We did not have to unwind our minds from the stress of pushing buttons, moving “sticks”, punching remotes, but were so tired from romping up and down the hills and hollers that sleep was not a stressful sleep but very peaceful and our thoughts would take us to “dreamland” whereby we entered into a fantasy world of our own, awaking with a sound mind and body ready to meet a new day.
Let me tell you about some of our entertainment, my close friends and I, shared in those days. My favorite was a beautiful stick horse that Uncle Matt whittled on to make him a pinto pony, using one of his Sunday ties or an old belt for his neck, making him very special. I would put on my cowboy boots (with little guns at the side, yep I was a tomboy), and gallop away to my heart’s content.
Then, one of the ingenuous fun things, were to take two empty tin cans, the bigger the better, and smash each one with a foot, making sure the foot fit the dent, and each foot was adorned with the cans of our choice (as we always could find old tin cans), and we would run and play with these on our feet, seeing who could wear them the longer before they got loose and we had to quit. The noise they made on the pavement (after our holler got paved), I reckon, made us happier when we could outdo one another.
“Stilts” were the thing, but we had to be extra careful when using stilts and when Dad would make mine they got taller as I grew. My first stilts were not too tall, but when I graduated from that set, the next made me taller and I felt so big up there in the air, walking up to the porch and saying “boo” to Granny, who let me have a “boo” when she got closer to me that day. “Stilts” or mine, were made from sturdy trees that had sturdier branches that could be cut away and leave a place for my feet. They also made me “brought on” stilts that they would fashion out of boards and slats. I loved the tree stilts better because I could maneuver them.
And, one of the best I kept to last because I had so much fun with these “caissons” and I made the military song come to life as I played up and down the place known to me as “Big Bottom”, “…over hill over dale we would hit the dusty trail as my caisson kept rollin’ along…” Yep, I kept my caisson clean as a whistle, very possessive of the old castaway tire. We didn’t own a car so I had to look around the neighborhood for a cast off. I washed and shined it, and would carefully place myself inside it and push myself off and round and round I would go until I hit something or drug my foot along to stop me. I have always wondered why it did not make me dizzy but as I remember, it didn’t.
Oh, yeah, one more…we would watch for someone to get an appliance in a big cardboard box, which I would snap up right fast, have Dad cut it for me (a big flat piece) and I would take it up on a grassy knoll and get aboard and gleefully take off down the hill. What a carefree life, huh? You see, this kept us busy during the summer “grass sliding”, waiting for the snow to fall so we could really go sledding over the white stuff. The green stuff became brown stuff as the summer went by because we made it bare to the ground but what fun, oh, what fun!!!!