I had no idea of the financial struggles that my parents faced. All I knew was that my Daddy was only a couple hundred feet away, all day long, if I ever needed him. I realize now how rare a gift that is. I had no idea of the worries that my Mom gave to Jesus every day. All I knew was that she was there, baking bread from scratch and shaking "snow" (sugar) onto our Cream of Wheat in the mornings.
Not many people have their parents there, loving them, almost every single day of their young lives. It isn't usually practical or possible for both parents to be at home, and thats fine. Sure, we were dirt poor, (see photo) but we never went hungry and we had an eight-acre Eden, all our own, in which to play.
My dad helped my brothers dig a Dirt Hide-out in the side of a hill complete with a dirt stairway and a slide for a quick getaway. We had an abundant supply of summer blackberries and a creek that made for hours of childhood bliss. My brothers and I would tromp through the woods all day long, pretending to be on grand adventures. My poor Barbies usually ended up with dirt and twigs in their hair after trouping through the great outdoors. If my Mom ever needed us, she would ring a big iron bell.
Most importantly, we had our Mama and Daddy there, loving us unconditionally. Singing us to sleep every night and teaching us that "... our dear Heavenly Father, He loves us and He's holding us safe in His arms..." (from a lullaby that Daddy sang).
I realize that my family and childhood is far from perfect - no one's is. I'm just really thankful for the one that God gave to my brothers and me.
The picture was taken by a newspaper that wrote a story about my Dad's business. Whenever my Mom sees this picture, she says "Oooooooh, wow... we look like refugees!!" I look like someone just woke me up from a nap. I still make that face when Jim wakes me up.