This post will most probably,be of the longer posts,but I hope you enjoy reading it,as much as I did, writing it…..
I was in Grade one,when an old lady with her six children,moved in a big old house,across the street from us.Back then,all houses still had corrugated,iron sheet roofs.Some of the houses like ours,had concrete floors,but this old house,was one of the few,that still had the usual 6″wooden floors.Most of us also still used wood burning/coal stoves and even though we had a “hand me down” 2nd hand electrical stove,mother couldn’t use it,as my father couldn’t sort the wires,for it to not cause an electrical shock.It was what he’d do,on a Friday night,after a few brandy’s.Then he had big fun,telling me to touch the stove,as he’d fixed it.I would just feel that slight tingle,running through my body…nothing serious,but still…remember,I was only six or seven and it had me scared,of electrical appliances,for years to come……
I think we were the poorest family in our area,but I also think we were the most giving people,in our immediate neighborhood too….not that we had extras to hand out,but we shared what we had.I usually shared my lunch at school,with 3 siblings,that really had nothing.They had some sort of genetic illness,where their hair fall out,on the part of their head,where they sleep on and they had larger than normal fore-heads.They also didn’t,have nails and their facial features was a bit scary too…I looked it up on Google and the closest I could find,of what I remembered about them,seems to be HED(Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia)They were actually very rude children,but funny enough,I understood why…..maybe because I was a target,to bullying as well and because I wasn’t popular in school too and had problems making friends…?
It didn’t take mother too long,to befriend the new neighbor,but no matter how hard she tried,the rest of her friends and our other neighbors,just wouldn’t socialize with this single lady…..Four of her six children,got married very quickly,but the eldest daughter,then only about 23,stayed at home and had no income.The old lady was open about her life and mother knew all about her struggles…..Her house had a
dusty,mouldy smell,because of being closed,for too long and the wooden floors were old and
worn and squeaked,under the slightest weight.To make some money,she and her daughter made artificial flowers,of used dyed pantyhose,formed with thin wire and fixed on dried and varnished bamboo roots.It was beautiful,but they made way too many and then couldn’t sell it all.So it was displayed all over the old house,gathering dust.Then, they also had an cockroach infestation and almost anything,you touched or moved,revealed some of these scurrying creatures…..it didn’t bother me as a child,as to me,it was the same as having a problem with ants,or flies.I didn’t know anything about cockroaches and I’m glad we lost touch,years later and well after I got to know the pests!!I only realized later in life,what happened the day,my mother invited another new neighbor,to join her for tea,at this old lady’s house….. She had a beautiful tea-set and to be honest,she baked the nicest cookies and her freshly baked bread,could be smelled when you walk down the street,past her house.It wasn’t something expensive,but boy,it did taste good!So as mother refreshed our memories,later on while exchanging stories,from way back when,I got to really relive this day,as they did,as adults…..let me tell you..it was something,that made my stomach churn inside out,thinking of that day,as mother tells the story…
They were sitting in the family room(known as the sitting room,in those days)when her daughter and daughter in law,joined mother and the potential new friend,for morning tea…..us children were told to play outside and not bother them,which we did.So the old lady carefully laid out her tea-tray,with her beautiful tea-set,with cookies,she freshly baked earlier that morning.She had silver teaspoons and took everything to the sitting room.As mother already knew her children and in law children,the conversation was already going very smoothly,when the old lady entered the room and carefully put the tray down,on the coffee table in the middle of the floor.Her daughter in law insisted on pouring the tea and when she poured the 3rd cup….out slipped a big fat brown-black cockroach…Needless to say,that the cookies slowly left the mouths and found their way,back on the side plate and back on the tray……suddenly,there was nothing to talk about and before long,everybody left….As I didn’t know about this incident and had my own bad cockroach surprise,at her house years later,I still enjoyed her tasty cookies and freshly baked bread,for years to come.
….Still in Grade one:this old lady’s youngest son,was busy with his nine month,mandatory military service and finished his term,just before I went to Grade two.He enjoyed spending the salary he saved up,whilst doing his service.One of the things,he couldn’t wait to buy,was a scooter.We didn’t stay far from the shop,which was owned by a Portuguese couple,like almost all our shops,back then…..it was either Portuguese or Indian people,who owned the majority of shops.My eldest brother did all kinds of favors,for this soldier,which gave him pocket money…..something we didn’t receive from our parents,like other children.Sometimes,when my mother sent my brother to the shop,this guy would give him a lift on his scooter,but I was way too scared…..One day,the two of them repeatedly showed me,what to do.So a few days later,when my mother gave me the shopping list and the basket,he offered to give me a lift.I wiggled the basket on my lap,between the two of us and when he asked me if I was ready,I said“go”It took seconds for him,to return home and find,sitting flat on the ground,still clinging to the basket and according to him,with eyes as big as saucers.He only realized I wasn’t on the seat behind him,when he stopped at the shop and turned around,to let me get of……I didn’t trust it again and politely declined his offer,to give me a lift,again.It took me very long,to trust the power of an iron horse again…….
All photos:Google and PinterestIf you enjoyed any of my stories,please share it with your family and friends and on social media…
Why don’t you take a look at my boards and pins,on Pinterest……you’d be amaized at all the information,they have to offer…..a search engine on it’s own….
**Thanks to my regular readers and followers for their support,in trying to help me make a success of my blog.I really appreciate it.
Thanks to WordPress,for putting their library available,to make use of the free photos…..