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Chuck Hinman: IJMA. Mealtime When I Was A Kid

Chuck Hinman: Mealtime When I Was A Kid. Chuck felt like he was in 'hog heaven' if it was his day to sit in Daddy's lap.
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - The Wild Strawberry Patch (Among My Souvenirs)

By Chuck Hinman

Mealtime When I Was A Kid

When I was a little boy growing up on the farm near Liberty, Nebraska, our family consisted of five: Dad, Mom, brother Bob - two years older -, and sister Joy Ann - five years younger - than me.

A permanent mealtime seating arrangement

At mealtime we gathered around the round kitchen table. It was covered with a white oil-cloth table covering. It was not pretty but it was perfect for a young rambunctious family, a family where two brothers fought for who got first dibs on putting their feet on the pedestal table legs at EVERY meal! A table where there was a permanent, cast in concrete, seating arrangement based on when you entered the family. It was a birthright and no one dared sit in your place! You may have to engage in fisticuffs to claim your seat, but so be it!

Starting the day with a 'stick to your ribs' meal

Mom served a hearty meal at breakfast-time, consisting of oatmeal, bacon and eggs, homemade bread toast, homemade jam or jelly 'du jour,' a large glass of milk, etc. Her motto was to begin the day with a meal that would 'stick to your ribs' and in my case, everywhere else!

Most food produced right there on the farm

Most of the food at any meal was produced right there on the farm, and even though times may have been economically perilous, you wouldn't have known it from the fare served-up at mealtime. Mealtime was a joyous, noisy time with just a few mostly unseen skirmishes under the table, a battle for the table legs, thrown in, making us an average healthy, young Nebraska farm family.

A 'larruping' good treat to finish off breakfast

After Dad finished eating a large breakfast, he capped it off by putting a thick slice of home-made bread toast on his plate. Then he poured his last cup of hot coffee over the toast but not before he added some cream so that little kids could enjoy it without too much caffeine entering their little bodies. Then he sprinkled a generous portion of sugar on all that to make it 'larruping' good for his little cowboys and cowgirl who were about to be invited to sit on his lap and join him in eating the coffee-soaked toast. Oh, Lord, I felt like I was in 'hog heaven' if this was my day to sit in Daddy's lap!

Chilled by false teeth at close range

My memory included Dad chilling us to the bone as we sat in his lap, by protruding both sets of his false teeth at us at close range! It makes me shake, rattle, and roll even now as I picture that!

Even though I had grown to expect this horseplay, I could hardly wait for him to scare the 'bijimminies' out of this wiggly little tyke, screaming for him to do it again, daddy!

Remembering happy family times

Tears shroud my eyes right now as I remember these precious happy family times! Dad has been gone for many years. If living, he would be 112 years old. I am 83.

What a treat it was a few days ago when the Lord gave me this unexpected vignette from my early childhood as I gently rummaged among my souvenirs and found this gem!

Do it again, heavenly Father! I loved it!

Editorial Note: Chuck Hinman was one of three siblings born to Ina Merle (Mouser) and Arley Ray Hinman in rural Liberty, Nebraska, on January 19, 1922. He grew up on the family farm during the Great Depression with his brother Robert 'Bob' and his sister Joy Ann 'Jody.' He left us Thursday December 15, 2011.

Written by Chuck Hinman, 2005. Emailed Wednesday, 16 September 2009

This story was posted on 2013-06-09 04:57:53
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