Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My children

We had 5 children and they are such a blessing to me. I will let them tell you about their children. Since we moved a lot , we were not around the grandchildren a lot.

Currently, the children all live in Colorado. They live scattered except for our son and his wife and their 2 children, ages 9 and 7 who live in Cotopaxi. Nelson's wife , Cruz is my 5th daughter and I love her like my own. Nelson is the photographer, April is my caretaker, Elaine is the computer wizard, Colleen is making silver jewelry, and Jennifer is doing a little bit of everything. They are all very talented and artistic. I won't bore you anymore with all their talents. I am just a loving mother. I am now 77 years old.

Finished blogging for awhile : IT MUST BE TIME TO MOVE AGAIN.

Garden friends

When word spread around that I was going to retire, friends began to ask, what would I do. Of course they all knew I was a 'painter' . I said, "I think I'd like to plant some flowers. "
Gardeners are the most generous people that I know! The spring before I retired in 1994. People began to give me flowers and bulbs. Some I had to plant in the snow and mud.

Amazingly a lot of them grew and flourished. There was a small irrigation ditch running through town, behind my property. There were openings for water to be let in and shut off. Every spring the ditch needed to be cleaned. So there were lots of digging little ditches to different flowrs. It grew to be a large garden, and I put many favorite rocks around in the garden. I always had a cat or two to keep me company.

I took pictures and painted pictures of all the flowers ,cats , moutains and cliffs. I had "come and paint" groups every year. It was a busy time, and in Jehovah's great sun and wind and dirt and friends, the hole in my heart healed.
I also fit in some vacations with friends to the great south west, and back to the ocean and then across the country. How great to have 10 years of retirement!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Keenesburg, Co.

Keenesburg, Colorado is a farming community north and east of Denver. In 1987, it was a farming community and if you know anything about farmers and their families, they are plain good people. It was a good place to work and live.

The hospital in Greeley sponsored the clinic there as an outreach to the hospital. It was North Colorado Hospital Center at that time. The doctors trained young doctors in a 3 year program to be Board Certified in Family Practice. On Wed. afternoon, I would go to class with the young doctors and listen to lectures by Physicians on various subjects. I would also pick up supplies for the clinic. It was a good place to learn! The rest of the week, I would see people about their various problems, A doctor would come to see patients one afternoon a week.

Before I took this job, Leon and I discussed the pros and cons, It was 150 miles or so from Cotopaxi, and he liked it so well in Cotopaxi, That we rented an apartment for us in Keenesburg and we went back and forth on the weekends. It was not an easy solution but we made it work out.

In 1988 to 1994 , my mother from Indiana came to live in an apartment next to ours. Her greatest regret was missing her cousin that she had lived around all her life, and other friends and not driving a car! Leon would always come and take her to doctor appointments. He was very good to her and with her. She grew legally blind which was very difficult for her . In her last 6 months we had respite care come 24 hours a day. I had told her that I would not put her in a nursing home. My great friend Carol Herold was a great help with mother, and she is still a great friend.

Before my mother died, Leon was having heart problems again . He decided on having some experimental surgery at University Hospital in Denver. He lived 6 weeks. When I told my mother that he was not going to make it. She said ," Oh no, I will die before him" But he made it first.

Six months later, Leon's mother died, and about 8 months later, my mother died. The 3 deaths left such a hole in my heart. Yes, you who have expierenced it, know what I mean. At the end of 8 years in Keenesburg, I retired from 46 years of nursing and bought a little house in Cotopaxi. Home again

Working Part Time

Westcliffe Clinic was going through some problems finding Physician coverage , so I quit all my jobs and was on call every other weekend. This went on for about 3 years and then I filled in for some Nurse Practitioners vacation time etc. It still gave us time to travel a little and explore the country. Above is an old mill south of Creede, Co. It was still in pretty good shape at that time. Creede was a great place to find Creede agate, but gradually the old mining spots were closed to everyone. Some great scenery . We loved the back roads from Creede to Lake City and Lake City to Silverton. I especially remember one tent camping trip in New Mexico where we had a snowstorm. All night long the wind blew, and we would hear one car leave and then another, and another. Finally our tent blew down on top of us and we just snuggled a little deeper in our down sleeping bags. When it was dawn, we were the only ones left in the campground!

