Little Black Salamanders

Grandma Grace and Grandpa Harry

I’m originally from a small town in Indiana called Knox. We would spend a great deal of time at my grandma and grandpas house in Grovertown. Which is just over a bridge from Knox.

We didn’t have power or indoor plumbing. My grandma and grandpa lived in a one room small house. There was a lot going on with my parents, so we were there most of the time. There was nothing fancy about the house. We had a wood burning stove and we cooked on a wood burning oven and stove top. Since there was no indoor plumbing we had an outhouse.

Since I grew up in that kind of atmosphere, we had to entertain ourselves. I was always getting myself into some kind of trouble. I did have an awesome sidekick though. My cousin lived just around the corner and we hung out most of the time.

223a80d03d07307b737a01e1542903bbThere are a couple things I remember as if it was yesterday. Here are just a couple of adventures we had. Salamanders were pretty cool. There were these little black slimy kind of Salamanders. My cousin and I would see who could catch the most. I had them in pockets, shirts and just about anyplace I could hide them at so they didn’t get away from me.

One day I got the bright idea to store my salamanders in a horse trough. My grandma Grace had horses, pigs, goats, chickens and just about any other kind of farm animal. Instead of holding onto all my salamanders and risk squishing them. I would fill my pockets and such and then take them to the horse trough and put them in there for safe hiding. Little did I know that the salamanders would go hiding in there. I would say I had about 50 of them. I couldn’t count them, but I knew I had a lot of them.

My grandma went out to get some grain for the animals and out popped these little heads. She screamed and was not impressed. My grandma knew it was me and I got into trouble. Grandma Grace was German and she had a temper. You knew you were in trouble if she starting yelling in German and her boots in hand, lol. She wasn’t seeing these salamanders the same way I was. I had to go get all of them out, and that was not an easy task since they would sink into the grain. I never did that again. Well, I caught them, but didn’t put them in the grain, lol.

Then, there was this legend. Not sure if it was true or not. Just down the street there was a small bridge that I would have to walk over to go see Raelene. The legend was that someone was shot and they buried his body under the bridge. In June of each year, the man buried there would come back and walk up and down the street. Many said they seen him, but I never did.

My cousin and I decided one day that we were going to go try to find the bones of who was buried there. I would never dream of doing that now, but it was an adventure and we went and looked. We never did find anything there though. It was kinda freaky. Every-time we heard something, it would scare us. Imaginations run wild when you are trying to dig up dead peoples bones, lol.

Grandma’s house. There were 7 people at times sleeping in this little house, depending on if we all were there or just some of us kids. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother.

My fondest memories are from Indiana and living at my grandparents house. To most people we must have been like little mopy kids. We didn’t have the best cloths. We dug around in mud and played with whatever we could. We made swords out of sticks and would see if we could find bad guys in the forests. We took baths in the middle of the living room in big steel buckets. In the summer we took our baths outside with someone holding something up so others couldn’t see us taking a bath.

I can honestly say, i can understand how people lived back in the western days. That’s how my grandparents lived and that’s how we did. When I watch Little House on the Prairie, that is a reminder of how I grew up. Or at least lived until I was 10 yrs old and we moved to Arizona after my grandma died. My parents had all the luxuries of electricity, indoor plumbing and so on. But my grandparents never did. I think I prefer the way my grandparents lived. It was simple and we weren’t so caught up in worldly things. There isn’t much from my childhood that I remember, I have blocked most of it out because of how my life was as a child. Grandma made life better. She let us be kids. She had no money, but she still made sure we had what we needed.

Even though I only lived in Indiana as a child. I was born there and I will always think of Indiana as home. I think that is because most of the good memories as a child was from there. My grandma was a Sunday School teacher and she is the one who began to lay the foundation of my belief in Christ. She was a giving person and never expected anything in return. As long as you keep salamanders out of the grain bins, life was good, lol.