When I was growing up there was an old saying used in reference to people who were being tossed around a bit by life. “They’ve been pillow to post” Mama would say. Usually the poor soul in question was down on their luck, living with friends or family being unable to make it on their own at that time.

I’ve been pillow to post many times in my life. Right now I’m in a “pillow” stage, with a home and my own bed to sleep in. But I can sure remember those posts. I “went home to Mama” so many times in my first marriage that she almost had a revolving door installed. It seemed like I always managed to come back with another child as well. Mama and Daddy always had room for just one more though, and we all survived those days in their little country home.

Finally Daddy gave me an acre of land next door and with the addition of a mobile home it let me be close enough for them to help when needed (read that most of the time) and yet live on my own.

I raised 5 children there; the four I gave birth to and the one to which I was married. It was a crazy life. It was a life guaranteed to produce the many stories that we all use to entertain our friends with now-a-days. It was never boring.

Over the years we grew to call Hell’s little acre “Red Dirt Hill”. My daughter writes about it in her blog when she has time. We all left there over the years. Well, almost all, my ex-husband still lives there. It will be his home until he goes to a better place.

Red Dirt Hill was a pillow, but it was thin and worn and not very comfortable to sleep on. But when you are poor, a worn pillow is better than none at all.

That piece of land had long ago been an Indian campsite. Evidence of their occupation continues to surface to this day. After that it became my grandmother’s then Daddy’s, and finally mine. For many years it was a cotton field. The result to the Hill was that the land was extremely poor. All it would grow was red dirt and dust, with some small rocks and many pebbles thrown in for good measure. We all experienced walking barefoot across that hot, dry yard and watching the dust squirt from between our toes.

Life at the pillow that was more like a post was hard. We carried water, used an outhouse, washed at the coin operated laundry, and gladly took hand-me-down clothing from whoever had it to give away. We cut trees and dragged them to the house to saw up for fire wood. In the 20th Century we lived a life similar to those lived by pioneers.

It made us a little flaky. It made us very independent. It made us stubborn. It made us resilient. It made us who we are today.

Against all odds, the children of Red Dirt Hill (myself included), grew up and survived to tell the tale. Maybe we will write a book someday. Maybe we will tell it in our blogs. Maybe we will just whisper it into our pillows.

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