Zhang Yangjun: Growing up in a Military Compound

2022-05-10 0 By

According the author uniform forces – children – rural labor post my father was born, the sixties to join the army, in the army has experienced 60 s, seventy s and eighty s, during which can mix good people are more willing to bear hardships and stand hard work, good quality, that s atmosphere is positive, does not need to be particularly high culture, are dry, flattery, speculative specializing in a few,Otherwise, I wouldn’t be an officer.Later, as the market economy policy was liberalized, so was the thinking, and both the army and the local people were more or less infected with some bad habits.Her mother and father are from the same village. She is hard-working and kind, simple and uneducated.When my father was still a soldier, he was introduced to someone and betrothed. At that time, there may not have been gifts or tokens of betrothal. Anyway, I never asked.Later, my father did a good job in the army and offered to do it, but my father never thought of giving up my mother. Although my father was excellent in quality, my mother was also kind and simple, a good wife and a loving mother. Anyone who abandoned her would have a lifetime of conscience.During the war, there were also some people who had a small position before and after the victory of the revolution and abandoned their dross wives. I am talking about many veteran cadres and leaders. I think this is very improper.After my mother joined the army with my father, my hard-working and capable character was also displayed. In order to improve our family life, we raised chickens in the family yard to eat eggs.At that time, the army was allowed to raise chickens, just in the designated places and other people’s lines, according to a uniform format.Remember the chicken coop seems to be two layers, above the chickens are raised below the coal pool, chickens live on the second floor.After my mother joined the army, she became a worker, a major change in life from a farmer to a worker. Besides washing clothes, cooking and housework, she also had to feed chickens after work.Everything is so calm, every day goes round and round.At that time, the food for the chickens was vegetables, leaves, chopped cabbage, wheat bran, wheat bran, etc. Every day after we ate dinner, my mother would clean up the leftovers and feed the chickens with soup and feed.At that time to do homework unlike today’s children, Saturday and Sunday also have to work overtime busy tutoring classes, learning expertise, at that time to finish homework to play.At the weekend dinner, my mother said that the chickens were not enough to eat the leaves we picked, and that they had to be fed to lay more eggs.Then said to us two brothers, tomorrow Sunday you two have nothing to do to the company canteen garbage pool to see if there is no discarded vegetable leaves, pick up some vegetable leaves back, so also can save a little.The canteens of all the companies are located in the southwest corner of the camp area, which is probably under centralized management for fear of lampblack.Outside the high wall near the canteen is the shooting range on the south side. There is a lot of dirt on the side near the camp area, so there is a slope. From this side, you can climb up the high wall and look into the shooting range.The next day my brothers and I went to the company canteen with a basket by the garbage pool. We arrived a little early, and the army had not yet started cooking.My brother and I played and waited.An uncle in the cooking class saw our basket and understood what we wanted to do, so he said to us, let’s make an exchange, you two help us choose vegetables, here all belong to you, can you see it?My brother looked at me, and I nodded to my uncle to seal the deal.Uncle brought over a big bag of radish on the ground, radish is the kind of big green radish we usually eat, the original company have their own vegetable field, is their company now eat now plane, all with radish, some also with fresh soil.Uncle let us a person moved a small horse around the radish sat down, he also moved a horse sat down, he said to our brothers, you at home to choose vegetables?My brother and I shook our heads and said no.He said, that you see mine, he said while taking a turnip, “some vegetables are to eat the root, some vegetables are to eat the leaf, the turnip first go to the soil above, and then seize the turnip and the leaf of the joint turn around, hard to twist the leaf off” he asked, “you two understand?”My brother and I can see, and then he led me and my brother one by one to twist off the leaves, put the radish apart on the side, although I and my brother’s hand twist raw pain, but my brother and I see we can have so many radish leaves will belong to us, we can do with the strength.Soon we had a pile of leaves.Such as the radish are finished, an uncle and hold over a