Friday, March 16, 2018
I am not like Creedence Clearwater Revival. When I look out my back door I do not see a giant doing cartwheels or a statue wearing high heels. But today I have happy creatures dancing on my lawn.
My computer sits near my back door which has a beautiful full length glass panel. I love to look out and see what the weather is like. Today it is sunny. I know... last time I was complaining about a blizzard and flooding. But today the weather is nice.
There is still a lot of snow on the ground. It is in patches. Way toward the back the garden plot is completely covered with snow. There is no sign of green anything yet. Although I do see the evergreen trees perking up just a little.
The bonus I get when looking out is the animals that scamper though here.
Right now I am watching a rabbit. It occasionally changes the spot it sits in. It is staying close to the old tractor in my neighbor's back yard. I am wondering why it sits in shady areas instead of being out in the sun. It has been there for more than half an hour now.
There have been several birds today. Some landed on the porch. Some flew by. They probably had a better spot in mind. I watched a robin sitting for the longest time on a baby tree. There are three baby trees in a spot where the neighbor had a pile of chopped wood. They will have to be cut away this spring.
A few feral cats have strolled through. Each must have had a different place to go. Each one went in a different direction.
One surprise for me was the dog I saw. It was from across the street. He is not often let out so he was having a great time. He bounced around only stopping to sniff at an interesting smell.
The squirrels had a good time earlier. They were chasing each other around and up and down a tree trunk. Finally only one stayed to forage on the ground for a little something to nibble on.
I just looked up and saw that the little rabbit has disappeared. I think that is a hint for me to leave too.
Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band. I am going to take a ride on the flying spoon. Wheeeee!
Monday, March 12, 2018
After a very cold and snowy winter we finally warmed up. It took close to a week but finally most of the snow and ice melted. The snowman the little boy who visits his father across the street melted to a short post of snow.
I am ready to be done with the snow and ice. As I am getting older I worry about slipping and falling. It seems that older bones break more easily.
I am ready to be able to sit in the yard. I can watch the birds and squirrels. I can see the gras and trees turn green. I can look at the lovely colors of the flowers all around. Yes. I am ready.
Before I fell asleep last night I heard a few raindrops. I like rain.
This morning I woke up to snow. Lots of snow.
And wind. About 20 miles per hour. Not a terrible wind but respectable. The snow is blowing around.
I look out my window and can see on the back porch that there is about a three to four inch accumulation so far. They are predicting up to eight inches by tomorrow.
So spring is not here yet. Winter is not giving up without a fight.
We were notified this afternoon that we are once again having a blizzard. The Interstate Highway is closed until sometime tomorrow.
Now we are dealing with flood warnings. The Big Sioux River is over the banks about 20 miles from here. Unless we get more precipitation it should be okay in our immediate area but the river is right up to the edge of the banks. What a winter!
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
I am following my sister-in-law Mary's idea of a little family history. I cannot write everything and that is the purpose of this blog. However this will give an overview.
My paternal grandfather was named George Melvan. He was of German descent born in 1880. From what I understand in his youth he was a bit of a wanderer. He even worked for a time in Montana as a cowboy. I know he had a sister and perhaps a brother. I know little about him.
I do know that when he returned to Nebraska he met Minnie. Minnie was the first child born in the United States to her parents. They were from Denmark. She had brothers Nels, Luther, and Christian. Her sister was Christina who was known as Steenie. There may have been others but again I know little about her family.
After they married Grandpa went to work as a brakeman for the railroad. Grandma stayed home as was the norm. Then came the family. Rolan was first. I am not certain of the exact order of some of the reast. There was a stillborn child. Walter lived only 9 months. Willis, George Melvan, J. Earl, Gerald, Berniece, and Ruby Garnet. Then came 2 change of life babies. My father Melvan Louis was first and then Norman. Melvan was my father.
My maternal grandfather was Howard Landerking. Is that the coolest middle name you ever heard? He was of mostly German descent. He had 3 brothers. Leonard died and was buried in France during WWI then a year later he was reburied in Nebraska. Homer raised his family in Montana. Howard and Harold lived in Nebraska. There is a sister whose name I do not know who also lived in Montana.
