Days Of Old Drift Back To Me

Days of old drift back to me on wings of golden memories, taking me back to old times, happy times and family times, as the love of family runs deep in my veins and deeper in my heart…

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Treasured memories of childhood hold fast and true, as the sounds of innocence play softly in my mind…sounds of silly giggling and little legs running to hide on a warm country night, as we played hide and go seek…”Olly Olly Oxen Free.”

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Growing up I had cousins by the dozens and lots of Aunts and Uncles….the above photo was taken on my 3rd birthday here at the house. My Grandma is sitting on the red sofa next to my Uncle Ron and Uncle Rich is sitting in the red chair that was my Dad’s…and to the right of the photo you can see the skirts of my aunts…you can’t see me as I’m surrounded by cousins…I have the short hair with the striped dress sitting on the floor.

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Dad had six brothers counting him and three sisters making Dad’s immediate family a family of 11 and they all lived in this area. As a family tradition, we got together for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas Eve, it was always a very large gathering of around 60 plus family members, with Aunts, Uncles and their spouses and lots of cousins. It was an incredible gift to be part of a huge family as I grew up…as family was very important. Being an only child I was on cloud nine each time we got together for the holidays or for my cousins birthdays…those were the best years of our lives!

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My Dad is standing on the left side with the cowboy hat on and his five brothers…two nephews sitting in the middle in front and two young nephews standing with their Dad on the right side of the photo taken here about 1960.

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When I began grade school in our very small town, 8 miles from our house, there was one of my cousins in each grade from 1-12.  I loved it as my older cousins were plowing the path for us to follow along! It was incredible to experience that…if one of us got hurt or upset we could run to find one of our cousins for childhood support!  Our school was lucky to have a 100 kids enrolled in 12 grades. Most classes were under 10 kids. FYI, I was thrilled when Mom finally told me I could grow my hair out if I took care of it and I did and still do:)

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As we cousins grew up, went to college and got married, we began a new chapter that was very foreign to us. In the last few years, we have buried our parents together. It’s hard at times to fathom that we are now the older family members and yet…we still feel like that same group of cousins, laughing and calling out “Olly Olly Oxen Free”…young at heart…life was good…we had each other and we had our parents and we had lots of Uncles and Aunts to tease us and keep us in line. The picture above is only half of my cousins!

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The last week has been bittersweet as we lost a family member who was very much loved. He was my oldest cousin, but because of the age difference, we called him our Uncle Gerald. He was always in a good mood and had a smile for everyone…if you showed up in his shop he would offer you a meal and something to drink…he loved his family and he worked hard his entire life. He was always there with a smile and a wave as he drove by…I will miss him.

The picture above is at cow camp in the old log cabin. My Mom always cooked up a storm…using a wood cook stove, with no running water and no electricity…she was amazing!  Gerald is sitting with his back to the picture, my Dad is pouring us lemonade and Gerald’s son Jerry is sitting next to my Dad and cousin Matt is sitting next to me and yes…that is me with the dorky glasses and pixie haircut!.

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In remembrance of my Uncle Gerald…the picture above says it all…he was a good husband, a good father and a super grandfather and friend to many…and the best Uncle/Cousin you could have. He will be remembered for the caring love he had for his family and for others…and the great sense of fun he had in life…he lived his life fully with honor and with the simple love of family.

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Time passes by and before you know it those whom you love are gone. Wherever you are…reach out to your family and to those that you love…as time gets shorter each year and before you know it, time passes by…Kathy Mattea sang the song below…it is one of my favorites and so very true.

Dreams drift away like leaves on the water
They roll down the river and slip out of sight
Too many times we do what we ought
Put off ’til tomorrow what we’d really rather do tonight
And later realize

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Thoughts are like pennies we keep in our pockets
They’re never worth nothing ’til we give them away
But love’s like a promise in an un-opened letter
Where nights full of pleasure seldom see the light of day
When life gets in the way

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

Time passes by, people pass on
At the drop of a tear, they’re gone
Let’s do what we dare, do what we like
And love while we’re here before time passes by

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Have a wonderful week with a bit of whacky….as the whacky will keep life interesting! HRCG over and out for now but not for long!