Monday, March 17, 2008


One of a family of five brothers and a sister. What a great family they have been and still are. They are all great story tellers. When someone begins a story, it is not long until all the grand kids and nieces and nephews etc. are trying to find a place to set and listen. You will have to come and visit for those stories!

Early in our marriage, we decided not to have television. A few of us manage that. Of course the first thing our children bought when they left home was a t.v. We always had books, and even moved books, on all our travels. Leon read a lot in encyclopedia's and remembered what he read. He also had a technicals library on building , mathematical equations, engines etc. And we studied the Bible.

A college professor said " he could talk to anyone on any level about any subject".
He loved kids. On Halloween, he always came up with something different. One year he took a jar of peanut butter and spead it on bread while the kids were watching and then tried to put it in their goodie sack. Then he would say something like"Dont you like peanut butter and jelly?"

And a delightful picture I have of him is when he had taken the Bible from a Jehovah Witness and was explaining the scripture to him!

When we traveled, he would know about the towns we passed through. He was like a personal travel guide.

I have not said much about him, but I could not have done better for a life companion.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Back to Cotopaxi-Westcliffe.Co

Home Again ! and I went to Westcliffe to work as the school nurse, the public health nurse, the Family Nurse Practitioner, and started a Home Health Program along with a well child clinic, and I was on call again! Never a dull moment. I was interviewing an LPN to work in the Home Health Program when I asked her if she wanted a cup of coffee or tea. She replied," no thanks" I said are you a Mormom? and she said she was! How funny, I had just left the Mormons.

Someone said one day," How terrible that we have so many different churches in this little town.". I said , " No it is wonderful" . It has been a great lifetime to live where we have had freedom to worship as we please. When else in history has this occurred? I'm afraid that the freedom will end when the Moslem's take over. Hopefully, I will not live to see that!

It was in 1980 that our son gave us our first SLR camera and I began to learn about taking pictures. Westcliffe is a great place to take pictures and to paint pictures.

Yes by 1983, I was developing the popular "burn out" in my nursing so I took a class in Drawing. Of course I could never draw as someone told me when I was about 12 years old. "You can't draw" I looked at my picture and her picture and decided she was right. I could not draw.

Whenever the children wanted to know how to draw, I said, " Ask your dad"

I had taken a nursing class in teaching people to use the Right Side of the Brain after strokes, so I bought the book"How to draw on the Right side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. And I followed all the lessons in that book and I learned to Draw. Then I began to take classes in Pastels, then Oil. Then I joined Brush Marks in Canon City for critiques on my art work. That was the best training. One of the group challenged me to paint a picture in watercolor and after 3 times, I painted it. That was when I fell in love with the WC. I did continue to paint and draw for 25 years. Some of my best friends were artists. Oh, and there was an occasional wierd one, besides me.
Why was it so hard to be "on call" I think for essential things it would be OK, but not everything was even close to essential. It is not easy to get up in the middle of the night at 40 below 0 and see someone that was OK by the time they got to the clinic.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Utah canyonlands

Remember the saying "A happy husband makes a happy wife". So we are off to a dry country. Central Utah at 8000 feet we settled in Loa, and I worked in a clinic in Bicknell. It was Dry and Beautiful country.

There were 5 Mormon churches in the county, and no other! All activities were in the churches or the schools. The schools had all Mormon teachers. Special activities were brought down from Salt Lake City, and some were quite good. All Mormon of course. There are Mormons and the rest of the people were Jack Mormons. To describe them, good people, did not believe as the Momons did but didn't disagree with them.

