Friday, June 29, 2018


 I recently told you about my sister's dilemma. Her family could no longer afford a phone for her through the phone company. She cannot hold a cellphone well with the one hand that works.

Thank you to all of you who offered to help. I felt very loved.

We were checking into phones that connect through the computer. That is what I use for my home phone. It is inexpensive and works just like any through a phone company. That is what I have had for year.

The problem there is that her family could not afford to hook her up to an internet system.

Then my son found a system that hooks into Wi-Fi. You simply plug it in and access the Wi-Fi available at your location. The nursing home has Wi-Fi.

A regular phone like you have sitting on the table is hooked up and you are connected. Technology is wonderful.

When I called the home to ask about it the floor nurewas unsure about granting the use of uch a contraption. It was a weekend so I had to call back and talk to the adminnistrator.

For more than a month I have been leaving messages for her to call me back. For more than a month she ignored me.

I was rather rude with the last message I left last Friday.

In the meantime I asked the operator who connects me to whomever I am calling if there was anyone else I could speak with. She had me speak with one of the maintenance men who deal with this sort of issue.

He told me there were other patients there who have the same thing. As far as he knew there would be no problem.

I asked him if he could help if my sister's family has questions about installation. I know it is not his job but he said he would be happy to help.

So I have asked my nephew to research it and see what he thinks. He will be the one to do the work. I am waiting for him ro get back to me.

Hopefully my sister will have her phone soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Rain, Rain...

Rain is my favorite weather. The air is cleared of all the dust and pollens that can cause breathi ng problems. The whole world is squeaky clean after rain. Not to mention that it is the best feeling to go out and dance in the rain. It is a ritual with my family.

Our dog does not like rain. She was left outside in all sorts of weathrwhen she lived with the family she had before. She did have access to the garage so she could shelter herself. I think maybe she associates rain with the noise of thunder which terrifies her. It is not an easy task to get her to go out to relieve herself when it is raining. Eventually she has to go but it is hard for her.

You may have seen on the news that my part of the country has been having a lot of rain. We sure have.

Earlier in the spring we had minor flooding aroung the edges of the river. It is about a mile away. All the roads and bridges were still open as were the highways.

Now the river has overflowed its banks. It is filling fields. The crops were planted a little late because of earlier floodong but they were coming up quite nicely. Now the crops will not fare well.

The fields look like lakes. A peron who is not familiar with this area would not know they are fields.

All of the bridges that go over the river into South Dakota are closed. The river is at least to the bottom of the bridge and maybe flowing over it. They will all have to be examined for safety once the flooding goes down. Sometimes they are damaged and not safe to cross.

Water runs across the highway in spots so the highway is closed. It is like this all across northwestern Iowa.

Because it is still raining there are also flash flood warnings too.Places you would not expect to see water are filled suddenly. Flash floosing is deceptive. It might look like a little bit of water trickling there but if you find yourself in it you run the danger of being washed away.

Where I live I am across the highway from the river. It would take more flooding than I can imagine for the waters to cross the highway right here. So we will be safe and sound here. We just cannot go anywhere.

The other side of the highway is under water. Further down the highway I am guessing the water has crossed the highway too.

They weather forecast says that we will be flooded until further notice. I am hoping for the end of the week but it is still raining.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Miss Hayhurst

Mrs Cittercup was my teacher for kindergarten and first grade. Isn't Mrs Cittercup a great name? I do not remember her much. I do remember that we learned to read, print, add and subtract in kindergarten. In first grade we learned cursive writing, multiplication and division, and we were reading out of the same reader that I read after we moved and I was in the third grade.

I would love to say that it was just because I was so intelligent that they had to teach me all those things at such a young age. The thing is that every child in my grade learned the same things I did. And that was every child in town and from the farms around the town.

I really believe that most children learn if they are expected to learn. Those little minds are just waiting to be filled with knowledge.

Toward the end of the first grade we moved to another town. As it was before, there were three grades to a room... kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. The same teacher taught all three grades, including music and recess.

The teacher here was Miss Hayhurst. I remember that she drove a Pontiac. Is it not strange that I remember that?

Miss Hayhurst was a middle-aged woman. As far as I know she never married. She had no children. But she was so loving and caring. Not the mushy kind of stuff like hugging and kissing. It's just that every single one of her students knew they were special. You never saw so many teacher's pets.