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SwittersB
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 18:17:08

    The Heavens! Very nice image.

    Reply

  2. bulldog
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 21:52:05

    This was a brilliant post… yes all to often we lose contact with family members and in today’s world almost forget them … the way of life and the easy of relocation have blown families far and wide… such a pity we don’t still experience those days of our youth…

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jan 26, 2014 @ 22:25:37

      Thank you much:) I agree as it is easy to loose touch which with all the modern technology we have….you wonder why…and back in the old days we had party lines and somehow stayed in touch better. I think part of it is due to the ease of travel and people just kind of do their own thing anymore. I have seen it even here in the middle of no where country. I am thankful that my cousins do stay in touch…and we still have the connection…not sure if it will carry on after we are all gone.

      Reply

  3. onespoiledcat
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:54:47

    Another lovely “looking back” post – great photos and fun times with family. I didn’t have a large family – and it actually now consists of six people. Never had bunches of aunts, uncles, cousins – no grandparents……so I read posts like this and wonder what it would be like to have SO much to share with SO many. My friends are my family – maybe that’s my “extended” family! I’m always happy to read posts like yours though…..and guess what – those glasses you have on (the cats eye ones) are JUST LIKE ones I had….mine were pink metal frames…..!! I’m so sorry for your loss of a Cousin…..I’m sure you’ll see him in the clouds Marcey……

    Hugs, Pam

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:40:53

      Thank you much:) Being an only child has great perks but you also are alone…the years of growing up were so special as most of my cousins lived right around here where we live today…the main ranch shop was here so when my Uncles came to work on a piece of equipment or something, they often brought a couple of cousins and of course that was always fun for me:) My Mom was an only child too…however, now that all us cousins are grown and living our lives all over, I am the only girl who is still living here, we do not see each other like we used to. We had to stop doing Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving as everyone’s family grew with grandkids etc. so my Aunts and Uncles would travel to see their kids…in the mid 1980’s we began to do just us with my parents…and now my folks are gone so it is pretty much me myself and I…but I have wonderful memories and the good old days were really very special:) And I miss them.

      I think I wore that type of frame for my glasses a long time…they had the little tips or wings…I think I wore every color…I got my hard contacts when I was 16 and by then I was so desperate to wear contacts and not my glasses I wore them to drive truck in…with lots of dust etc. as we did not have air conditioners in our trucks or equipment.
      Hugs to you and Kitty Loves to Sammy:)

      Reply

  4. Marilyn Armstrong
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 10:41:48

    The older generation is almost gone in my family … so many faces from childhood. I still remember thaem as they were when I was a child. Young.

    That picture of you when you were little — I think I had those same eyeglasses :-)

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:45:12

      I know….it kind of hits you in the face…one day you are 30 and have lots of family around and then next it is just you. I have great memories growing up with my cousins and family here but we do nto see each other much now…everyone has family living else where so on holidays etc. we all go different directions..I am the only girl cousin still living here…so it is different now…and the holidays usually are WB and me along with Minnie, Ellie and dogs and horses:) I know those glasses were the deal back then….I had a few different colors before I outgrew them:)

      Reply

      • Marilyn Armstrong
        Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:50:57

        We ARE the older generation now and that feels pretty strange. I’m not sure when it happened. Sort of crept up on us. Garry is the senior member of his family and I’m the senior of mine, since my brother died.

        I think there wasn’t such a big choice of frames for kids back when we were growing up. I think I had the same eyeglasses right through high school … until college when wire frames became available (again).