Orientation was with a Mormon doctor who was also a elder. I kept seeing these young girls who came in to see the doctor and were dressed with cute little one piece chemise with lace around the neck and the panties and I almost asked, "Is this a new style"? But the next patient was an elderly male who had on the same silk, minus the lace. Oh!!! this is the undergarment that protects them from sin....... Yes, I had read a little.....

My first impression of computers was not a good impression. It was 7 foot tall and 3-4 foot wide !! Can you believe I am THAT old! I had to type in a s.o.a.p. format the patients records, send them to the Univerisity at Utah, and to the doctors office in Richfield. All that was in place of a preceptor coming to the site. For years I wanted nothing to do with computers. There were a lot of kinks to work out in 1979.

One of the young women who came to the clinic was so proud that her grandmother was one of Bringham Young's 89 wives!

A sheep herders wife, took us 60 miles out across the mountain to the sheep herders site. There in an old school bus converted to a sheepherders residence, she fixed dinner on a little stove and baked sour dough biscuits. They were the best. An experience to remember.

On the weekend, I did not have to be 'on call' unless I was home. Somehow, we packed early in an old orange volkswagon and were out on the desert or in the canyonlands. It was 50 miles east to a doctor and 100 miles or more, any other direction. I always took a medical bag with me but never had to use it. We were closest to Capital Reef Nat'l Park. Be sure to check it out if you ever have a chance! We took food and water with us, as there were few if anyplaces with either.

What to do on the desert, besides looking at the great formations, hunt rocks. Yes, we still had some of that in our blood . We found a ridge of petrified oyster shells, and dinosaurs bones, and a massive hill of selinite crystals and of course petrified wood, here and there. And have you ever seen a sink hole? Yes just a big hole with no bottom and no guards around it. I had read a book by a man who hiked all over Utah and he talked about laying down to sleep by one at night and woke up beside a sink hole. I just saw one in the daytime and that was enough to make me watch where I walked!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

North West Washington adventures

In the Darrington Clinic, as one of the FNP's , we worked days and were all call anytime. Every other weekend we were 'off'. My husband was working as a fire watch. So on the weekend we were free we traveled to see the state. It was about 3o miles to the interstate and by that time we were usually out of heavy rain . Sometimes a mist and sometimes a little sun! There were so many interesting places to explore, I can only name a few.

The trip to Anacortes was a treat. A great old hardware store there where I found the best dustmop that I ever had! From there it was a short distance to the ferry which took us to the San Juan Islands. A different trip for each island and then the longer ferry that took us to Victoria BC. There was this best museum ever, you could smell the apple pie cooking on the old wood cookstove like my mom had! And the buildings were so magnificent.

Whidby Island was another favorite place. The Ocean waves rolling onto the beach, The tide coming in or going out, looking for shells, or rocks., the feel of the wind and splatters ! They also had a large garden there of all kinds of blooming trees and flowers that grew far above normal. I think it was 35 acre's but the name escapes me. The old houses, some 3 and 4 story tall were still in great shape in 1979 and along the coast they were plentiful. Port Townsend was another favorite place and we watched the dolphins there.

The World Fair was in Vancover, Canada one year, and we toured that, but the place that beckoned us quite often was Pikes Market in Seattle. It was while walking the sidewalks someone was calling my name. No one knew me in Seattle..... but there were rockhounds from Texas, calling my name! It was always a fun place to go, and we could never see it all but we ended the day with Ivar's Oyster Stew and a few chips to throw to the sea gulls!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My friend Edna

Edna's Story

Edna was married with 3 little children ; her husband had cleaned a motorcycle with gas in the front room and when the children went out the door to get the mail, the sun caught the room on fire. Edna ran through the burning room so the children would not come back inside. As she walked down the lane to get help, the skin actually hung off her legs from the terrible fire. She was put in a hospital where they could do nothing for her. A visiting physcian from Seattle was there seeing patients when he heard her yelling with pain. He went to see her and said he would move her to Seattle and would work on her in his spare time. So that is what he did. Finally, he had no more skin he could graft so he asked if she had any relatives. She had a twin brother who gave skin for her. Very slowly and painfully, she recovered with a lot of scarring and deformed arm and much else. The doctor would not take a penny for his work on her, but said she could bake him a blackberry pie. Edna drove 90 miles each way to Seattle each year and took him 2 black berry pies and when he died, she took them to his wife until she died. And Edna also took care of her brother whenever she could. When asked why she didn't die, she said there was no one else to take care of her 3 children.