Miss Hayhurst was always in our classroom before the school day started. She welcomed us to come in early and visit with her. After school she remained to grade papers and do whatever it was she did. We often went home to change to play clothes and have a snack then we would go back up to the school to hang out in our room. It was encouraged by Miss Hayhurst. We loved spending time with her.

In the early 1950's they were experimenting with Salk vaccine for polio. We were bussed to the nearest "big" town to join the children from all over the area to be vaccinated. The boys from our room rode the school bus with the other children. Miss Hayhurst did not want to ride the bus so the girls from my grade (all three of us) rode with her in her Pontiac. How exciting. We felt terribly adult.

Miss Hayhurst appreciated our differences. She got to know each one of us and took a genuine interest in our little personalities. She was the teacher who recognized that I could memorize fairly long poems and recite them. She also recognized that I am a real "ham" (my term not hers). I loved performing in front of audiences. Hence the recital of poems by me at the programs the school periodically held for parents.

She suggested to my mother that she expose me to the classics such as Shakespeare and other classical writers and poets as soon as I was old enough. She did that sort of thing for all the students. And I know that part of the reason I was open to those suggestions was to please Miss Hayhurst.

A very pretty little girl moved to town. She was in the same grade as one of my brothers. They also were in Miss Hayhurst's room. Anyway this little girl also had the prettiest clothes. She had cute little outfits with can-cans (crinoline petticoats heavily starched) that made her full skirts stand out so fully. And there were so many of them. Most of us had just a few dresses and to be honest they were rather shapeless and drab. Ugly plaids (which I still hate) were the norm for most of us.

Miss Hayhurst was looking for creative suggestions for a project for us all to work on. I came up with the bright idea of making a book about her clothes.

Each day we would spend a little time on our books. Each of us wrote our own. During art class we would draw and color her clothes of that day. Then in writing class we would write a description of the dress. We kept each page in order. When we had seen all of her pretty dresses we made book covers out of construction paper and crayons. Then pieces of yarn tied everything into a book. It was fun.

I have always been a very competitive person. I am a good winner because I do not lord it over someone else when I win. I also do not get angry if I do not win. If I have done my best then I am happy. Plus I can enjoy someone else's talent.

So I was that nasty kid in school who always had to be done first and have the best grade. If we had a test I attacked it with gusto. Then I would happily march to the teacher's desk to hand it in before anyone else was done. Learning comes easily to me so I almost always had the best grade possible.

Often when we arrived in the morning I would notice something different about Miss Hayhurst. Maybe she was combing her hair differently or she had on an especially attractive sweater. I would write a quick note to her before handing in a paper. When I would receive the graded paper back Miss Hayhurst would answer my note with a polite thank you.

Miss Hayhurst had a lovely singing voice. In the morning before we started classes we would say the pledge of allegiance and a prayer. We still prayed in school those days. And it was before the "under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance. Then we would sing a good morning song to Miss Hayhurst who would answer by singing the same song back to us.

Our classroom had everything that was available in those days. There were books to read. There were toys to play with. There was even a table similar to a pool table except that it was deep and filled with sand for us to play creatively. Besides our desks there were little tables placed strategically around the room to encourage us to break into smaller groups sometimes to learn to socialize.

We would have a snack of milk and perhaps cookies mid-morning. Then we would pull out the small rugs we had all brought to leave at school. Those are what we laid on for our rest period. My favorite place to put my rug was under the sand table.

After our rest we would have some sort of activity that allowed us to move about. Our favorite was when we could get out the little instruments and march around the room as we played our instruments and Miss Hayhurst played the piano. Some of the instruments were triangles, cymbals, blocks of wood hit with a stick, washboards, cowbells, kazoos, slide whistles, and tambourines.

However the ones we all raced for were the birds. When the birds were filled with water they made the best sound when we hummed into them. There were only three of them so you can imagine the rush.

Can you see what made Miss Hayhurst so special and loved? I have had many teachers but she is the only one I loved. And I was not alone. Every child should have a teacher like Miss Hayhurst to nurture things that parents might miss and to build the confidence that each child must have to be a complete person.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Family Part 7

You will remember that my husband and I were just married. I was working in the kitchen of the hospital. My husband was working for a farmer.

Many farmers buy other farms that are for sale. Most included the farmhouse originally occupied by the seller. Often those houses are rented to people who want to live in the country with no desire to farm themselves.