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:53:18

        Yeah and it is weird to realize that…I am still getting it through my head that yeah we are older now and we are my parents age when I thought they were old….but….we are still young in our hearts and spirit:)

      • Marilyn Armstrong
        Jan 27, 2014 @ 17:04:56

        I think we just defined cognitive dissonance :-)

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jan 27, 2014 @ 18:48:48

        :)

  5. mythreemoggies
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 03:24:34

    Sorry to read about your cousin :-( huge hugs xxx

    Reply

  6. Russel Ray Photos
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 06:01:38

    Sad to say that I have no treasured memories of childhood. My treasured memories didn’t start until college.

    Reply

  7. singleworkingmomswm
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 17:23:33

    How great to have such a large and cohesive family! Are you an only child, just curious? Having all the cousins and aunts and uncles around must have been the best. My entire family is from Colorado, and I was the only child to be born in California, and raised far away from the rest. Thus, I don’t have much connection with anyone anymore at all, except my mom, dad, and sister. Love the old pics; they are so wonderful! XOXO-Kasey

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jan 28, 2014 @ 18:33:23

      It was an incredible way to grow up. I was an only child so it was me and my parents….and my horse:) I didn’t always get to see my cousins as we lived with the cattle in the mountains during the summers and my cousins lived down here as their Dad’s farmed our wheat fields while my Dad took care of the cattle part. Christmas Eve was always fun as we all got together in town at my Aunts house, she took over having the dinner etc. after my Grandma passed away…my Aunt was the oldest girl and she took that seriously to continue on with tradition and I am so happy she did that:) Thanksgiving was rotational between my Mom and my three Aunts who used to live out here…and it was always fun too. As we all grew up in the last 15 years now we have lost our parents and that has been hard. Sounds bad but we cousins seem to only see each other now when something bad has happened…most of my cousins live away from the ranch now with their own families etc. I’m the only girl cousin still here and I have three male cousins here too…only one is married.I’m glad that you have that family connection with your parents and sister….that is the most important one overall:) Big Hugs!

      Reply

      • singleworkingmomswm
        Jan 29, 2014 @ 10:02:28

        Wow. How wonderful! It does sound like the best childhood; such a way to grow up. I’ve been thinking so, so much lately about the world today…the media sensationalism, our kids growing up too fast….I’m so grateful that I, at least, live in a town now that is considered small by most standards, with a preserved downtown that has a family-style atmosphere. I’m so grateful that I’ve been mindful of giving Maycee opportunities to be a kid and stay a kid, that techno stuff doesn’t rule our lives, and is in fact, a minute part of it. That horses are a huge part of our life today, and they keep us grounded. We have a tiny little family between the two of us, but nonetheless, it is so important and worth nurturing and protecting! Keep sharing these wonderful stories and photos! I love them! XOXO-Kasey

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jan 29, 2014 @ 10:48:37

        It was a great way to grow up:) I’m glad that you are keeping the world out of Maycee’s life. I know that they probably have to work on computers at school but that is ok as you can set the boundaries with that too…and I agree that in this day and age, the world is not what it used to be even 20 years ago let alone 30-40 years ago. WB and I have seen things change here in this small community…for one thing all that live out here used to get together more and now I am lucky if I see any of my neighbors even once a year. Everyone seems to be so busy and always on the go…with all the tech stuff and what is on TV I am glad our kids are grown…can’t imagine how hard it is to build not only boundaries but keeping the evil out. We have satellite and our TV is large but I do not care for TV so my hubby will watch the History channel or discovery and I like them, only “if” there is something good on…for the most part I can take it or leave it. Growing up I was always outside either on my horse or exploring…was never a TV kid or house kid either. Sending hugs and prayers your way:)

