Some of my best childhood memories were created on the Willow Creek Ranch at Fairfield, ID. It was a wonderful place full of such good times. We worked for the Everett Coates family. I should say Dad worked for them. We simply loved life there. Their daughter, Linda, was a little older than my sister, Pat, and their son, David, was a little younger than me We spent a lot of time together.
David and I had a whole little town we built out behind the shed in the dirt. We used old Log Cabin syrup cans for the houses. It didn’t come in plastic bottles like it does now. Back then it came in tin cans shaped like a log cabin. They had a chimney, and you could see the fire burning in the fireplace through the window. We had dirt streets that we made to drive our trucks and cars on. I have to say, it was pretty cool!
I remember once David and I found Pat and Linda giggling in our tree house. It was a big old poplar tree. We didn’t actually have a tree house built-in it, it just had these big natural spaces where the branches “branched out”. It had a couple of stories in it, where there was enough room for us to sit in.
Pat and Linda were eating something that looked kinda like pudding. They wouldn’t tell us what it was. Finally, after much badgering, they let us have a taste. It was pretty good, and we knew it was something they had snuck from somewhere; something they weren’t supposed to have. That somehow made it taste much better than it really was, and we wanted in on it. They wouldn’t tell us what it was. They wouldn’t give us any more. When we threatened to tell on them, they told us what it was, and that we would have to get our own. They told us we had to sneak into Coates’ big walk in pantry. We got a bowl, put some flour in it, added water, and mixed it real good, just like they said.
The problem was, it didn’t taste so good! We knew we had been had, but we couldn’t tell on them now, because we were guilty also. It wasn’t until a long time later that Pat told me what they were eating was a cake mix! They ate an entire bowl of it! The thought of eating a whole bowl of cake batter now, doesn’t sound much better than the flour and water! Kids!
Everett played the guitar and summer evenings often found us in their front yard. Us kids used to jitterbug on their side-walk while he played. I can remember Mom and Dad dancing sometimes too, and Dad singing along with Everett.
Oh, how I miss those simple, carefree days! I am so glad I have those memories to lighten up my world when things seem a little dark. Memories are a good thing.