My husband's farmer boss had such a house and we were given the house to live in a part of my husband's wages. It was a raise of sorts

It was a nice farmhouse. There was no indoor plumbing. That meant bringing water from the pump outside. It also meant the dreaded house out back to use for calls of nature. How I hate an outhouse.

There was no electricty but I was used to that. It had a nice woodstove for cooking. I really like cooking on a woodstove.

We only lived there for a couple of months. My hours at work made it hard to live so far out. We rented a small apartment in town. I could walk to the hospital in order to be there by 6:00 AM.

The following summer my husband deided he wanted to try for a better job in the big city. He went to Detroit. He stayed with his brother and family until he made enough money for me to follow.

I rode the bus to Detroit. As we neared the city I saw a gigantic tire on display by the highway. I later learned that it had once been a ferris wheel. It was converted inti a tire for advertising purposes.

I hated living in such a large city. People live practically on top of each other. There seems to be no room to move.

After a time there I discovered that I was finally going to be a mother. My first son was born the following spring.

Almost two years later my second son was born.  We decided that we might have one more baby... someday.

Three and a half years later our someday baby was born. He was another son.

No more babies for me. I had my hands full with three children not yet in school.  My husband wanted a little girl. I told him I was not going to keep having babies until he got a girl. If he wanted a girl he could have the baby and take care of it himself.

Needless to say I was barely out of the hospital before I was pregnant again. Slightly a year after my third son was born I had a baby girl.  She was my surprise baby.

My little family was complete. I was supremely happy.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Upon Waking

I am suffering from a case of food poisoning. I feel better but am still sleepy. I am sharing a repost and going to bed.

One of my favorite things happens when I first wake up in the morning. I no longer have a job that requires me to jump up and rush off. I have no small children to care for. I have no one to answer to but myself. I have no need to hurry.

I enjoy lying in bed propped up by pillows and looking out the window. It may not sound like much but read on.

My bed is across the room from the window. I can only see the trees and the sky from there. It is surprising what I can see in that little box.

There are a variety of trees. Some are deciduous, others are evergreens. The leaves and needles are all different shades of color.

Birds fly by and sometimes stop on the branches of the trees. Cardinals, robins, mourning doves, chickadees, wrens, thrushes; there are so many. It simply depends on which ones are out that day.

Occasionally I see a squirrel running through the trees. It does not happen often. They seem to prefer the trees in my front yard. I wonder why.

In the spring I watch the snow melt from the branches. The evergreens seem to stand a little taller. The other trees start to show tiny buds on their branches. Soon there are tiny leaves that become bigger leaves.

Flowers appear on the branches. Some are not flowers like we normally think of flowers. Those are the fun ones to spot. One tree outside my window has the most beautiful blooms. They last for about two weeks.

Summer brings more changes. The fruits of the trees are beginning to grow. Even the evergreens have cones or whatever else they produce to re-produce. The birds are plentiful and sometimes very noisy. I have trouble picking out the individual calls on days like that.

A nice summer rain is a real treat. I like rain. Watching the drops fall is hypnotic. The sound on the roof is soothing. And I believe I can actually see everything outside is cleaner because of nature's shower.

Late spring and early summer is when the sun shines brightly in my window. It makes it hard for me to look out until the sun rises a little higher in the sky. But it plays among the small openings between leaves and needles creating a light show just for me.

Late summer and early fall is when the moon takes over at night. Of course I do not see it in the morning but it is just as spectacular as the sun. It makes a soothing night light.

In the fall the leaves begin to turn colors. I get greens, yellows, and reds again in varying shades. They look a little dryer. Then they begin to fall from the trees. Watching them float to the ground as they catch little eddies of breeze on the way makes me wonder what it would feel like to be able to float on the breezes.

Of course there are leaves that fall on my roof and stay there. Most of those are from the trees in the front yard. On a nice windy autumn day they blow off in bunches when the wind blows. Then there are hundreds of leaves soaring in the air.

Even the evergreen trees begin to lose a little of the vibrant green coloring. They may retain their needles but they are definitely going to relax during the winter.

In the winter the trees show a character that you cannot see the rest of the year. Bare branches seem to show the souls of the trees. Even as they sleep they lift their limbs toward the nourishment of the sun. A few small pieces of fruit cling to one of the trees stubbornly refusing to fall until they are ready.

