The two oldest of four sisters in our family Lena and I were less than two years apart Being girls, we learned housework very young Mastering cooking, cleaning and sewing from the start We usually got into the worst of our mischief At the times when Mother was gone to Williamson Like the day we tried to smoke green corn silk Wrapped in brown paper bag and we both turned green Another time we were actually fighting over a toy After spankings, we each had to sit behind a bed Big brother laughed and jokingly asked, "Who whipped?" Through sobs and sniffles, Lena answered, "Mommy did!" Mother forbade us to jitterbug in public We learned to dance by watching "Bandstand" If we were mad at each other, one of us wore gloves Each avoiding touching the other's hands One thing we agreed on was our singing And we always made a pretty fair duet We sang at the bus stop and while doing chores Those are times that I'll never forget As kids, we couldn't get the hang of making good fudge Though, goodness knows, when Mother was gone we tried Always wondering why her sugar disappeared so fast We kept mum to keep our fannies from getting fried One year, as teenagers, we each made a pair of shorts The hardest part was in getting to wear them Mother didn't want us showing our legs "Trollops" wore shorts and she couldn't bear them She finally relented and let us go one day Up the hollow to sun in a secluded clearing We had to wear skirts over them there and back 'Cause Mother was afraid of boys' leering Feeling rebellious and thinking Mother couldn't see us We left our skirts off 'til we got down the hollow a bit When we reached the lane that led back to our house Out popped Mother with a long, keen switch She made use of that switch on the calves of our legs And we never found out how she knew what we had done We figured one of our three brothers had snitched But couldn't blame them, 'cause they were in Matewan We learned a lot of valuable lessons from our parents And, in later years, came to realize we were blessed Working hard, making do and sometimes doing without Made us stronger people as we each left the nest Lena and I didn't see each other often enough After we married and each had families of our own I still replay our last conversation in my head Oh, how I still wish that I had known... (She died a few days later on October 31, 2003.) Kathleen McCoy Eldridge© October 20, 2007 All Rights Reserved

The top image is from a tutorial at Steffi's Tutorials

The wonderful photo of the children is Gayle Davis

   My Favorite Memory
Sequenced by Ron Tilden
Jack's Midi Music

Lena & Kathleen Pickin' and Grinnin' 1957