When we were little we lived over twenty miles from the closest town. We’d only leave home on Sunday for Church and Wednesday for music lessons as well as our kid’s group at the Baptist Church. Needless to say, when our school work was over we had several favorite places we’d slip away to play, one being the old tack shed that sat on the hill. It was the best set up a kid could ever imagine. There was an old grain bin that the mice called home, therefore my parents left it empty. So we’d lay old saddle pads down and create two beds. Up in the rafters was an old slab of wood, naturally this was the bed of another kid. I don’t remember them all but each was perfect for our imaginations. My two oldest sisters were the mom and dad. They had to be because they were the oldest. I always chose Jake for my name because I thought it fit my personality much better than the one my parents had given me. The old tack shed was fenced in along with a couple of acres. This was another benefit; we’d keep Cocoa, Murray or Tom in the little pen with us so that our old west setting could be complete.
There’s one memory of playing in the old tack shed that will forever stay with me. You see, since we thought we were in the 1800’s, my sister told us we had to bathe in the big, round cattle tank beside the shed. We’d strip down and hang our clothes on the fence, and then we’d climb in the water. It was more fun than anything, splashing and diving and making up games, until the day my mom’s friend and her family pulled into the drive. All of the other kids were big enough to jump out of the tank and grab their clothes. With excitement, they ran to the house to greet our visitors. Now, imagine this scene for a second. I was a very little girl and couldn’t get out of the tall sided tank by myself (trust me I tried multiple times!) and my clothes were hanging on the fence a good 10 yards from where I was stuck. I don’t exactly recall how I got out of my predicament but I must have eventually.
I still wonder if my siblings meant to leave me stranded in the tank or if they sincerely got caught up in the moment and ran to the house without thinking. Anyway, through the good and bad, us kids, those horses and our dog JJ sure did have fun when we’d step into the old tack shed and turn the hands of time back 100 years.