When it starts to snow the darkness of the trees allows me to see the flakes as they drift toward the ground. The first flakes are small and very sparse. Later on when heavy snows fall I might not even be able to see the trees because of the snow.

Then some of the snow will nestle in the trees. The contrast of the white against the bare branches and the dull green needles is magnificent. I might even get lucky enough to see a heavy mass of wet snow become too heavy for the tree and fall with a plop toward the ground.

Sometimes it will be warm enough that the precipitation is rain. Because it is so cold the rain will cling to the trees and freeze there. The branches and needles will shine with the ice coating. A few will have little icicles dripping from them.

If we are really lucky I will wake up to a hoar frost. That is dew that freezes to a fluffy looking white that completely covers the trees. It is one of the most beautiful things a person can see.

The birds are easier to see in the winter because they cannot hide in the leaves. There can also be different birds than I might see in the summer.

As I make my seasonal observations I lie relaxing in my bed as cozy as a person can possibly be. It is a good time for reflection and meditation. I can ponder things as trivial as what I will do that day. Or maybe I will try to solve all the ills of the world.

I will think of my loved ones. It might be loved ones who are no longer here and I can smile at a memory and miss them for a moment. I might think of loved ones who are still in this world and look forward to seeing them. Or maybe I remember something from the past with them that makes me smile.

When I finally make myself re-enter the world that takes me away from my window I feel totally refreshed. I feel happy and I can begin my day happy and alert. And I will look forward to what the world of the window will bring tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Old Dirt Road

Not long ago I was out driving with my son. We drove past what used to be his grandparent's farm. As we pondered the changes there (all that is left is Mom's weeping willow tree and Dad's yard light) I mentioned that I remembered when the road going past was just an old dirt road. He remembered that too.

The road is paved now. As it should be. It is a fairly major road with the quaint name of Broken Kettle Road.

I mentioned that I had seldom lived on paved roads as I grew up in Nebraska. Even after we moved to Iowa and lived in Sioux City the streets we lived on were not paved.

One house was at the top of a hill. Boy was it hard to drive up and down when the road was wet from rain. Walking was no fun either.

The other house my family built. It was on the corner. The road leading to the grade school was paved and the road that met it at 90 degrees was paved. But as soon as you turned the corner... dirt.

I can remember in the summer being so excited when the "grader" came down the road. It would level out the holes and ruts so that the ride would be smoother for a while. In the winter the same machine served as the snow plow.

Dirt roads and even those that were graveled meant a lot of dust flying when cars went by. If we were playing in the yard we gloried at dancing in the dust clouds. Of course then we had to wash up. Oh the horror of it all.

Of all the places I lived while growing up I only remember one where we lived on a paved road. The reason it was paved was because it was the main highway into town and also the town's main street. Less dust.

Even now I live on a little dead-end street in a little bitty town. Until last year it was just a dirt road. Last year they laid asphalt. It really has not made much of a difference. The street is maybe a half block long. The cross street is still dirt.

I do not mind the dust so much. It is just dust. In the big city dust is mixed with all the petroleum waste in the air. That means that it is oily and sticks to everything. Plain dust is for me.

Friday, June 8, 2018


This is a re-post of something I wrote a few years ago. It needs to be seen every once in a while. Please read it all. It might come in handy someday.

When I was 16 I took a summer job babysitting. It was a family of 5 children. They lived in a trailer park on a lake. Their trailer was a very large nice home.

They had four boys and one daughter. I would sleep in the same room as the daughter because I would stay there all week. On weekends I would go home.

Both parents worked so they needed someone who could take care of the children, do light housework, and cook at least two meals each day. No problem. Remember I have six younger brothers and sisters.

The children also had an aunt and uncle only a few trailers away. The aunt was only a few years older than I. I was asked to never leave the children alone with her because she had epilepsy. She had been in a car accident and there was a bruise on her brain that caused seizures.

She was a very nice person and we got along very well. She would come down a couple of times a week just to visit while her husband was at work.

One day she had a seizure. She was just sitting and quietly watching television when she began to act strangely. She yelped a couple of times and slapped her leg repeatedly. It took me a few beats to realize what was happening but I had no idea what to do for her.

I had promised the children I would make Johnny cake for breakfast one day. What I call Johnny cake is just hot cornbread with sugar and milk poured over it. It is delicious if you want to try it. So one Monday morning I got up early to start baking.

