Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Wild West

I suppose it's not really the WILD West any more, but many times I certainly wish it was.  I would gladly drop all the trappings of present day to return to the early 1900's when life seemed a little simpler.  I ran across some old pictures doing my twice-yearly house cleaning and decided to post them.  Life in the Old West was kind of hard, but not knowing any better, we always had fun.

I was born in Miss Friese's Maternity Home late one afternoon and was taken home to the ranch at the bottom of a little valley.  I remember going to town in a rusty old pickup ... an exciting trip, to say the least ... over washboard dirt roads.

This is the town of Onyx (pronounced Ah-nix) where I spent many hours growing up.  This is it ... the entire town.  Located out in the middle of nowhere, the Onyx Store still exists over 100 years after it was built.  Pretty amazing, right??  Hardware, gas and oil were their main sellers back then. Today they no longer sell gas.
What about food you say?  There were no grocery stores back then.  We raised beef cattle for sale, keeping one or two for the freezer.  We also raised chickens and turkeys which we sold to the neighbors along with the eggs they produced and had a milk cow or two for milk and cream.  What few veggies we ate came from a tiny garden in the back yard. 

Today you see Tiny Houses as new modern structures.  We had tiny houses WAY back ... the entire house would fit in my living room today.  There was a kitchen/dining room/living room combo (the original open floor plan concept), a pantry and two very small bedrooms.  All of that was surrounded by a little brown picket fence because we couldn't afford white paint.  In no time, I figured out how to escape.

As I got a little older ... like three ... my job was to make cream into butter with an old churn that was as big as me!  Child labor was alive and well.  The milk was left in the ice box overnight, then the cream skimmed off the top and placed into the churn.  I sat on top of the kitchen table and churned until I thought my arms would fall off.  

Once done, we dug it out with spoons and plopped the white goo into glass containers.  Butter really isn't yellow ... it's almost completely white unless you add dye which we did not have.  

In the "old" days, you left the butter out on the table because in the ice box, it became hard as a rock.  I loved butter so much that I would climb up on the table and eat it by the handful.  What a disgusting little kid!!  For that, I got several whacks on the butt, which I remember to this day!!  Eventually I learned how NOT to get caught!

From the very beginning, I was an outdoor girl.  At 3-1/2 I escaped the yard and wandered off across the ditch to the field where the horses were.  Too bad I got caught - literally.  I immediately got stuck in a board gate when I tried to crawl through.  It was late in the day, so I just hung out and took a nap.  Someone finally discovered I was missing and broke me out of jail by unhooking my shirt caught on a nail.  For that little adventure, I got another swat on the butt!!

Maybe a few butt swats would have resulted in less rioting in recent history.  There were always consequences to our actions, which I have to admit pretty much kept us alive.  I'll have more stories on down the road.


  1. Replies
    1. There are MANY more Linda ... I just have to get the old gray matter to working!! LOL

  2. Saw Jack Webb's Dragnet speech on Facebook the other day, "Jack Webb Dragnet - The Big Departure Speech" ( So much of it is so relevant to today in a even magnified way.

    1. Great speech!! Funny how perfect it is for today's "kids".

  3. Love this! Bet that butter was wonderful. Never wanted to go back then. Too much work.

    1. Thank you Carol ... the butter really was tasty! We never saw it as work ... we had all day to feed the critters, gather eggs and play. It was fun compared to our 8-5 stuck-in-an-office modern days.