Grandpa was a real-life cowboy. He rode the range with the cattle and other cowboys. They only went to town for supplies when needed and it was at least a three day ride by hoese. They slept in the open when they went to town or sometimes would stop at an Indian village where they were made welcome.
When he moved back to Nebraska he met and married Anna Maria. She is of Austrian, Moravian, and Bohemian descent. She had a sister Helen and a brother Victor.
Grandma's mother died when she was young. She was relegated to taking care of the house and cooking while her sister worked the farm with their father. She was not a fancy cook but was the best cook ever. She made homemade bread every day.
Grandma's father is the only great-grandparent I knew. His father died when he was a baby. His mother was burned a few months later when a lantern exploded. He and a slightly older brother were sent to America to raised by an uncle. There were at least 2 other brothers but the family lost touch with them.
Great-grandpa's name was Victor. When I was little I thought he was a leprechaun. He was a big man with a huge chest but for some reason he looked small to me. He was bald on top with a fringe of hair aroind the sides and back of his head. His voice was rather high pitched and he spoke with an accent. To me that meant leprechaun.
Grandma and Grandpa's children were Frances, Florence, Evelyn, Louella, Raymond, Donald, Michael, and twins Keith and Carol. There were also 2 baies who were stillborn. Evelyn was my mother.
to be continued......
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Mary has more
All of us girls were afraid of our own shadow. Here's what happed to Shirley and myself. Mom and Dad had to go somewhere. We were home with the boys and Robbie. A car pulled in across the road, sat there for awhile then they would get in and out of the car, and mess around. Shirley said you holler to them if they don't leave immediately I would send my Dad out. That's what I told them. Here's what they said "why don't you just send him out." Hey, brave us hurried and loaded up Robbie and my brothers and took off in Shirley's car. We went for a long ride, when we returned our parents were home and of course the trouble makers were gone
Mom was very brave, this episode happened in the Spring before she died. It was 2:00 am in the morning. She heard someone knocking at her front door got up and went to the kitchen, where she always left the light on, turned it off and as she looked up (2) guys were looking in the window at her. She said you leave immediately, or I'll shoot you. She then went to the front room to her chair and phone to get her composure. Called Chuck & I, I then called Darwin Solomon and made a beeline out there. Darwin & Emaline were there said they saw no one. We hollered Mom at the door. She was sitting in the chair with her gun. It was fake pistol she got from Aunt Tony but did not sound like one. We called the Sheriff from Akron, they came down to check it out. They were amazed at Mom and her age and still being calm. Here's what she said "If this was a real gun and they opened the door I'd shot the Sons of Bitches. The Sheriff took a drive down the road towards town. He saw (2) high school boys and picked them up, they admitted they were there, just wanted to use the phone. They didn't get any punishment, and that's a crock. I spent the rest of the night with her. As I write this I wonder who got the pistol and hope they still have it. We talked about this so many times and laughed While Shirley was in the hospital, it was a hot day, Mom and I were own our way home. She needed a few groceries, so I just left the window down and said to her if someone puts a hand on this car, shoot em in the head. She said I will!!! We laughed some more.
Dad had to go to a nursing home before he died, became hard to handle, and doing things to hurt himself. He was there for (6) months, broke his hip and went to the hospital where he passed away (St. Luke.
Mom was doing pretty good, but missing Shirley& Pat. Stayed quite strong. Until I lost Chuck (4) days after Pat. Connie & her family were back as they were settling up there Mom's estate. When Connie told her about Chuck, she said Grandma got up from her chair and went to the bedroom for awhile, when she came back she was shocked like all, could hardly talk.
She lost so many in such a short time. September through December she & I became closer and stronger, did a lot of talking. I noticed she was not sleeping in her bed but in the reclining chair. She said her stomach hurt when she laid down. She was retaining water and it would come out in small pin hole openings in her legs of course I took her to the Dr. Different test were ordered at St. Lukes and I noticed how hard it was for her to lay on a table for her test. We made it through that but a few weeks later she needed to go the Jones Eye clinic, she was checked routinely for the progress of glaucoma and was medicated for it for a lot of years, but it was taking her eye sight slowly, but she held right in. It was a snowy day. I got her to the car with a walker, she always sat in the back seat, she made it into the back seat but her coat was nylon as she sat on the seat, started slipping. I held & guided her and said just sit down gently in the snow. Her foot was under her and she sat on it breaking the ankle. I called Rick Solomon and his Mom. We called an ambulance and to the hospital she went. She had to have surgery, it was painful. She lived (2) days. She was tired and wanted to die, she mentioned before she was ready anytime and she was. She died very peaceful.