  8. Nylabluesmum
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:06:50

    Absolutely inspiring post HRCG!!! I am now 58 & can not believe I AM the GROWNUP!! When did THAT happen, lol.
    Your tributre to your Cousin/Uncle Gerald was lovely!!!
    I came from a small family & now there is only myself; my Sister & her 2 grown children & my Niece’s 2 children & a Brother…my Brother does not keep in touch (long story & a nasty StepFather involved). My Sister is in her own world & makes no time for me….her son gone to University & he is much like her….
    My Niece is the only one who shows me any concern or attention…I reach out but only my Niece reaches back…sad but true.
    I feel that when I pass on it will mean nothing….we are now in effect strangers…
    My memories of the ‘old days’ remind me of what & who I have lost with the passing of time….
    The ones I miss the msot are my Father & my Nanna & my Aunt Sadie…I miss the StepGrandparents & my Step GreatGrandDad…he was a real Colonialist….oh so adorable.I loved the stories about the world way back when..living history….once I am gone the stories & memories will be gone….
    Thank you for a beautiful blog (despite me being a bit of a buzz-kill’) lol..
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jan 31, 2014 @ 18:20:42

      Family can be hard…we do not pick our family but we have them:) I know what you speak of and how it feels…weird huh? Stupid too:) I write of family all the time but I am like you….memories and my family is gone as it is just me…WB has a sister and that helps for him…but ya it is hard to know how to connect and what to say. And I had a Nanna too:) And you are not a buzz kill:) I just write:) And we are close in age…big hugs and prayers too:)

      Reply

  9. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 07:58:52

    :) I DID pick my siblings as they are adopted. Adopted by my Mother & her 2nd hubby. I adore them both but they are products of the enviroments they were raised before we got them & our home life was atrocious in so many wyas. I am the only one who got counselling & worked thru all the issues & changed….It is sad but true.
    I just have to accept who I cannot change & love them as they are.
    My Nanna took me when I was barely 6 months old & raised me as her own for 10 yrs.
    My link to her was unbreakable. Did not bode well for my Mother & I when we were ‘reunited’ when I was 10 1/2. So much upheaval. I made the best of it but things were always dramatic & scary (mental health issues & abuse).
    I left @ 17…my Sister followed when she was 14 (I was then 20) & my Brother stayed & he is my Stepdad’s…2 peas in a pod….
    When my Nanna was around this age & the Aunts they would tlak of the ‘old days'; their old days & memories & now I am in their shoes so to speak….only there are so few of my family left…in fact blood relatives NIL>>maybe my 2nd or 3rd cousins but they have not contacted mw in years & I have no idea where they are even….
    Such is Life….I am grateful I have my own Life….even if I do miss my siblings…
    Sherri-Ellen xoxo

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Feb 03, 2014 @ 16:40:35

      That is awesome that you have two siblings that are adopted:) And I truly applaud you for taking the step to seek healing and to have peace:) I know it is not easy but it is so good. I truly believe in Godly counseling and I loved helping people when I had my office…God was so good to me as He used the same issues I had faced in helping others who now were facing the same…and yes, I agree it is sad as the others do not know what they are missing out on…and amen on accepting who and what we can not change:) Your Nanna sounds like one of God’s angels on earth:) I am sorry that you all had to go through the hard stuff…and abuse, both emotionally and physically. Your siblings are missing out…I do understand:) Big Hugs and Prayers are being sent right now to you and Ms. Nylablue:) You are in my thoughts:)

      Reply

  10. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 11:01:59

    HI HRCG: I had to get counselling & make peace with many things in my Life or I would have gone insane…I could not carry all the hurt & pain inside. Plus I wanted to be whole & well.
    Altho the siblings & I are no longer close I still love them with all my heart. That does not change.
    My siblings are walking their path & it is their journey; I can only help if they allow me to join them ;)
    I too beleive Nanna was an aNGEL on earth as was her Mother Sarah…I was blessed with these 2 wonderous women in my Life & my Father…they are the reasons I did not go to pieces completely; they helped me thru everything….I now help others to pay back for what was given to me….
    Nylablue is doing well. Stable wieght & eating well. Watching the Mourning Doves & alert. Then she sleeps for hpurs but she is well within herself.
    Blessings to you & yours & Kisses for Ellie & Minnie & horses too!
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xxxxx

    Reply

  11. Nylabluesmum
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 09:55:26

    Thank you HRCG! I pride myself on being a good person & a compassionate one too!!! If I am 1/10th like my Nanna I am good ;)
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xxx

    Reply

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