To continue Edna's story, she remarried later and had 3 more children. One day while washing outside windows, she fell from a ladder, and broke her crooked arm. She was laying on the ground when the girls got home from school on the bus. They looked at her and thought she was dead. Nora said to Cindy, "Will you be my mom now?" Edna survived and her bent arm was only slightly crooked the rest of her life.

I met Edna at the Darrington Clinic. At that time, she was cleaning the clinic. You have never seen a cleaner place! One day a doctor was there and spilled some water on the floor. He took a white towel and wiped up the water. He looked at the towel that showed no sign of dirt, and he Yelled ," Who cleans this clinic" Edna heard him and came running. He said, " I want you to come and clean for me".

Edna later became the nursing assistant. She would even stop after hours or weekends to see if she could help. We became great friends. Edna was amazing, I could tell you stories!!! She died with cancer., and I miss her. My Friend Edna

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


"I will lift my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." Psalms 121:1,2

Why Cotopaxi? Was it the great Sangre Christo Range of Mountains to the south and west?,
Or the red cliffs at Cotopaxi? Partly, the deep blue skies, the dry wind that blows, the sun that shines most every day? The beauty of the Arkansas River Canyon although some one named it The Big Horn Canyon. The Arkansas River Canyon it still is!

We leased, and then bought a gas and service station there. It kept Leon happy with his constant changing and building. In his spare time he bought or found old engines which he repaired, rebuilt, and got them running. A happy husband makes a happy wife.

Thinking that a change from Public Health might be nice, I started working for Dr. Cole who was starting a new office in Canon City under the Nat'l Health Service Corp. He had ordered supplies, and box after box were delivered to an empty office space. The doctor said put them where they belong. So I took the challenge and put them where they might be easy to use! He hired a receptionist and a bookkeeper and we just all worked together and learned what to do. I did not like the billing and coding department at all, and after that wherever I worked, I said, " just call some one and ask them how it is done."

Dr. Cole suggested that I go back to school to be a Nurse Practitioner. With his help and lots of phone calls, I was admited to a class at the Health Science Center in Denver . From that I learned to be Adult Nurse Practitioner. Since it was a Family Practice, I was soon seeing the young and the old. When the doctor had served his time with the Nat'l Health Service Corp. I was looking for a new job.

In 1977, we moved again, lock, stock, and barrel as they say, to Darrington, Washington. It was a logging community in a rain forest. Now THAT was a change. The first three weeks it rained day and night. Every time I woke up I could hear the rain. If you have never been in a rain forest, it is something to experience! The blackberries grow above the barn roofs, and moss all over the trees, ferns everywhere, and there are slugs too. The magnolias and azeleas are just beautiful along with fields of tulips and daffodils!

We had been there about a month and Leon had open heart surgery with 5 bypasses. It was quite different in 1977 than now. But he lived another 15 years so it was worth it.

While there, the clinic hired 2 N.P's. and they gave us liberal time for continued education. It was there that I continued my education and became a Family Nurse Practitoner certified by the ANA. I always enjoyed learning more.

We were on call, for any emergency after hours. The lumber companies hired a helicopter to fly out any injurys on the job site. They would bring the helicopter to the clinic and pick up which ever N.P. was working and take us with them. Another experience!

Monday, March 10, 2008


" Buy truth, and never sell it" Proverbs 23:23"

"Moving once, and moving twice, and moving once again"
Wasn't there a song something like that??

