Quilting, Farming, Variety

Monday, June 25, 2012

Playtime on a Hot Day, 1940s

On a hot day like today, this is how a little boy and girl would have spent their playtime:

Daddy was plowing the rows of cane, throwing the brown dirt against the little plants, covering new grass that had emerged.  Mama, Daddy and Wanda had already hoed the long rows; Charlotte wasn't trusted yet to distinguish the good plants from the grass plants.

Mama was in the tiny kitchen, canning peaches that Wanda had helped peel.  The cookstove made the little house hot, even though the breeze blew through the open windows.

So when her cousin, Dane, came to play, Charlotte was glad to get out of the house.  She picked out a few paper dolls, cut from a catalog (since no one would be ordering a bathing suit, Mama had let her tear out those pages) and they took them down to the branch in front of the house.  The water was cool on their bare feet as they waded into it to let the paper dolls go swimming.  When the dolls were so soggy they were in danger of coming apart, Charlotte spread them out on a rock to dry so they could be used another time. 

Now they turned their attention to the crawdads which tried to hide beneath the rocks.  With each movement of the kids, the crawdads scurried backwards to the safety of the rocks.  It wasn't easy to catch one with their hands, but they had learned to slip up behind one and quickly grab it behind its sharp "pinchers".  Those pinchers were strong and could really hurt little fingers, so they decided to "fish" for the crawdads with a piece of bacon fat tied to a twine string.  They lowered the fishing lines carefully in front of the big crawdads, and in a jiffy the pinchers grabbed the fat, and the kids eased their catch up out of the water and into a glass jar filled with water.  They would take the largest ones to Wanda; she knew how to open them up and find the little "pearl" inside.

Charlotte gathered up the dry paper dolls and they left the cool water until another day.



  1. Nothing better than playing in the creek on a hot day. We caught the crawdads, too! I remember how hot our house would get when Mama kept the stove going all day. We were thankful for every little breeze than found the open doors and windows. Thanks for sharing!

  2. These stories are sweet morsels Charlotte. I love reading them.
    Thank you so very much for your encouraging words. They just went right straight to my heart.
    You are such a dear friend.
    I would love to have a copy of your childhood stories to share with my grandchildren.

  3. Oh How I love your stories and this one touched my heart...Brings back so many good memories..You are an excellent story teller..Stay Cool...Susie

  4. Such a wonderful memory. I loved to play with paperdolls. Momma would make furniture from cardboard for my dolls. So much fun.

  5. Charlotte-loved this! Reminded me of my childhood days too : )

  6. Wow! This is a great essay about childhood memories. I love the kids playing in the creek and the little girl with her paper dolls. This sure brings back many wonderful memories of my childhood. Mama used to make my paperdolls from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog.

  7. EWWW, I wouldn't want to have anything to do with crawdads!!!

    But I loved reading your memories of hot summer days.

  8. I love this story Charlotte. We used to catch crawdads in our pond... I think my parents used them as bait.

  9. Hi Charlotte,
    Thank you so much for visiting me and leaving such a sweet note. Its a pleasure meeting you and reading the lil red hen blog...
    I really enjoyed your story and I love your beautiful red quilt!
    I have become your newest follower.
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  10. What memories this brings back. My grandparents had a creek behind their house and my aunts would take me crawdead fishing. Loved this story!