Remembering Sunday Naps In The Wagon

Courtesy of Sheila Pool via Sun City Roseville Photo Gallery

Courtesy of Sheila Pool via Sun City Roseville Photo Gallery

Isn’t it fun to take the good memories and pull them out every now and then just to think about them for a while? But, isn’t it even MORE fun to share your memories with others?

Just last night, I was telling two of my grandsons a story, when Colten stopped laughing long enough to say, “You just can’t make this stuff up!” before he continued to laugh at a completely ridiculous and completely true story I was telling them of something that had happened to me.

By sharing it together, that story has now become a family memory, just one of the millions that draws us all together.

We do the same thing every week right here on Texans United when we take the memories of someone else and share them with you. This week, Sheila Kee Pool from Gilmer, Texas shared one of her husband’s memories with us, a memory of a very different time…


Back when everyone still drove a wagon to town and to church, life was much slower, and Sundays were no exception. After ‘Sunday meetin’ there would be ‘dinner on the ground.” Each family would bring a main dish or a side plus a dessert.

It would make a mouth water to think of all that food. There would be fried chicken, roast, meat loaf, ham, fried rabbit, squirrel and dumplings, and much more. Lots of potato salad, creamed potatoes, two or three pots of beans with good ham hock, blackeyed peas, sweet potatoes, pea salad…..just plain yummy.

And the desserts….oh, my…sweet potato pie, buttermilk pie, lemon crèam pie, chocolate cake with thick chocolate icing, chocolate cream pie, coconut cream pie, lemon chess pie, coconut cake and much more.

The children were usually running wild after church was over and could hardly contain themselves long enough to eat. Then gradually, after quite a few tag games, hide ‘n seek, and more, they would begin to wind down. A lot of the children would grab another bite to eat and maybe go sit under the shade of a nice tree.

The smaller children were so tired and would eventually go to sleep. Mothers would place their precious tots in the wagon beds to take a nap. Every wagon would have at least two or more children in it.

Then, the women would go sit under a shade tree to sew, crochet or embroider, and talk about their families. They had all been so busy serving food and watching kids that sometimes they had not eaten until the children were put down for that nap.

In the meantime, the men would begin to gather under another shade tree, a lot of them rolling a cigarette and some lighting a pipe… talk about the weather, of course.

After about two hours of eating and visiting, all the pots, pans, and children would be placed in the wagons, along with those already sleeping. Some very tired families would then head toward home, which was a leisurely drive at an average of five miles per hour, and some lived ten miles away.

Upon arriving home, those not asleep would be enlisted to empty all the belongings from the wagons. The little sleeping angels would be the last to be removed from the wagon.

As the dads gave them to the mothers who gave their babies sweet little kisses…..screams could be heard far and wide as earlier in the day, some of the young men had traded out the younguns…..putting the Smith baby in the Young wagon, the Young baby in the Jones wagon, and on down the line!

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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2 Responses to Remembering Sunday Naps In The Wagon

  1. missy jones says:

    Fredda, I am happy that someone made a mention of “swapping” kids for someone else’s. My Mother and Daddy told this, and I am sure that it is true. After one of these long protracted meetings (revivals), where some times people took their milk cow and loaded up the wagon and stayed a week or more. Anyway, the parents would put the kids to sleep in the wagon while they finished out the sermons, and one night, some boys moved this families kids to another wagon and so on. the parents came out, saw their kids still sleeping and headed for home. Lo and behold, when they got home, that wasn’t their kids, but their neighbors. Seems like the parents spent all night and maybe longer before they found their own children.
    Also, my Mother told this. Before she married in 1912, she and her parents and two younger sisters, Fannie and Myrtle would attend revivals at Board Church. Mama said her mother would take a quilt or two and put them down behind the bench where they were sitting under the tabernacle. And, that tabernacle is still standing at Board Church. It has had new roofs, but the bones are original. What a memory that my Mother shared.

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