Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hard Times Were The Good Times

We have been going through old pictures and remembering!
This is me 30 years ago in my kitchen of the first house we ever bought.
This seems like yesterday.
Wow how time passes by!

We had 3 children at this time in my life.  "May May" was not born yet.
The baby is "Big Sis"!
It was her very first birthday. 
This little girl of ours cried for the first 9 months of her life.
But she has been a complete joy to us since the day she was born.
A dear friend Linda made the cake for me as a gift.
We would have never thought about going to a bakery
and buying a cake.

We look back on these pictures and remember such good things.
We remember simple times.  We didn't have much but we did have much.
Does that make sense?

My dear friend Linda also gave us this folk art painting.
She is a very gifted person and I want to do a blog about her sometime.
She made an impact on my life that is still with me today.

This was our cow Molly.
We always told "Big Sis" that she got her eyes from Molly.
She still believes us to this day.
We also had chickens. 
If we had meat we raised it ourselves.
We always had a garden and put up all our food.
We worked hard but appreciated it because of that.

Meet Muffin, our goat.
When we moved out to the country "sweet hunter" said the
first thing he was going to buy me was a goat.
I had never been around a farm so the thought of a goat was weird to me.
He bought me one.  Fred was so mean.
We got rid of Fred and got Muffin.
She would not stay in a fence but loved to roam around just like a dog.
She was wonderful with my children.  She was a pet.
On Saturdays when the kids would watch cartoons
Muffin would stand at the front door and watch t.v. with them.
She was precious.
(Remember when we had 3 channels and cartoons were only on Saturdays?)

This is my son Nathan when he was about 5 years old.
He was a little doll!
He always had a smile on his face and loved life.
Christmas was his favorite time of year.
Both of my grandsons remind me of him.

This was our first home that we had ever bought.
We had 5 acres and a chicken house.
We had a clothes line.
We heated with wood and didn't have air conditioning.
We thought we were the stuff though!
That little one is "Big Sis"standing at the door.
Our house payment was 187.00!
We thought that was huge.

On the left is my daughter Trouble (Shannon).
She never liked to wear a shirt.
(She will kill me for this picture! lol)
She was just so cute.
(Her son doesn't like to wear shirts now either!)
Nathan is on the right side and the others are cousins.
"Big Sis" (Maranda) was in the high chair watching them play a game.

These were the good ole days.
We had one car.  We didn't own a dryer.
We used cloth diapers and safety pins.
We lived 30 miles from the city.
We couldn't afford to call family because it was long distance.
Eating out was unheard of back then with us.
We used hand me downs for our furniture and were proud to get it.

Our first bed was "sweet hunters" Grandparents first bed.
Things are too easy today.  If we want something we just go buy it.
We don't give it a thought. We are all spoiled.
We sacrificed back then to have the important things.

We didn't have new furniture or fine clothes but we had our family.
We always think we need more but we really don't.
I was doing what I loved most.....being a Mom and wife.
Life was simple then but not easy. 
We thought we were poor but we were so rich.
Our "hard times" were the "good times".
We just didn't realize it then.
We only get one chance with our children and then once they grow up it is up to them.
But if I could give a Mother of young children any advice it would be:
Hug your children.
Pray with your children.
Respect your children.
Listen to your children.
Talk to your children.
Read to your children.
Play with your children.
Sing to your children.
Rock your children.
Tuck your children in.
Enjoy the moment.
Remember we only have them for a while.
Sneak in and watch them sleep.
Look them in the eyes.
Spend time with your children.
Slow down.
Be the parent, not a child.
Remember that words DO hurt.
Love them with everything you have.
Because they grow up while you are not looking!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58


Amelia said...


Sure did enjoy the walk down memory lane with you through the pictures.

Those were good times - didn't we learn a lot then?

Have a great week!

Susannah said...

Oh my goodness...My words exactly! Things were hard but it really was great. It was so different from today. I think we loved life so much more. But time sure did pass by and here we are with our children grown and now grandchildren. Where did time go? But it is wonderful to look back ans see how my husband and I prospered on our own with lots of hard work.

I loved the pictures of you and your family.


Allie said...

You look about 10 in that first picture, lol! Wow! This post really reminded me of my grandparents - how they never bought a thing they couldn't pay cash for, including cars [my grandpa worked at Ford], they had the tiniest house ever filled to the brim with family and friends and somehow, everyone found a place to sit and smiled about it - they didn't have a lot but they were the richest people I knew. And what they did have, they'd give away in a heartbeat if someone was in need. I met SO many people at my grandfather's funeral - they'd be sobbing, and total strangers to me, but they'd come up and tell me some story about how my grandpa rescued them, gave them food, helped them out. They have always been my heroes. I think most folks today are too soft to be heroes....too much affluence blinds us to the important things and makes us weak. Good post, Val!

Anonymous said...

Valerie...I enjoyed your pictures because they were so much like mine! You are so right about the difference between couples now and then. Now they go and buy everything new right away! Then, we either inherited an old hand me down piece of furniture or we did without. Our table for 2 years was an OLD card table and our two chairs were OLD lawn chairs. We also used my grandmother's bed and mattress for years!!!

Michelle said...

