Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Shirley is the second of my husband's sisters. Shirley was the fun and fun one.
Shirley never married. Mom told me she used to date often but when her younger sister married she just stopped. She never moved away from the farm.
We sometimes called her Shird. I am guessing that one of the little brothers could not say Shirley and said Sjirdy instead. Over time it was shortened to Shird.
Shirley bought a mobile home and parked it across the driveway from the house on the farm. It was large enough for her to have people who came for visits to have plenty of room to sleep. She also had an indoor bathroom which for many years the house did not.
Shirley liked pretty things. She had many little glass figurines that she picked up here and there. Cats were her favorite.
I remember going with her one time to the store. She found a lovely figurine of a woman in old-fashioned clothing with a parasol. When she looked at the price she decided it cost too much. She told me, "Watch this."
She hit the edge of the shelf with the bottom of the figurine. A chip came off. Then she went to the manager of the department who gave her a hefty discount. She happily bought her little chipped lady and displayed her proudly.
Shirley liked going to "the rummages". That is what they called the second-hand stores. She knew the best days to go to each and every one. Those were the days they put out new merchandise or had bag sales. Her Saturdays were spent happily browsing the rummages. She did not always buy anything but she enjoyed looking.
Shirley loved her nieces and nephews and they loved her as much. When anyone came to the farm on vacation the first thing Shirley would do is pile the children into the car and off they went. She would show them the sights of the area. Or if they were old enough she might take them to the rummages.
She made sure there were treats in the kitchen for them too. Most of the time those kinds of things were not kept on the farm because they were considered to be a frivolous and unnecessary expense.
Shirley was a hard worker. She went to work in a factory that mad tire patches and other rubber items. When my parents-in-law and Shirley would come to the big city on vacation she always brought a bag of patches and glue so the kids could repair the inner tubes of their bike tires.
As a matter of fact when I moved back to this area I was walking to get into my car to go somewhere when I saw something on the pathway. It was one of Shirley's tire patches. She had never been here and to my knowledge none of the children had any patches left.
I picked it up. It fits perfectly into the cup holder by my seat in the car. It has been there ever since.
Once when we went back to visit the farm for a vacation Dad's dog had puppies. At the time we only had the two older boys. So each was getting one of the puppies as a pet.
Shirley was running to town to pick up something for supper. As she was backing out of the driveway she watched carefully for children. She watched the children so carefully that she did not notice my oldest son's puppy as it ran behind the car. She ran over it.
She was a lover of all animals especially dogs and was as hurt by it as my son was. Of course there was a glorious funeral and we went home with one puppy for the boys to share. For years whenever my son was with her my son would ask, "Shirley, why did you run over my dog?"
Shirley worked at the patch factory until she decided to retire. She enjoyed her retirement. She was free to do as she wished. What she wished was to stay on the farm and help her parents. After Dad died she was there to take care of Mom.
Then the doctor discovered stomach cancer. It was advanced and the was not too much they could do for her. Mom had to watch another child die.
The man who bought their farm finally tore down Shirley's trailer last year. I was hard to drive by and see it coming down pieces at a time.