I just got off a blog that is listed on Darilyn's blog, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, or something of the sort. It really made me think about growing up in Ocotillo. I feel so lucky to have grown up on a family farm. This photo is actually a part of the old colored school that was used before our family bought the farm. These buildings were torn down a few years ago and I felt the need to personally document them before that happened. They were back behind the Lewis' house. We never did play in these buildings when I was a kid. I kind of think that someone might have been living in them. There was one building back behind the barn though that we loved to play in. We always said it was haunted and dared each other to go in. When they tore that one down, we would still play on the foundation and claim that it was still haunted. Behind the barn was one of my very favorite places to play. I loved to climb up the cattle loading ramp and play in the shute where they would put the horses when they needed shots. We would climb up to the top of the hay pile. It was all the way to the top of the barn. My big brothers would dare eachother to jump off from higher and higher points. Once we even played with some firecrackers back there so that Mom and Dad wouldn't hear us. How stupid were we? Let's go play with firecrackers by the hay in Arizona! Luckily, nothing happened.
We really loved cotton season. For some reason, it was fun to even pick a few pieces of cotton to play with. What we really loved was to play in the cotton trailers. This was a rare treat. It apparently isn't really good for raw cotton to have children burrowing in it. More often, we would play on the piles of cotton seed. The cotton gin was across the street and the canal. The lot behind the gin would have rows of cotton seed stacked, oh gosh, I don't know, maybe 8 or 10 feet high, but I was a kid, so who knows? We loved to dig tunnels in the cotton. This was not as easy in the seed. Still possible, but tunnels were more likely to collapse. I can't even imagine when my kids would have time to do all of this! Sad. It had to have been late fall, because that is when the cotton is ready.
This leads me to playing in the canal and the ditches. We loved when Bobby would get out his blow-up raft and go from one bridge to the next in it. This was really pretty dangerous and Mom and Dad would get mad at us, but it was worth it. The ditches were not as fun, but still pretty good. The only good thing about getting up on a cold winter morning for school was those days when the ditch was frozen over. The conditions had to be perfect. Just about 3 or 4 inches of water in the bottom of the ditch, otherwise the water would run to fast to freeze for our little Arizona cold weather. The top would just freeze over and you could always break it with your shoe, so fun. These were often the foggy days, when the fog would come up off the canal. This was about as "winter" as we would ever get.
I think I'll save some memories for another day.
Tomorrow Sonny goes in for "surgery" and I have to get up early to take him in to Uncle Keith.