I need to mention after my lo\osing my sisters, we needed someone to live in Shirley's trailer to be with Mom. I was so thankful Sandy, wanted to help. She moved into the trailer and gave Mom the best of care, doing meals and visiting. Between her and I Mom was happy again.
In January 2004 Sandy wanted to get her life back to normal, it just so happened David and Coeta decided to come back to S.C. and moved in Mom's house. Sandy moved to an apartment in Elk Point. David lived there till the acreage was sold which was in September of 2005. He bought a home in Westfield, Ia. The acreage sold for one hundred thousand dollars, all fees had to be paid out of that. It was divided between, Paul, Mary, Mike, David, & Tim. The five of us were blessed to get the inheritance, our parents worked hard to provide for us. Always remember some children get no inheritance, parents just don't have a thing left
March of 2008 the new owner tore the house down. Shirley's trailer is still there and her beautiful weeping willow tree, she and Pat both loved Willow trees. It will make a nice home someday. At this point, I'm not remembering anymore stories. If any of you think of something to add just let me know.
With all you kids spending time with them something will come to your mind.
Even though I am not gettmg into in-laws I need to mention Bud, after moving up the hill from them, pleased Mom in everyway he could, attending to all her needs. He's a very kind person. As a couple Bud and Pat took wonderful care of Mom and Dad. Bud moved back to Idaho to take care of his mother. Pat, Shirley, Mary & Chuck and Sandy, did all they could to make her life comfortable. She was well cared for and happy. We all remember her for her contentment in life.
This is health information you should know. Mom & Dad both developed high blood pressure. Mom was in her late 40's - Dad late 50's. Mom had some heart problems controlled by meds, also developed asthma in later years. She had breast cancer and had a breast removed when about 65. She had glaucoma(disease of the eye) was medicated for that. Dale had it to. - Dad developed hardening of the arties in late 70's. Actually both of them did very well. Dad's family died from heart problems - Mom's also. - as far as I know. She had arthritis
Dad - Cause of death - body wore out - age 92 - Nov. 19, 1997
Mom breast cancer - 65 yrs. old - cause of death-body wore out - age 95 Dec. 19, 2003
Shirley pancreatic cancer - 72 - cause of death - July 1.2002
Pat brain tumor - 75 - cause of death - Aug. 8, 2003
Mary breast cancer - 69
Dale massive heart attack - cause of dead -65 - June 4,1992
Paul- Alzheimer's - complications - cause of death - kidneys failed - 74 June - 20:06
David- 63 - cause of death- cancer October, 2011
TO SUM THIS UP, we were born to parents who had high morals, a Christian background, stuck behind us no matter what, and provided for our needs. We ALL have a Iot to be proud of.
Mary wrote this in 2008. I read it from time to time for the stories of my children's family. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Mary writes on
Tim didn't like school very much nor the rest of them either. Mom would have them ready for the bus, Tim would sneak outside and wave the bus on. Mom could of killed them. They got kicked off the bus a lot, especially Mike he loved to fight, he was the bully of the school, no doubt about it he was tough. The boys quit school at an early age. I'm sure the teachers were not to unhappy about losing the trouble makers, (_____________ boys). They did make a lot of friends and made it a habit to always protect the younger kids and kids that were not fighters. They just worked on the other bullies. Kids they grew up with will reminisce about the boys, said they were good, but just loved to fight. Mike the leader and Dick Bruneau next in line.
Mom made appointments for them to see the dentist. No one wanted to go in first. The rest of them talked David in to be first. He was not impressed with anything, Mom was told to leave the room, the dentist said he would settle him down and not let him be afraid. OH SURE - It wasn't to long and David came out, the dentist also. He said - he bit me and wouldn't let go, broke the skin. You'll have to find another dentist for all of them. David became the hero!!!!!!!
