When I look back at how far I’ve come I’m amazed and so grateful.

No indoor plumbing, kerosene lamps, no allowance, and it was considered the norm. Everyone I knew was suffering the same circumstances, and we took our situation for granted. We never let being broke stand in our way of reaping joy in our lives. We lived a normal life contrary to the images that may present themselves when “Skyline” is mentioned.
We had birthdays and other parties, hay rides, candy pullings, quilting parties. Anyone who heard there was a party just assumed everybody was invited and came and enjoyed the fun. Think about it. When my parents took advantage of President Roosevelt’s New Deal they were about 19 and 24 years old and farming for my grandfather Lindsay, barely making enough returns to keep from starving. When the federal government presented this opportunity, many young couples grabbed it and held on with both hands. It was a Godsend to my young parents.
Daddy got a job driving a project truck, finally bringing home a salary. They moved to a provisional shack to live in until the project houses were ready. This little shack was not as good as the one they had moved out of, but there was promise of a start. The story of their struggle is a long, tedious one. Hardship and disappointments abounded in their future, but they never gave up and played each hand as it was dealt. Contrary to some of the families that moved to Skyline, they had ambition and were determined to make it. They sold milk, eggs and butter, took in a boarder for $5 a week, rented more land from someone and made what was considered a lot of money that year. They later bought the only house on the mountain that was not a project house. I remember my mother exclaiming, “Oh! It has French doors (to the dining room)!” And it even had a rock terrace off the living room. With that house came three little rent houses, including a little store building.
The people renting the store building got several months behind on their rent, and mother kept hounding them ‘til finally, one of the kids was sent to offer mother a washing machine for the past-due rent, and mother accepted it. After which, the kid was sent back to tell my mom she only paid $40 for it. No matter the cost the old tin washing machine was a God send to us, and it lasted a long time. Later, they bought a grocery store across the road from our house and made a good living there with both my parents working at the hosiery mill.
Today my mind is saturated with so many memories, some good, some sad. My parents worked so hard in the early days but what a lesson I learned from them. If you earn $10, save $5 when you can, and if you want to have better things in the future then don’t spend everything you make now. I look at my life today and marvel at how I got here from “whence I came.”
I bought cow manure for my flower beds recently. I remembered there was a time when I just took my brother’s little red wagon to the barnyard and shoveled up however much I needed. I remember mother’s admonishment as I left the yard, “Be sure you don’t get the wet. Just the dry.” So dry cow paddies it was as I pulled the wagon back to the garden, where it was spread around tomorrow night’s supper (It was still “supper” then! No “dinner.” That was the middle of the day meal).
After all these years I have learned the secret to the good life. There is no such thing as luck, but there are real circumstances that affect your future like: using your common sense, having ambition, setting goals, never losing sight of those goals, never giving up, being willing to sacrifice, thinking of others no matter how little you have (this one is so important).
We must remember the Holy Spirit and honor the significance He has made in our lives. We must be willing to take chances. If you gamble you will find a way to win. I gambled and hit the jackpot. (No brag. Just fact.) For a good life you must put God at the forefront. You must never forget the part He has played in your life. You must be willing to sacrifice. You must remain humble. You must never boast. You must never forget to give thanks daily. You must remember it’s here today but could be gone tomorrow.
You must always be willing to share with those less fortunate than you are. We can all do something. It may not be big, but it is better than nothing. We must be kind and do away with haughtiness toward our brothers and sisters; we must not hold grudges.
We must live a clean and honest life.

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