Nostalgia

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Rocky Comfort, Missouri, 64861.

The word nostalgia means homesickness, or a yearning for former things and places, in short it is a memory of the past, and the older we are the more noticeable it becomes.

There are many people around older than I am. However I was born in the 19th century and I have many memories.

The young live for the future, the middle-aged live for the present but most older folks live for the past. These memories become their greatest possession and what a wonderful thing that the 'Good Lord' has blessed us with, this ability to retain these memories and even more so in our life time; more than any other equal time in History.

I have noticed one common denominator in all of this, the person having overcome the greatest obstacles and hardships seem to have the richest memories.

Persons having been born as the saying goes with a silver spoon in their mouth, having plenty, and few hardships feel that they have few memories worthwhile for they have not had to join the fight for survival, using some hidden talents, and improvise to meet the challenge of the more primitive times and conditions. To some extent I pity that person who has always had plenty, for to me he was denied the chance to fully develop a fine list of memories.

Many of these memories are relatively simple, such as feeding calves and pigs, walking a few miles to the one room school, shucking corn for the stock, walking barefooted behind a plow, but as with most people my greatest memory is of the steam traction engines thresher, and sawmill. I grew up with these, and they ended several years ago. I still have a vivid memory of this part of my life and keep it revived by making a few visits to the reunions.

I am not financially able to own any of these things, but do enjoy watching them, and for the next best thing, I have recently made a wood model of a Case engine and separator. To relive some of these older customs, induced by the gas shortage, I have attached a swinging arm to my fireplace, and cook many things over the fire in a heavy iron pot. It could be partly imagination but it seems that the beans, pot roasts are more delicious cooked in this manner, yum, yum, good, and I now realize that perhaps grandpa was not so bad off after all.

For some reason it seems that we can remember our early life better than we can the present. We might go to the store and forget the bacon, but if it is something that happened sixty or seventy years ago, well that is different.

This brings to mind something I heard. These two old timers were talking, and one of them was heard to say; there are two things that happens when we get old, one was that we do not remember as well as we used to, but he forgot what the other thing was, but we are like the evolutionist, we can always pick it up if we go far enough back in time.