Having lived in Indiana for the first 40 years of my life and lived within a radius of a few
miles of my birthplace, what an adventure we were in for!

With daughter #2 now married, and daughters #3 and #4 now in Bob Jones Academy and University, we took a 6 months vacation on Lake Junaluska, N.C.

It was while moving there, I was driving a pick up truck with a large camper on the back, pulling a loaded trailer with 2 chirstmas trees on top of it through 6 lanes of traffic going both directions on some interstate through Tulsa ,Oklahoma, when I decided I did not want to move again. It is so nice that we cannot see into the future!

We found an Independent Baptist Church in Asheville, N.C. that was using R.H. Mount Jr.'s book on the ' Tabernacle' as a text for Wednesday evening study. Finally, some great teaching from the Bible. Ralph H Mount Jr. has since gone to be with the Lord. He was a great teacher with great knowledge of the Bible and the Greek translations. Our family will always be greatful for the chance of studying with him. If you ever see a book written by him, Buy It!

That journey ended in Cotopaxi, Co. in 1973 and although the 'moving' was not over, it was our home base until 2006.

In was in Cotopaxi, that we took some classes in Rock Hunting, studying rocks and minerals. What I enjoyed most was hunting for them. Just sitting on the side of a mountain, digging with a rock hammer and finding a crystal!! We actually went rock hunting in many places and states, It was a thrill to find petrified dinosaur bones in the desert, and petrified wood in many places. And we met so many interesting people who became friends. We also had an old Willy's jeep that would go most anyplace. What fun to explore the area before all the people moved in and roads were closed by some government agency.

Coming home from work in the evening, I could always spot when Leon would give one of "my rocks" away. It seems so funny now, but someone took a rock we used as doorstop to the station. Why would we use a special rock for a door stop, and why would someone steal it? The mysteries in life.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finally--Moving to Colorado

"With someone like you, a friend so good and true, I'd like to leave it all behind , and go and find, a spot that's known, to God alone"
Maybe it was that old song or maybe from our camper vacations, I always wanted to move to Colorado.
My husband came home from work, and said someone wanted to buy our house ! He said there was a big house for rent he was sure we could move to, but I said," If we don't go to Colorado now, we never will. " It must have been in an " Overall Plan!"

It was a busy 2 weeks, We had a wedding of our oldest daughter, thanks to those who helped and it was already planned.
We drove to Colorado and rented a house.
We had a family Christmas at our house.
We both resigned our jobs and packed all our belongings in a UHaul truck.
And moved to Colorado!!!

In another two weeks, I was working in a hospital, Leon bought a piece of property above Rye,Co. and he built a house there. It was only a couple months and there was an opening in Public Health which I liked much better than hospital work. So many people have said "How could you just move? I have always been thankful for that basic RN training. And maybe a sense of adventure?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nursing 1966-1970

In the midst of having my children, it was always nice to have my Registered Nurse license. It came in so convenient in summers when my mom was not working and a lot of time at nights. I worked part time in various hospital around since we were living about the same distance from three hospitals, and we always seemed to be in need of another crib, or diapers, or even Soy milk for the allergic babies. At that time, the soy milk, stunk and stained stained everything. Perhaps that is why, I have never tried it again!
So in 1966, I began working at the Visiting Nurse Service in Elwood, In. the hours were 8am to 1 pm, so I was home when the children left for school and home when they came home. It was a good place to work and I learned a lot.

It was about that time that we sold our 3 bedroom home on the corner, and moved to an older house that we remodeled. It had 5 bedrooms and a sewing room. Only one bathroom. How we managed that I have no idea. Some things are best left unknown! It was also the time that our country schools had all been consolidated and our 5 children were now going to 5 different schools whereas they had all been in one. That sure did not help us!! but with moving, we only had 2 schools to contend with.

