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.