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How Times Have Changed
Ronda Rich
When I was growing up in the rural South, things were simple. Life was enjoyable and, though we didn’t know it then, we savored those days. Mama and Daddy got two bills a month at home and two bills at Daddy’s garage – telephone and power. After I graduated from college, the city ran water lines out to the country and urged folks who used wells to sign on for water. If you signed on while the lines were being laid, there was no charge for hooking up or a deposit. Daddy’s cousin, Gurley Satterfield, ran the water department and urged Daddy to sign on. This was back in the days when well water could be troublesome. If the water froze in the winter, the pump had to be primed. Occasionally, a varmint fell in the well which could be the worst kind of problem. Daddy took the offer – it’s always been hard for my people to turn down anything that’s free – so the number of their bills increased to three. Yearly bills for insurance and property taxes came and the only other bills that arrived was a veterinarian charge for a cow that got down or a part required to fix the Ford tractor which was sturdy and rarely required fixing. We grew our vegetables, beef and pork (and dairy, when I was young) so groceries were bought twice monthly – flour, cornmeal, eggs, and milk.