In working as the visiting nurse and also the migrant nurse during the tomato season, I worked out of the Red Cross office. Mrs Haines was the Red Cross personel and from her, I learned so much in dealing with people. Does anyone remember Mrs. Haines? She was a grand person. Just by listening to her speak with such interest to people and their problems, she could entice them to tell their stories and in some way help them. It is so true that people want to share their problems, or illness, with someone who shows some interest in them.

In the migrant camp there was a long barrack like structure, with cots placed side by side the length of the building. No spaces in between, and here the migrants slept. And how do you controll head lice in that kind of place? The smaller children were sent to a day school arranged by some nuns . There, we tried to teach the older children how and what to use to get rid of the head lice. I remember one nun, (back then they had every inch of their head and body covered), who said she could just feel her body crawling with lice after she saw them coming off the kids heads when washed. I always thought" How could a louse get under that outfit"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Grandma's story, part 5 of 5

This is a picture of Myrtle Audrey Gustin about age 4 which would be c 1906:

This photo is pre 1902, showing Riley Parker and Margaret Newby, who were the grandparents of Myrtle A. Gustin House

Grandma's story, part 4 of 5

Page 5 Grandma’s story
In 1929 when the stock market failed. , or sometime shortly after that, my folk came home from town and saw a sign on the gate, that said their place was for sale. They did go back to town and made arrangements to keep the farm.
It was during the depression that Mom went to work in the tomato canning factory in Dog Town “Omega”. She said she wanted some new curtains. Dad must have bought them or she made enough to buy them because she didn’t work long. I remember dad frying potatoes when she came home one night. The only time I ever saw his cook anything.
When I was pretty young, my mother talked to me about God and going to heaven and likely being good. So I remember being in a car and asking someone if they were going to heaven: following which my mother hurried to get me quiet and said I should not be asking people that question. I remember wondering Why? As it seemed pretty important to me.
One day Wendell was playing ball in the barnyard with some other boys. I was watching from a wagon and decided to get down. I remember laying on the wagon tongue and yelling for help. I thought I would fall, and fall I did and broke my elbow. Maybe that is why I have a fear of falling and a fear of heights all my life. I remember going down into a dark basement and getting and x-ray, and later the cast itching.
Here you can insert the story about the barn burning, and the boy that had his fingers eaten by a pig, and Grandma house dying.. (they are written, just not typed out)
In 1939 we moved to the home place. That was a house built by Robert House that my father was born in. His mother and dad had died and his brother Clifton and wife Fern Cox lived there. Then Clifton died so someone in the family. None of the other brothers wanted to live there because the land was poor and rocky in places. So dad moved there and sold our place to Uncle Lacy and Aunt Muriel.
Grandma had not had an easy life, But in later years she said she “ I’ve always had everything I wanted”
Dad died in 1951. He was 52. They had come to see me in St. Louis. I was in nursing school there for 3 months. The drive was too much for his heart. Mom a widow at age 48. Had Leon -;who came home from the service to farm and me live with her. Where we had our first 3 girls. Reese was still home. He had an episode of pyleonephritis from a strept sore on his nose and almost died. Mother went to work as school cook and then as a nurse aid at the Tipton Hospital. In 19 56, Leon and I and girls moved to our own house. She rented the farm & eventually sold it. I would never have made it through 5 children without her help. Yes, I loved her dearly, and in her last 5 years she came to line in an apartment in Keenesburg,Co, and I was with her the night she died.
More on Grandma when I write My story….
By A. Annabel House Moore, age 73.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grandma's story, part 3 of 5

