Reminiscing about my hometown before Jiazi, I still feel sad

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Written in the front: In the last issue, I wrote about going to Yongchuan Honglu to play in the water ( Yongchuan Honglu: a good place to see the “sea” in late summer ), and the temperature quickly cooled down. However, when I received submissions from the most loyal fans of the “Chopsticks Little Hands” public account, my love for my hometown, Honglu Town, swept over me like a heat wave.

When he came as a young man, Jiaziweng returned, and he was surprised when he came, and he was a man in Nanke’s dream. Everything that happened sixty years ago seems to be just yesterday, and all that has changed is water and time.

There is a rural town in Yongchuan District of Chongqing City – Honglu Town, a branch road located next to the Chengdu-Chongqing Highway. Because it is so inconspicuous, you may not be able to find it on a lower-precision map, but it is a place that haunts me.

Photo courtesy: Ming Yu

From the family genealogy, we can see that my ancestors moved from Yongzhou in Hunan to what is now Honglu Town, which was still a barbaric land during the great migration period of Huguang and Sichuan. As a gift from nature, this place has been rich in coal a long time ago. It is said that “just dig a hole on the mountainside, find people in it, and what comes out is coal.” The recorded coal production plant originated as the “Sihe Plant” and was invested and built by four families as shareholders.

With coal, hard steel will become as tender as water. Coal provides the basic energy guarantee for the rise of blacksmiths. In the early days of farming, the most primitive tool was iron. Blacksmith workshops became the hottest business in the area, and a small gathering of blacksmith workshops gradually formed. Because there are red stoves next to each other and the rows of thick smoke rising, it has a special name – the stove. Then, with the blacksmith as the center, a market gradually formed.

Photo courtesy: Ming Yu

However, there is still a 5 or 6-mile walk to Hongluchang in my ancestral home, and all supplies have to be carried in and out by shoulder to shoulder. On the day before going to the market, every family is planning to exchange some things at home for some money, and then use the money to buy some things they need.

The bulk commodities are farm tools, such as baskets, baskets, plowshares… Not every household can have these products. Only someone in the family who knows this craft can produce such products. The fish and shrimps in the fields are free to obtain. The night before going to the market, put a fishing net under the water outlet of the field and put it away the next day. No matter whether it is fish, shrimp, loach or eel, go directly to the market. We could make money by selling them in the market, and my uncle often took us to play with them when we were young.

For families with neither skills nor labor, their own plots are the last resort. Picking any seasonal vegetables that are ripe can be used as a reason to go to the market. There are also people who are sneaky and sneaky. When they go to the market, they will look at which house has chickens and ducks in front and behind them, and they will figure out when to start.

Anyone who works hard at home will always have pocket money. I haven’t warmed up the money yet, so I immediately bought the daily necessities before going to the next market, such as salt, soybean oil, and vinegar. Before the busy farming season, I need to prepare the necessary farm tools, and before the holidays, I need to prepare some for the grand New Year. New Year’s goods.

When I was a child, I returned to my ancestral home in my hometown. Although the appearance was still dilapidated, having such a house in this remote place in the countryside seemed very luxurious to me when I was young. I remember that there are still those old people who live in shacks built in caves under the mountain. Every evening, smoke still floats from the shacks. I don’t know how many people live here, and I don’t know how many generations have lived here.

Photo courtesy: Ming Yu

When asked about the elderly people in the family, why they chose to settle in a desolate and sparsely populated place? It turned out that they wanted to avoid war disasters and stay away from the main roads to avoid being harassed by soldiers. In addition, the fertile land had already been cultivated by those who had come earlier, and they had no choice but to settle here.

It is no problem to have food and clothing for all seasons through hard work. After several generations of hard work, the ancestral house I saw was built in front of me. At that time, it could be regarded as a “splendid” mansion. Later, when we had our own fields, we had to ask for help during the busy farming season so that we could finish sowing the year’s hope in time. Perhaps this was the most primitive form of mutual assistance and cooperation.

Such a simple method of mutual benefit actually allowed my family to have a middle peasant when we were evaluating family composition during the liberation period. Later, when I grew up, I realized that I was very lucky that I did not become the son of a landlord, a rich man, a rebel, or a bad boy. Many families live frugally throughout the year, and start eating porridge with three meals a day after harvesting the rice. When there is still surplus food in the coming year, they can sell it at a good price during the lean months when the harvest is not harvested. There are only a few rice porridge in a year. On festival days, you can eat dry rice. Once you have money on hand, you can buy land, and eventually you will become a landlord and a rich farmer. Fortunately.

With the construction of the country, remote rural areas have still received the dividends of the times. Coal provided a bridge to the renaissance of my hometown. As the son of a middle peasant, my father came to the coal mine that was just starting to be built, taking the first step out of farming.

Photo courtesy: Ming Yu

Later, there was my mother, then there was me, and then there was my brother. Wulong Bridge in Honglu Town is a place name that I will never forget. It is a meeting point on a small railway in a mining area and several adobe houses. It is the home where my parents started and where I was born.

Although my memory is blank except for the name of Wulong Bridge. After ten years of struggle, my father witnessed the rise and fall of the mine. Nowadays, the mines are still there, but coal has withdrawn from the stage. My father has passed away, but I look forward to visiting the place where I was born every year.

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