As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney
I Wanted My Own ...
I've always felt I was blessed in my early years by living with kinfolks of several different generations.
First there was grandpa on my Daddy's side; Daddy's sister and her daughter, who was a year or two older than Mama, and of course my parents.
Then we seven kids came along. My oldest sister had married and moved to the far away land of California before the youngest made his appearance.
Yes, there was always plenty of family around. While I was still pretty young, Grandpa passed away, my aunt moved across the field to my uncles.
After her death, her daughter moved there. The two families where forever bonded.
There was a good size bunch of us all at home. The only draw back to all of this was I always wanted a room of my own.
The other kids might have had the same kind of feelings, but if so, it was never mentioned and we got along fairly well - most of the time.
But I really, really wanted a room all my own. I did mention it to Mama once in a while.
Well, one Saturday after dinner, which was the noon meal then, everybody got ready to go to town - except me. That day I decided to stay home, which was quite unusual.
As soon as everybody left I got to thinking about my problem, and kept on thinkin'. Then I got a bright idea and got busy.
Our dining room was fairly good size. We had a long table that we could all get around, if we scrunched up a little.
I remember Daddy was always on the end of the long bench, and I liked sittin' by him.
Grandpa's spot was at the head of the table, and I don't remember who was there after he wasn't with us. The first one that got there, I guess.
The kitchen was next to the dining room and the big cook stove took up most of the room. And when it was full of burning wood it made the room warm and cozy in the winter, and hot and stifling in the summer.
My bright idea was to move the long table and bench and other chairs in with the stove. So I did, I scooted them over to one side; and there sure wasn't much leg room.
I could see that to be true; but no matter.
It left what had been the dining room nice and empty except for the sideboard. And I figured it would be handy in my new room.
Now, moving that table gave me a heap of trouble, believe me, and I dreaded the thought of movin' a double-sized bed by myself. That's the only size we had. I guess we didn't know there were twin sizes.
I was determined to get it all done before the others got back home. But I didn't make it.
Mama came walkin' in, took a look around, then looked at me and said, "It won't work. I'll help you get it all back in place before supper time."
Years later coal-oil cook stoves came on the market, and the big 'ole wood stove was moved out. The new one was put in the dining room, along with some other stuff and a bedroom was made in the used-to-be kitchen.
But by that time I was gone from home and never had a chance to claim it as mine.
As I was saying, I was raised surrounded by family members of various ages, and I feel blessed by it being so - but I wanted a room of my own!
As I was saying, I'm not about to mention names. Doing so might cause us to go prowlin' again.