I did not know that the parents had broiled steaks the evening before. They decided to leave the oily aluminum foil on the broiler and clean it after work Monday.

I lit the oven and started making cornbread batter. The oldest son of the family came in rubbing his eyes and trying to wake up. As we were talking we saw the flames flare up from the broiler.

I am good in a crisis so I was going to go out and turn off the fuel tank. When I got to the door I suddenly felt myself turning to the left and spinning uncontrollably.

Then I was waking up on the couch with the mother of the family hovering over me and the children looking so frightened. She wanted to know if I was okay. I felt fine. Maybe just a little sleepy.

The oldest son had the good sense to run outside and turn off the fuel. Then he ran down and had his aunt come up. She called the mother who came right home. It was about a 45 minute drive.

The mother decided to take some time off work so I could go home. My parents had me rest and stay calm even though I felt fine. After one week I went back to take care of the children again.

I was there for about a week and a half. I was up before the children once again. As i moved through the living room toward their rooms to wake them up I turned and saw myself walking slightly behind and to the left of myself!

Once more I woke up to see the mother there as I was lying on the couch. This time my mother was with her. I was still so scared from what I had seen. The mother of the children of course needed someone who was not passing out all the time. She had made arrangements for a friend of mine to finish out the summer. That was fine with me. I wanted my mommy.

Mom took me home and we were relaxing again. That same day I passed the television as I was walking to a chair. Mom was in her bedroom folding clothes.

There was some sort of art program on television. The program was flashing from one painting to another and the lights changed with each painting.

I felt dizzy and was able to sit down. Then I felt myself reach up and tear the whole left side of my face, jawbone, teeth, and all, completely off. Then I felt that same hand reach down and tear the muscle from the top of my left leg. Of course that did not happen. I passed out.

Mom said she heard a funny noise and came into the living room to see me sitting in a chair with everything on my body trying to fold into itself. I am not a limber person. She said my hands were sort of palm up with my fingers almost touching my wrists.

I went immediately to the doctor. I do not remember much about the doctor visit. He admitted me to the hospital.

I had never been in the hospital before. I thought it was kind of cool to be served my food in bed. I did not like the testing they did as most of it involved drawing blood.

The second or third day I was there (I do not remember how long my stay was) I was lying there and I began to think about epilepsy. I remembered hearing my grandmother talk about two sisters in town who had "fits". That and the aunt of the children I had taken care of was the limit of what I knew on the subject.

My parents came in that morning and stood at the foot of my bed. They told me that the doctor thought I might have epilepsy. I said, "I thought that might be what it was."

When I got the chance I asked the doctor what this would mean for me having children. He said not to worry about it. But I did worry about it. So he assured me that the chances of my children having seizures was not even 1 in a million.

I was put on the medications that they used to treat seizures at that time. Now I am not a medicine taker. Two aspirin will knock me out. The medicine that I was taking made me so sleepy all the time. I do not know how I got through my senior year of high school that year. And with my A average to boot.

I have grand mal seizures (now called something else). Those are convulsive seizures. They are extremely painful. Each one a person has is a bit worse than the one before until they can be so bad that a person can die from a seizure. In fact I have almost died three times. I feel very fortunate to be here.

I am also very fortunate that I am very well controlled with medication. It has been so many years since I had a seizure that I cannot remember when the last one was.

I am still taking the original medications that the original doctor prescribed. One of them is a controlled substance. After fifty years I am physically addicted to it. That means without it I will go into withdrawal and the classic symptoms that accompany withdrawal. It does not mean I am constantly craving more. I just need it to live.

A dear friend of mine was on the city council of the big city we lived in. She was on President Carter's epilepsy commission. She asked me to go through the information she had and give her a synopsis. No problem. Until I saw the research. It was five books. Each one was about four inches thick except the last one. It was about three inches.

What I read was a real eye-opener for me. While epilepsy, like many other maladies, is not inherited the predisposition is inherited. That means that my children might have a weakness that they inherited from me that would make them more disposed to having seizures.

Also they used an example of a parent with four children (I have four children). If one child has seizures the likelihood of another having seizures multiplies (not adds up, multiplies). If three children have seizures the fourth will have seizures.

I learned that an uncle of mine had epilepsy. He died before my father was born. He was in a home for juvenile delinquents. My father always thought his brother was "bad" because that was better than being "defective".