What a great post. I loved seeing pictures. Life is too fast now. There are no 'days off'. If we didn't know what day it was, we wouldn't know which day was Sunday, which is supposed to be the day of rest. Who really does that? The only days we are FORCED to rest, is on Christmas, when all the stores are closed, then it does slow some of us down. How many of us know our neighbors, more than just who they are? When was the last time you borrowed sugar or butter for a recipe from your neighbor? It's too easy to just 'run' to the store in 'one of' our cars.

We are all blessed beyond necessity, but how many of us really know it?

Looking at your children was like looking at pictures of your grandchildren. When I looked at the picture of the kids playing the game, the little girl in the right hand corner reminded me of 'Angel', and your son reminded me of 'Brother'. Can't believe the resemblence!

Be blessed my friend!

Granny said...

This was a great post. I look around today and see teenagers pull $20 bills out of their pocket to pay for something and think to myself that we used to try to buy our weekly groceries for $20. When Grampy and I bought our first house we paid $15,560 for it. I laid awake every night for a month worrying about whether or not we'd be able to make the mortgage payments.

Pat said...

Oh, Val...this is a beautiful post with SO much truth in it. I can really relate to what you said...and the hard times, now that I think about it, were some of the best times. Let's hope 2011 sees more people reflecting on this and younger generations realizing that hard times can build character and make them stronger people throughout the course of life!

Anonymous said...

You are still as beautiful as you were then Val. So many of your memories are similar to mine. It was nice to remember simpler times this a.m.

bettyj said...

What a good post! It brought back so many memories of my own, even to the goat. I truly enjoyed this reflection,
betty, Through My Back Door

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

This is a beautiful post, Valerie. I so loved seeing all the photos and reading your memories. Thank you for sharing. And I agree that things are much too easy for some of us these days. We're a spoiled nation.

Diane said...

Val, that is such a sweet post:) I remember those days well. Brother looks a lot like your son, they are little cuties. I can't beleive how fast our kids grow up and how fast our lives change!

Alice Grace said...

Amazing pictures! I remember how happy Nathan was there, and I remember the goats! One night when I was babysitting for you, Muffin came up to the front door and wanted to come in and it scared me to death! Little did I know that was common for her! All your advice is correct. Great post!

Karen/My Colonial Home said...

Val I have to say you haven't changed one are still the same beautiful lady you were back then as a lovely newlywed and young mother....THANKS FOR SHARING.

dusty&mandy said...

I love this post- it is one of my favorites!!! I can't decide...I think I look like you then. So, crazy but why did you not choose pictures with me included. You were saying these were the good ole this a hint ???:) Loved the pics - keep sending them. Can't wait to see Davis' party pics.

Darla said...

What a great post. I didn't like to wear a shirt when I was a little girl either. Too funny! My parents had blackmail photos of me too.

Needled Mom said...

What a fun time to go back and pull out some of the old pictures. Isn't it amazing when you realize how quickly the time has gone by?

They were hard times, but that is where we grew and learned about life. We know to appreciate the small things and rejoice in little accomplishments.

Happiest of new years to you and your family!

lindsey said...

This is such a great post and I have enjoyed looking through your photo's, I have many similar ones, all about the same date too! yes life was so much simpler but we loved it just the same. Your list of parental advice is perfect and just what I would advise too!

StitchinByTheLake said...

What a fun trip back back in time! And true words. Blessings, Marlene

PEA said...

Such precious memories behind these pictures and yes, I know what you mean when you say you didn't have much and yet had so much. I so often wish we could go back to those simpler times and even though we had to work harder for everything, it felt so good to know that we did it all ourselves. I sympathize with you regarding your little girl crying for the first 9 months of her was the same with my Corey, he had acute colic and cried for the first 5 months of his life. I don't miss that time! lol xoxo

Anonymous said...

This is AMAZING !!! I, too felt as if you were telling our story !Loved the advice....wish I could go back and do some of it more often. The pictures were great, and the message was should have your own web site or at least column in the paper !!! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this...What a Blessing....Kay

Patty Sumner said...

How precious! What a wonderful life you have had with your children. I agree, Life seemed harder but was sooooo good. We have so many more conveniences but life seems so much more complicated. Gotta love the SIMPLE life! Blessings!

Jeannie B. said...

What a wonderful post.

Weren't we all like that?? I don't remember thinking at the time that it was so hard. It was just normal. But thank goodness I didn't have any goats! Just sweet babies!!

Happy New Year!

webbsway said...

I LOVE your pictures! Thank you SO much for sharing. :)
I thought I was the only one that would sneak into their rooms and watch them sleep-it seemed like magic.

I can still hear that ever so gentle breathing and that "quiet time" after they are asleep that lets you count your blessings.:)

Libby said...

Fun pics Val! We had a goat for a pet when I was growing up! Actually we had 2. A boy "Billy" who was very mean and a sweet sweet girl "LuLu" LuLu thought she was a dog! She followed us kids around and rode in the cab of my Daddy's truck with her head hanging out!!!

Jenn said...

Gosh, we still live the way you lived back then. :0) Only we have a dryer! But everything else sounds just like us. LOL
I loved seeing all of your pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Lola said...

I am so sorry that I didn't see this post till now.
Your explanation is exactly what my life coming up was like. Memories are so precious. Nothing can take them away. Sometimes I wish I could go back. A much simpler way of life, so uncomplicated. We were so rich.
I enjoyed your pics also.