Knight in Shining Armor

by Judy Craddock Smith -
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One of my fondest childhood memories, is living way up on a hill south of Gracemont, Ok. We had a big house that overlooked the valley where dad herded cattle. Around noon each day I would watch anxiously,waiting for him to top that hill sitting so tall in the saddle on a white stallion. He was like a real knight in shining armor just like the story books. He would be grinning so big because he knew he had a welcoming committee.

We weren’t poor. We just didn’t have stuff like a tv or electric stove. We had a huge old wood burning stove that warmed the house and cooked our meals. I remember so well, the best time of the day was just as it was getting dark mom and Grandma Ruby would get the little cornbread pan and roast peanuts for us on that stove. Daddy would tell us little stories about when he was little while mom warmed our bath water.

Like his father, my dad trapped fur in the winter. Mom made him put the skinned hides behind the house to dry so she wouldn’t have to listen to me about those poor animals. I didn’t know they were for our survival, because like I said, we weren’t poor and if we were, they forgot to tell us. At christmas the furs would be gone and we had gifts under the tree. I couldn’t wait because I knew I would have a brand new baby doll that I wouldn’t take the plastic off of for a while because I loved the smell of that new baby. I can’t imagine what it was like trying to raise a family in those times on a farmers pay. I just don’t ever remember being hungry or cold or even bored. I remember my knight in shining armor, a warm kitchen with big meals cooked on the wood burning stove. I remember Sundays when Grandma Lucille and Grandpa Van would spend the day and have dinner.

We weren’t poor at all.