push of vegetables, forget what vegetables, anyway, spinach, small rape leafy greens, uncle was inside the people called in, the house only my brother and I.I said, “we don’t wait for uncle, let’s do it quickly, take all these leaves away” in a short time to screw down a small pile, just as we were doing vigorously, listen to uncle walking from the back room while waving his hand to us shout “ah, ah, ah, don’t, don’t…”My brother and I were taken aback, wondering what we had done wrong.Uncle said, “Just didn’t teach you, you are too ruthless, you twist too ruthless.” My brother and I only left a little vegetable leaves for the public, the stem, that is, the vegetable help is twisted down from the middle to it.”Didn’t you say you eat leaves?”I whispered, “You’re wasting your time. Here, I’ll teach you.”My uncle was a little worried, but he didn’t lose his temper.My uncle took a leafy green and said to us, “This leafy green is a little more complicated than the radish.”Said he choose under a yellow watch us, spinach and celery, should first remove the dish and sediment, and see if you get rotten leaves, yellow leaves, moth of leaves, and then one splitting down along a first put good, so good when they are washed wash, cut, if celery, in addition to yellow bad also to choose all the lettuce leaves alone down and leaves are also useful.We were busy for a while, full of harvest went home, home was praised by my mother.My brother and I have a sense of accomplishment.When my brother and I were free, we went to the company canteen to help choose dishes. Later, after the children heard about it, someone joined our team.Later, the commander of the army knew that, for fear of causing unnecessary trouble, he did not allow children to help in the kitchen.Since then, we have cut off the “road to wealth”.I was in second grade and my brother wasn’t in school yet.In the early 1980s, pork, grain, bicycles, sewing machines, television sets were all supplied by ticket. So was coal. In addition to black coal, we used to burn briquettes at home.At that time, the economy was relatively difficult. Burning briquettes was more economical and energy saving. In the cold winter, as long as the stove was not extinguished, even if the stove was sealed, there was always warm water to use.Convenient, seal the stove in the evening and open the door the next day, adjust the hole of the briquettes, the fire is relatively prosperous in a few minutes, and can cook at any time.My mother would make a stew of pork fat leftover from oil refining and cabbage and bean curd vermicillae, which was delicious at that time.On this day, my father bought a truck of pulverized coal in the workers’ new village of Baima Mountain and unloaded it on the vacant lot in front of our building. He came back to make briquettes by himself. His mother helped him while I played with my brother.Ready for honeycomb briquet, after my father wearing boots among a pile of coal from digging den fall into a bucket of water, such as the water seepage around a similar, and continue to add water, until the proportion of water and coal slime just not thick not thin, not soft not hard rolling repeatedly with his shovel and evenly, then borrowed manual honeycomb briquet machine can come in handy,Press hard on the slime with the briquette machine.Let the slime fill the inside mold, and then in the clean space with a push rod to press down, as soon as the briquette is released, a formed briquette is pushed out, and then dip into the water to prevent the next briquette from sticking to the mold, and then carry on the next one, and finally one by one are neatly placed on the ground to dry.Doing briquettes is not only a technical work, but also a physical work.My parents took turns at making briquettes, where they took a break cleaning slime with shovels.When they did half of the time, my father said to me, “Come, you have a try”, I was very happy to accept the task, although the height was not tall enough, strength is not so big, but to see each of the original slime after adults processing into briquettes can not say happy.I did for a while, my brother looked at me by the vigorous also greedy, he also wanted to do, I do not give him, his mother also said to him, go, don’t make trouble, he was in a hurry to the side.The briquettes were wet, and he poked them with his finger, and a corner collapsed.There is no way to say that after a while also let him processing, also let him try, he was stable down.When almost finished, he also tried his skill, to see us to help adults do the briquettes, our brothers are unique sense of achievement.When it is dry and placed, my brother proposes to store us in a separate place. When it burns the briquettes we both do, we are both very excited. When we see our neighbors and friends, we say “today we burn the briquettes I do, and today we burn the briquettes I do…The author photo