We lived in Bremen, Georgia for a short four years when I was a kid. I was four years old when we moved there. I have blogged about the house before. My paternal grandparents purchased and moved into it when we moved. They lived there the rest of my childhood and all of my adulthood. So the house holds many special memories for me. The house sat on five acres and was across the street from railroad tracks. Back in the 70's there wasn't anything close but Interstate 20, a Holiday Inn and tank farms. My parents also owned some land down the road on which they grew corn. My mother would take me into "town" to shop. There was a children's store in downtown Bremen that the Tarpleys owned. That's where she bought my clothes. When I decided I wanted to take piano lessons she had to drive me to Carrollton which was the next town over. When I decided I wanted to take gymnastics she drove me to Carrollton. We went to the drive-in movies in Carrollton. I saw Grease at that drive-in. Pretty much if we wanted to do anything we drove to Carrollton. Just on the other side of downtown Bremen there was a hotel named Green Acres that served the best fried chicken. My mother loved to eat there. I know the hotel is still there but that's all I really know about the place now. I drove through Bremen not that terribly long ago and while a lot has changed a lot has stayed the same.
Summers in Bremen were long and hot. But we lived on a foothill so there was always a breeze. I would swing and play while daddy was at work. In the evenings my little brother (who was born after we moved there in 1976) and I would play in the dirt while mother and daddy would tend their garden. We would get so dirty that mother wouldn't let us go in the house. And, because we literally lived in the middle of nowhere she would bathe us in the backyard. She would grab a bar of soap, shampoo and the water hose. All the bath time necessities! Oh, life in the country. Mother loved to work in the yard. I remember she would get on the riding lawn mower and use a towel or a twin sheet to wrap my brother around her so he could sleep while she cut grass. Who knew her make shift baby wrap would be fashion today!?!
My parents would have a big hay ride in the Fall. The festivities would last all weekend. Friends and family would come from everywhere. There would be campers in our front yard and people in the house. The more the merrier. My mother was the best hostess. She would cook and make everyone feel at home. Daddy had a long flatbed trailer he would put the hay on and everyone would pile on and he would pull us to the property they owned down the road. That was back in the day when living on a country road meant you could ride in the back of a pickup or on a trailer without worry. Once we would get to the property, the men would build a huge bonfire. The women would pull out food. Everyone would eat and at some point in the night the guitars would come out and the singing would start.
Christmas there was always magical. Our house was very old so it had 14 foot ceilings. Mother always got a 12 foot tree for the den. While 12 feet is tall by any standard to a little kid it is absolutely enormous. On Christmas morning I always woke up to the smell of breakfast cooking and sounds of music playing. Not Christmas music though. It was either Captain and Tennille, The Statler Brothers, Sam Cooke or some other (what we call Oldies now) artist my mother liked. If I close my eyes I can see her in her favorite night gown standing at the stove.