My mother suffered terribly from migraine headaches. They are a first cousin to epilepsy. Many of the workings of the brain are the same in both.

Two of my sons had migraines when they were about 8 years old. Testing showed some brain activity but I would not allow them to be put on medication until there could be a definite diagnosis. Neither has had any further problems. My daughter is fine. I recently discovered that my other son has been having petit mal seizures for about three years. He did not want to worry me so he kept it to himself.

Two of my grandchildren have migraine headaches. So does their mother, my daughter-in-law. Two of my grandchildren have had seizures. One was placed on medication for a year. The seizures stopped and the medication was also stopped. He has been fine for several years now.

If any one needs to know anything about seizures feel free to ask. I am almost an expert. And if I am not certain I have the right answer I can probably guide you to the place to find it. In the meantime I am going to tell you what steps to take if you are with someone having a seizure.

1. If they are upright, lower them safely to a prone position. That will help keep them from injuring themselves in a fall.

2. NEVER, EVER, EVER, try to force anything into their mouth. Fingers have been bitten off. Tableware and wooden sticks are either broken or cause damage to teeth.

3. The human tongue is a muscle. It sits in a particular spot in the body. It is physically impossible to swallow your tongue. However the tongue like any muscle can fall to the back of the mouth and block the air passages. Gently position the person on their side. That way the tongue falls to the side instead of the back of the mouth.

4. If the seizure lasts for more than three minutes or if there are repeat seizures call for medical help immediately.

5. When the seizure is over often the person will lose consciousness or maybe just be confused. When they awaken the body and brain are busy trying to re-establish connections. They have no time to answer questions like "Do you know me?" Leave that for professionals. Simply say, "hi, (insert name, it is important). I am (insert name, it is important). You just had a seizure. You are safe and I am right here. Everyone is taken care of. You need to rest so go to sleep. I will be here when you wake up." If an ambulance is on the way or the doctor is on the way let them know that too. That way they can let their body heal itself without wondering what is going on.

In the beginning  I was up and full of energy after a seizure within a couple of hours. As time went on it took me at least two full days to be able to even get out of bed and stand on firm feet. Each person is different.

Epilepsy is nothing to be ashamed of. No more than diabetes, heart disease, or asthma. If you were ever to see the list of famous people and world leaders throughout history who had seizures you would be amazed.

But it must be treated. By a doctor who knows what he is doing. Not many do. Most of the "maladies" are only mentioned in medical school in passing. I hope I have enlightened you a bit. I hope you never need the information. But if you are confronted with a situation you now know what you can do.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My Family Part 6

I was the first child born to my parents, My maternal grandparents had a couple of grandchildren but they lived many states away. I was the first born near to the farm.

Even though my youngest uncle is not quite 3 years older than I am I now understand that grandchildrenhold a special spot in the hearts of their grandparents. I was held and clucked over by all my aunts and uncles.

My father had longed for a little girl. When he came home from WWII he had a kimono for his wife and his daughter. He did not know either of us.

I do not remember seeing my paternal grandmother until I was 5 or 6 years old. I am sure she was in the picture. It was not as often. My paternal grandfather died about 5 years brforeI was born.

As you can tell there was no shortage of attention for me to enjoy. I was possibly a bit spoiled. But I was definitely loved.

This all probably explains my big ego. I have always felt special.

I had a happy childhood. We moved a lot but I managed to make friends at each new home.

We lived on farms and in small towns in Nebraska. I think it is a great place for children to grow up. We played all sorts of games including sports. We swam in the creek although we were not supposed to. We fished. We went to friend's houses.

My family are all avid readers. Books are expensive so the library was dear to us. In one town the librarian would let us know when new books were arriving so we could be first in line to check them out. I believe we read most of the books in that liberary.

Of course we had chores to. We always raised small animals even in town. So there were chickens, rabbits, mink, and pet dogs to care for. The boys usually fed the critters. The girls helped with the cooking and doing dishes.

As I got older I did the laundry for our whole family once a week in an old wringer washer. I got out of doing dishes that day. I also did the ironing to get another day of not doing dishes. I really hated doing dishes and still do.

My mother's parents had their farm. Every summer we were allowed to spend one week with them. The girls went one week and the boys went another.