Page 3 Grandma’s story
8th grade graduation of mom.
After 8th grade she went to Walnut Grove High School. Her and Virgie drove their buggies and sometimes had races. They thought that was fun, of course they were not supposed to race.
In High school she met others who would be her life long friends . One was Eula Leonard Gunning. She remembers that mom was always good to her grandfather and step grandma. She learned to cook young and would make biscuits for breakfast, after she had milked the cows and fed the chickens. And Eula said that they in turn were good to Myrtle.
Myrtle said she had a couples dates in a buggy. At age 16, They bought her a victrola and she had piano lessons for 14 years. In later years she missed the piano. She went to some silent movies. When she graduated high school. Her and Virgie went on an excursion train to Pikes Peak and on to California. They had a lot of fun . They took a street car from Arcadia to the train station. Dancing was forbidden in the schools and considered a sin by most. In 1918, shoes were $ 100.00 a pair. At that time Myrtle wanted to be a missionary, She could not go on to college because she needed to stay home and take care of her step grandmother.
Mom had a boyfriend and had a friendship ring from him, but then started going with William Kenneth House
b.d. 8-6-1898. She married him when she was 22 and he was 26. They grew up less than I mile apart.
Married August 28, 1924. Their children :
John Wendell 6-3-1926
Audrey Annabel 12-11-30
Reese Milton 5-18 38 deceased 2007
They were married in Noblesville at the parsonage of the ME church. On their honeymoon, the went to Garfield park in Indpls, to the House Reunion, and then in a model T Ford to Mooresville , In. for 2 days.
They set up housekeeping on a farm by Cicero and then moved to he house just west of Walnut Grove, known to the next generation as ‘Aunt Muriel’s House’.
In 1925 when Myrtle was 23, her stepmother died. Myrtle always felt bad that she had married and left her at home without her being there to help her.

Grandma's story, part 2 of 5

page 2 Myrtle
Roscoe and Ella then moved to a farm that Riley gave them. At some time he lost the farm. Later they moved to Idaho and then to California as Ella had tuberculosis. She lived to be 82 and they had three sons. Myrtle’s stepbrothers that she never knew.
Myrtles brother:
Omar Everit Gustin born 6-30-1904 and died 4-17 73.
This is a picture I have, marked Omar. Also there is another picture sometimes marked Omar, sometimes marked Myrtle??
Was he premature? They said his head fin in a teacup and his body in a cigar box? A cousin Mariah Brown, took him, and spoon fed him. Her husband fought in the Civil War. He came home and left again?? The story is that Mariah rode a hose to get Omar, She did not live long ? How long? And her children Carl, Harry, and Carrie Brown raised Omar.
My mother (Myrtle) says she remembers that once a year, Carl Brown would bring Omar in the buggy and they would go see their dad Roscoe. He said they should remember they were “family”. Omar and Myrtle rode in the buggy up to see their dad and stepmother who were farming in Tipton County.. Myrtle remembers being scared sleeping upstairs.
Other things that Myrtle remembered were: a sack of candy for Christmas, playing with kittens, dressing them up and pushing them in a buggy. She wasn’t allowed to bring them in the house.
She remembered all of her mother’s and grandmothers nice things were stored in the attic, moths got in and ruined them.
Allie developed cardiac asthma so their were several different hired girls. Mother remembered them and was quite fond of them in later life. One was Carrie Maude Gunn Maggeret
She went to # 6 school, which was a one room school on the corner of Riley’s farm. B.
Fern House was the teacher when mom was in the first grade.. Other first graders were Virgie Parker, Melvin Carey, Reason Holloway, Maizie Newby and Myrtle. In the second grade were Newby Carey, Mary House and Kenneth House and Roy Blackford were in the third grade.
Virgie Parker was mom’s best friend all her life. She was Uncle Will’s daughter and lived about 3/4 mile away. Kenneth was to become my dad., and B. Fern House was my dad’s oldest sister.

Grandma's story, part 1 of 5

A BOOK ABOUT GRANDMA Myrtle Audrey Gustin House

This is written to the best of my remembrance, and allowing that old records show some varying dates. If you know otherwise, you can write your story. I will refer to her as Myrtle, or grandma , or mother as I forget, for this is essentially written for my children.