Mom would get cleaned up for the grocery store, the boys always wanted to go, she said NO you won't clean up - I'm ashamed of you. They would beg and say we will sit in the car, I promise. Well OK - She would be shopping and one at a time they would find her in the store, embarrass her, go back to the car. When she came out they asked her what did you get me? How about a slap across the face.
This instance happened at one of the rental farms. Mom & Marguerite decided to wallpaper the living room, ceiling & sidewalls. Gee they were pleased when done looked great. The next day mom went into the living room, this is what she found? mice had eaten holes in the ceiling and sidewalls, the paste was made of flour and water, the mice loved it, yum, yum. What a shame, I'm sure she cried about it
Talking about moves most of the houses had bed bugs they get into the walls, and as soon as warm bodies moved in, they came to feast on our blood They are small flat red bugs, nest in corners of the mattress, waiting for us at night. In order to get rid of them, the springs of the bed (made of iron) would be taken out side and burnt on a wood pile. The mattress's were taken outside and sprayed with kerosene, lay in the sunshine till night, springs and all were brought back in. We slept peacefully. This had to be done often so we never thought anything of it.
After Robbie passed away, Mom got in to the hobby of making plaques for hanging on the wall. Bought molds, used plaster of Paris for her mixture and painted them. Some of them were pheasants, kitchen prayer, dogs, antique looking wall hangings, etc. She did a good job and sold many. Trudy has the cats mom made in her family room.
Her Dr. Jamison had the Jamison clinic. He needed a cleaning lady, so hired her. She did this for many years enjoyed every bit of it. Shirley would take her on Saturdays and pick her up in the evening when she finished. She made lots of friends and as we know a very good worker.
We had outhouses for ever, got used to that too. Our neighbors were all the same, runmng to the outhouse, night time a bucket in the kitchen. Ours was not to comfortable lots of time it sat on a slant. This takes the cake, a new hole had to be dug, the outhouse had to be moved over the hole. Dad was not thinking and set the outhouse with the door facing towards the road, wouldn't of been so bad but it had no door. Mom's bomb went off, course Dad didn't think this was so bad, it still took him at least a week to build the door. Hey - What does a women have to put up with?
Bath time at our house was done in the kitchen in a very large tub. Water had to be heated on the stove in buckets, then dumped in the tub. Girls were first then the boys. We were very modest, so the boys stayed away till Mom told them it was their turn. We never had a shower while growing up. Mom did not get that until many years down the rode. Mary & Paul came back one summer, built another bedroom and put indoor plumbing & a shower. Mom was delighted!!!!!!!!!
When all the relatives came back for dad's funeral, of course we had a get together at Mom's. Mike caught the horse and gave all the grandkids rides. Everyone had a good time. We all had sadness for losing dad but joy came with good times and reminiscing.
Dad used to tell stories about hunting Jack rabbits in Minnesota, when he was just a child with his family. The boys would go hunting, he said the rabbits were as tall as a small cow and made more than one meal.
Moving day was not fun. All farmers that rented ground had to move March 1. It was usually cold and deep snow. Our cattle had to be herded to the next farm along side the road. The boys rode horses to keep them in line. The rest of the animals were put in wagons & hayracks and moved that way. Our furniture was also loaded the same way. Mom & Dad were so relieved when that was finished, but guess what, Mom still had to get something to eat for all of us. I'm sure she was beat by the end of the day.
For fun when we went to Whiteads house we would lay on a bed spring tied between two trees. The girls were first, we would lay on our stomach and hang on to the springs for dear life. The boys would get us going so high that the spring would actually jump and bounce, just what the boys wanted. We never got threw off, what a wonder. We girls couldn't get it going so high for the boys, but they would still scream slow down. What we girls liked was to be pushed gently, it was easy to fall asleep. We would use a blanket to lay on. When it rained gently we were protected by the leaves on the tree. Doesn't that sound soothing.
