant a lot.

Hallie :)

Train Wreck said...

Oh I love your pictures! What a great looking kid you were. I loved reading about your childhood. Bull whip huh? lol You are a hoot!

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, these photos are priceless! Love them!

I'm a naturalized Texan (though I haven't lived there in years) and my folks are from The Smoky Mountains, so you are at the top of my list, quality-wise!

Thanks for sharing these...they're awesome.



Tipper said...

I'm sooo enjoying it all!! I like that you added the pictures along with the info-makes it more real-and a real peek at what you looked like at the time. I always wanted a horse growing up-Pap finally told me when I went up the creek and found a horse behind a rock I could have won! Me and the hubby did have horses before the girls came along and I wish we still had them.