The Salt Cedar Switch

I scarcely ever see a salt cedar tree anymore. As a small child there was one growing off the edge of the sleeping porch at my grandparents house. In fact that’s about the only one I ever remember.

I saw one a while back down along the river by the lower end of The Santa Elena Canyon at Big Bend. It made me remember why I was so well behaved as a youngun. Just the threat of “Ronnie Gene do I need to go cut a switch off that salt cedar” would get me in line.

West Texas Salt Cedar

I’m doubtful that there were very many switches ever really cut from that ole tree, perhaps just enough that I knew I didn’t need another.

The sting of a salt cedar switch was different from a hand or even a belt. One thing I know for sure, each switching was done out of love and the need to let the child know there were consequences for bad behavior. Something that’s not always realized nowadays.

Okay maybe I wasn’t always that well behaved, but it wasn’t because I didn’t have some level of respect for the adults around me. I was just hardheaded.

I really don’t have an answer on the best way to raise kids and all that. I just went with a few main rules.

If they are misbehaving and you can’t get em to stop, any amount of yelling probably isn’t the answer.

If they aren’t stopping their bad behavior, try something different and maybe that will work.

Lastly, buying them off with candy doesn’t end it for very long.

This last picture is to prove we really were at the bottom end of Santa Elena Canyon.

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