Shirley saved our lives on January 4, 1947. Pat was expecting Connie, all the guys were at work. We did not have a phone and Pat needed a ride to the hospital. Mom said go out on the road and hitch a ride to Solomons, they'll get Pat to the hospital. Shirley waved a car down This old gent was alone, Shirley told him the problem and slid in beside him, I was by the window, as we were getting close to Solomons Shirley said we want off at the next farm. He seemed to speed up, so Shirley reached in front of me opened the door and pushed me out, she jumped out right behind me. All I remember was sitting along side of the road, Shirley close beside me. We were a little scratched up on the legs, nothing big. The old gent did not stop, just kept on going, he must have been up to no good. Solomon's got Pat to the hospital on time. Connie was Dad & Moms first grandchild. She was cute, small, chubby, and a lot of dark hair. Everyone's pride and joy.
to be continued...
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
More from Mary
Dad was always looking for more storage and came across a large box car. It was pretty nice. The Barber Brothers hauled it in as their business was working with large equipment. Used it for several years. It finally caught fire one night and burnt to the ground. The fire department from Akron were called but couldn't save it, Because was electrical. While I'm talking about fires, Dad was some what of a fire bug. He said it's a good idea to burn the hills winter grass to the ground and start over fresh. It is a good thing, but not on a windy day. Sure enough many times dad would do this and the fire would get away from him and travel to other property, we would all have to try and beat it out, couldn't always get the job done. The fire department would be called and have to put it out. Dad would say can you imagine someone crazy enough to start a fire on such a windy day, could of burnt my house down. I'm sure he wasn't fooling no one. The fight and name calling would began again, Mom was on the war path. Dad never changed.
After Dale and Janet got married he wasn't making very good money, so pulled a small trailer house up by the barn, not much for scenery, lived there for awhile then built a small house where Shirley's trailer sets. From there he built another house across the road by the creek. Dad and Dale would have a round or two with their mouths, because Dale loved to live surrounded by junk, after that he moved to town.
When Paul and Sharon were first married he pulled another trailer in and set it by the driveway. They didn't stay long, decided to head for town.
Shirley bought Paul's trailer and moved in, she made it cozy. From there she decided to make a home out of the box car and was content for awhile. After a few years she bought another larger trailer which was comfortable. She then bought the trailer that's still there. Tim took a vacation and came to S. C. to haul it in and set it up for her comfort, thank God for Tim. It was very nice and lived in it till she passed away. When ever company came they stayed at Shirley's. She loved having all her niece's and nephew's come any time. Mikie came every summer and spent three months with Mom, Dad & Shirley. She had lots of fun entertaining all of them. She was a great aunt. Shirley loved the acreage which Mom willed to her so she would always have a home. I just wish she was still living there. We never know what lies ahead for any of us She was a hard working gal and very contented. She was pretty and liked buying clothes was garage sales, bought a lot if you saw her trailer. She had a good life, always happy, smiled a lot and looked at the good side. She complimented everyone a lot.
When Dale was living on the acreage, he and Janet were going to town, but got in an argument and Janet wouldn't go. Dale took off in an old Hudson, driving to fast rolled it over but landed back on its wheels, so drove it back home with the top caved in. Janet was really mad then, Dale being like Dad just laughed.
Sandy and Mom were visiting one day so Mom procedes to tell her about this episode. After her mother passed away she and her dad went to grandma's house. Mom was to stay while her dad had business to attend to. Her dad left and she threw a fit so grandma put her in the basement for awhile and went outside to do chores. Mom ended up breaking all kinds of glass jars with canned food for winter and then climbed out the window looking for her dad.
Mom had a very hot temper and when she had enough she let it go. She would call dad all kinds of names, I remember her throwing the clock at him, he ducked. He knew he better get outside and would slam the door saying (you know it all), would come in much later. No matter what she would always have his meals at his place on the table. Waited on him hand and foot - hey you guys that must be love!!!!!
This is quit a story. Mom had gone to the windmill to turn the blades on, so she could get water. It had a wire connected to a low part of the windmill with a lever, it was to go up to turn it on and down to tum it off. It was hard to use. The problem came because her face was to close to the lever when it went up. It hit her upper lip and front tooth. It knocked the tooth straight under the lip so there she was. When ever she smiled the tooth could be seen also when she opened her mouth to eat. The strange thing it did not hurt when this happened, must of killed the nerve. She went many years before it was fixed.