Grandpa loved horses so we could ride. We were allowed to watch when Grandpa and my uncles milked the cows. If one of them was in a good mood he might squirt some of that nice fresh milk so we could catch it in our mouths.

We had to stand across the barn from them while they were milking. Sometimes the cows would be cantankerous and kick.

I was a tomboy. I liked playing baseball and football. I went with the boys when they were hunting snakes. Then I was the only one brave enough to pick them up.

I have worked for years. I paid taxes from the time I was 11 years old. Before receiving a paycheck I weeded gardens, babysat, sold greeting cards, delivering newspapers, and a lot of other odd jobs.

At the age of 11 I began working at the bowling alley setting pins. That was when I began being paid by check with all the deductions taken out.

Eventually I began to grow up. I still liked the sports for instance but my girlfriends and I were looking at the boys a bit differently.

Now I never had a yearning to be married. I have no idea why. I was not against marriage. It was just not something I was actively pursuing.

But I wanted children. I had all 6 of them named. I cannot remember the names but I am certain I used none of them. Silly. And thank goodness I only had 4.

At any rate I dated a fair number of young men. It was fun to have someone to go to the movies and parties.

Then I met a young man that I wanted to marry. We began making plans.

Because neither of our families had a lot of money we decided to pay for our wedding ourselves. We were both working but our jobs did not include enough extra money for what we wanted.

All we wanted was new clothes, money for the marriage license, and money to pay the officiant. We needed an extra job.

So we picked up bales of hay for a neighbor of my soon-to-be husband's parents. It was a good sized field with hundreds of bales. We were to pick them up and stack them into nice piles.

The farmer provided a small truck that was accompanied by an alevator contraption. The driver of the truck (me) would guide the elevator to the bales. As the elevtor lifted the bales the person on the bed of the truck (my husband) stacked them on the truck to make room for the next ones.

We made enough money for our wedding that way. We eloped when we could have a two day honey moon.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Whose Dog?

My second son is back in the big city. He had a job that he liked. Then he was offered another job that paid more money. Knowing that there was a supervisory position opening at his job he applied for that.

Because he had been out of the work force for so long he told them he was willing to start at a much lower salary as long as he had the opportunity for increases.

Because he also had the new offer he felt secure in whatever decision the company made. They decided not to advance his position.

He gave them two weeks notice. He did not throw a tantrum and was business-like at all times. He did like that job and they had been good to him.

So he took the new position. He enjoyed that job as well. The company is owned by a friend.

My son was able to buy a car. He also bought a house.

His second daughter is a teenager. She has had a rough time of it. She was neglected by her mother and always felt like she was not wanted anywhere.

When they moved into the house my son told her it is hers. He surprised her with her own furnished bedroom. The difference in her is visible. She likes living with her father and belonging.

His son will be a teenager soon. He lives with his mother but is with his father every weekend. He will stay with my son this summer too.

My son has taught him to stand tall. He looked so beaten by the world.

My grandson is learning to play baseball and is on a team this year. No one took the time before. He likes having his own room and knowing it too.

A few weeks ago my son called and asked me to guess what happened. Of course you know I had no guess.

The owner of the company my son left wanted to see him. My son was being offered the supervisory job he applied for before.

Of course my son went in for the interview. The man told him that after reviewing his application and speaking to other employees he wanted to make my son a supervisor.  The position would pay more than twice as much as my son had originally requested.

So now my son has a new job. He has two of his children with him. His oldest daughter is away at college.

They decided they wanted a pet. Off to the dog pound they went. Our family always gets rescued animals.

The three of them were looking for just the right pet. As they strolled through looking at what dogs were there my son noticed that his daughter had abandoned them. She had her hand in the cage of one puppy petting it.

He quickly went over and reminded her how dangerous it can be to do that with a strange animal. "But Dad she is so cute." They had a new pet.

My son called me yesterday laughing. He had his son give the dog a bath then take her outside. They are still in the process of house training her.

Apparently she was mad about the bath. She shook herself all over my grandson. Then she dragged him all around the yard as he held her leash. And he is a big kid.

He finally decided to take her back inside. After a lot of tugging and pulling he got her inside. She pulled away as he tried to unfasten her leash.

My grandson threw down his hands in frustration and stomped off to his room.

The dog gently picked up her leash, took it over to my granddaughter, and dropped the leash into my granddaughter's hand.

Guess whose dog she is.