One very hot summer day Paul and myself rode his bike to the neighbors, (Jones') I was on the handle bars. It was a dirt road sheltered by trees. Paul was peddling very fast, when up ahead he saw a swarm of snakes crossing the road, probably moving their colony. He said hold on, keep your legs up, he went right through the middle of them. It happened so fast I don't recall screaming, I may have. It was an ugly sight, and myself so afraid of them. He was terrified too. Needless to say we took another way home.
We use to go to North Sioux City every 4th of July. The Gypsies came to town at that time. It was fun to wander around their village they set up. We went as a family or all kids together, as the story is they would kidnap kids.
They sold all kinds of food, had beautiful weddings, dressed very bright like the Mexicans and seemed friendly. They were noted to steal anything, drove in the country for chickens and animals. They had all kinds of dogs, maybe ate them too. Dad drove his truck through the village all of us in the back covered with blankets, as fire crackers were threw in the box, popping off all over, never got hurt thought it was fun. Then we would go to Fry's house, Mom and Dad visiting, while all of the kids were outside running wild. Dale and his friends would crap in an old pocket book tie a string on it and get down in the grass beside the road, of course cars stopped to retrieve the purse, reach down to pick it up and the string would slowly be pulled, they would get up and run. The purse was then opened, what a mess. The boys were long gone. My younger brothers did the same as they got older, but out in our farm roads.
A TV program called Canyon Kid was very popular it was on KTIV for many years. All kids wanted to be guest, they had a pet day and that happened to be the day Pat got reservations for. Connie, Mike, David & Tim went. Connie took her dog called Spike, a nice Cocker. My brothers didn't have anything tame enough. David had a sick pigeon looked like it was ready to die, minus a lot of feathers sight to be seen. He asked Mom if he could take it, she said absolutely not!!!! Well you can imagine what happened. All the kids were so proud of their pets, many nice things were said about them. Connie and Spike were pleased. All the pets were shown so Canyon Kid thought. David spoke up and said I have something to show, he took the pigeon out from under his jacket. Needless to say Canyon was shocked, but preceded to ask David about the pet. Canyon said I'm proud that you like your pet so much. David said thank you and put it back inside his jacket. Mom & Dad and the rest of us were watching this on TV. Mom was so mad but we all got to laughing we just rolled. I don't remember if David got into trouble. He came in the house with a mischievous look on his face and a smile. Mom did yell and said get that sick pigeon out side, right now.
to be continued...
Friday, February 23, 2018
Mary has more for us
Veterinarian Shop, the shop was not there when this accident happened. He was turning around with the tractor coming home and out on the road (it was just getting dusk). Mrs. Langley was coming home from work and hit the side of the tractor, a big jolt, Dad was thrown off landing in the ditch. Mrs. Langley just had car damage, she took him home. He went for x-rays, had broken ribs, plus some front teeth knocked out. Later David helped get the tractor home. Dad was mad at David for some reason, said you can't drive a wheel barrow. David said at least I've got all my teeth, then Dad said you're just a smart mouthed kid. How funny!!!!!!
Dad was across the road one Sunday with his tractor, it rained and was very muddy, well he got stuck. The bad thing was his back wheels were over a steep bank by the creek. Mom & Shirley were frantic he would go over, tried to get him off the tractor. He told them to go in the house where they belonged, what a bull head. Chuck & I and our kids were just doing our Sunday visit, when we pulled in Shirley said try to get him off the tractor and call a wrecker to pull him out. There he sat with a big smile, but he was mad said ( I got to sell this place before it kills me. What a man!!!!
Chuck said I know a guy down the road (Larry Allan) who has a wrecker he'll come up and have you out of here in no time at all. Larry was available got the job done and everyone was relieved.
Butchering week was really hard on the farm - usually did a heifer and a hog but five or so months apart, always in the winter. One of the boys shot the animal Dad skinned and butchered it. Hung it from rafters in a garage or any building available so it would freeze, by the next day it was usually ready to go. So much was brought in at a time laid on the kitchen table and cut up, this went on for at least a week. It would either be pressure cooked, canned or fried. The lard had to be rendered, then the meat fried and put in crocks. It would be layered meat and then lard, very time consuming - the meat was only partially cooked -final cooking at meal time. We always had plenty of food. Many families went to bed hungry. Aren't we thankful for grocery stories.
Gardening was another challenge, getting soil ready, planting, picking & canning. No fun pulling and hoeing weeds in the hot summer time. Guess What - Mom and Dad loved it and looked forward to it every Spring. Tomato was Dad's passion - enjoyed potatoes, too. He would set out in the yard with a tub of potatoes cutting the eyes of each potato, usually 4 to 5 eyes to a potato, putting them in another tub to be planted. He would have all of us help. He never had a weed in his garden, did a lot of hoeing. Always took company to the garden to see how clean it was. When Dad became older and not getting around as well, he then would put a chair at each end of the row and rest till he started back.
Mom helped the boys milk cows every morning and night. They all enjoyed giving the cats a squirt of warm milk. Her day was unending cooking meals, baking bread, washing clothes the hard way, the kitchen was always a mess, heating water on the stove, very unhandy. In the winter especially bad, on nice days she would hang the clothes outside, they would freeze as stiff as a board. If the weather was real bad they were put over chairs in every room until dry. In the summer time the washer was moved outside and that's where it was done. It was a big relief.
Harvesting horseradish in the Fall was not too pleasant either. It kind of resembles rhubarb, but the leaves not quite that big. It was brought in and put on the kitchen table, being cut off above the root, chopped up in small pieces. It was very strong smelling and made your eyes water and burn. When the table was full we all had to go outside while it dried a bit, then it would be put in bags until mom could made the sauce up when she wanted to. She liked it strong. I don't know the process to make it up.
Mom enjoyed raising chickens in the Spring, usually bought (100). Had plenty for eggs and eating. Butchering them was another big day, usually did about 25 at a crack Laying their neck on a block of wood waiting for the ax. We kids helped, our fun was watching them jump around without a head. We would have a contest - which chicken jumped the furthest with out a head. Then came the hot boiling water, dipping each chicken in, then plucking the feathers ok, next was searing the pin feathers off over a hot flame - it was pretty smelly. Next was butchering, taking out all the insides, then soak in salt water, rinse, getting ready for a meal or pressure cook for later use. Us kids were taught how to butcher, so the job went quite fast.
Our grandparents died before we could enjoy them. The Whiteads shared theirs with us, Grandma Stevens and Holder, they were famous for their angel food cakes from scratch. They gave us a lot of attention just like we really belonged to them.
We would pick wild plums and grapes in the summer, Mom would make Jelly. In the Fall we would pick up walnuts in Whiteads valley. It was a family thing. Usually just the mom's and kids went - Dads to busy.
My brothers would cut a Christmas tree down from the pasture each year. We didn't get hardly any presents but didn't care. Many families were just like us. Mom would make popcorn balls, we would shell the corn, sure hurt our hands as it was sharp. When she started having grandkids did the same for them.
We had a lot to look forward to when we were told we would be going to the movies, didn't happen very much. Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers was a big hit with us, always cartoons & the newsreels. We each bought an all day sucker and they lasted that long too.
Always in the Spring Shirley would suggest we walk to the top of our steepest hill and look for May flowers plus seeing the view, could see for miles. She did this till she got ill with cancer. All the grandkids enjoyed the flowers and walking the hills with Shirley, it was really fun. I do want you to know we walked the hills, summer, winter and fall. Whenever my family came home for vacation, they had to hike the hills before they went home. We all miss this very much, such enjoyment and didn't cost a thing.
Grandpa was noted for not having a drivers license and he didn't think stop signs were made for him, consequently he received many traffic tickets. Chuck spent a lot of time with him and saw him get many. When they got home he would take Chuck in the garage and say (this is what I do with them) throw them on the ground and pee on them, with a smile on his face. Chuck never got a ticket but I'm sure if he would have, Grandpa would of come to his mind. Its always something to laugh about. Chuck spent a lot of week ends at the farm going to farm sales and eating Mom's good cooking. Mom always said, she enjoyed riding with him because he tried to miss every pot hole or mud puddle. She said her sons tried to hit all of them. Chuck would take grandma to the grocery store, she would not ride with Dad, if she did they would come home in a big fight over his lousy driving. This is always something to laugh about.
To be continued...