To begin the story, we must start with Myrtle’s grandfather for he it was that raised her.
Riley Parker born 3 07 1856 died 10 24 1834 She hand wrote that he was 82 years 7 months and 22 days old. She must have loved him to write the years, months, and days. She never said!.
Riley married Margaret Newby on Oct 25, 1874 She was born 1-08-1856
And died 4-21-1902 She was 45 years old. They had three children:
Will Parker, Henry E,, Charles Parker, and
Katie Belle or legally Catherine, who was born 6-24-1882.
This is a picture of Katie Belle on her 8th grade graduation.
Katie married Roscoe Gustin. Roscoe was born 5-5-1882 and he died 5-5-1948 at age 66.
Katie had my mother (Myrtle) 7-09 1902 and then she had Omar in 1904 She died following his birth, He was born premature? Omar was born 6-30-1904 and Katie died 9-07 –1904. This was just 2 years after Katie’s mother died.. Katie and Roscoe were living with Riley Parker at the time.
Riley was left without his wife and his daughter. So he married a neighbor lady Allie Hill Albertson in Sept 7 of 1905. Myrtle was 3 at the time.
Allie had lost her husband and she had six children. Allie was born in 3-07– 1852. Her daughter Ella moved in with her, Ella was 16 or 17 at the time, and then, Ella and Roscoe decided to marry.
Roscoe, to give him credit wanted to take Myrtle with him when they moved to a farm Riley gave them. However Riley said No. “You took my daughter and you cannot have my granddaughter” So she stayed with Grandfather Riley, along with her stepmother, Riley’s boys and some of the step children. . It was in this mixed up family and in this house that Myrtle grew up.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

House that dad built: Our faith

From vacation to vacation, we came back to this small house, we called home.
The scripture says" Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered intothe heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" I Co 2:9
It is hard to grasp that verse, when this very land has such beautiful places.

From year to year, we would end our vacations in Cottonwood campground above Buena Vista, Co. That probably played a great part in our moving to Colorado in later years.

In between vacations, we both worked, and spent 15 years in local churches, having both dedicated our lives to God. We taught classes (learning the most ourselves) and sponsored the youth group for several years. We had a great group of kids and kept our children active in church.
Then we had a leader in the Methodist District who came to tell us, that the Bible was not inspired by God, but that men wrote what they thought. That was when the Methodist church left us.

We then went to Baptist Churches for a few years, in which one was teaching on the Tabernacle from a book written by Ralph Mount Jr. That was in l973 and was the first time in years that we were actually learning. He has since gone to Heaven, but I still spend time each day building my faith, and love to God.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

vacations, part 5 of 5

Here is a picture as pictures were then, very bad: and a picture of our second camper at the side.
As one of the girls mentioned, we started out in a old army tent. We tried lake cottages, then campers, the first one was tossed around by an Indiana tornado, then we went to larger and yet larger campers. As the kids grew up and left home, we finally sold the camper, and went back to a small up to date tent in the back of a volkswagon.! By then we had pretty much narrowed down the necessities in life!

I remember the first camping trip through Colorado on the way to the coast on old highway 6. We climbed and climbed ; I was so thrilled to be in the mountains, just the awesome-ness and the wonder, then we came out on a high plateau . I thought" what is all this flat country", And I remembered a long ago geography lesson. OH, this is what a plateau is.

It seemed that the preparation of a year for out trips,where we saved half dollars in a jar, and I built up my courage to face another onslaught of misquitos, and hot weather and disconfort were actually worth it to see this great country! Just a few things to mention, The mountins, the ocean, the california poppies covering the hillside, sand dunes, the redwood forests, Crater Lake, Yellowstone, Mount rushmore , and on and on, with the long distances in between. Now we can see all this on TV but somehow the" roughing it " experience is not to be forgotten.

And it is a fact, that my husband never got a misquito bite. The misquitos could sit on his hands and face, and never a bite! None of the kids shared his gene. Sorry.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

vacations, part 4 of 5

My favorite memory of a vacation. I believe we went to Cottonwood Pass with Uncle Gerald’s. We all started the hike up to an old mine near the top of the mountain. All the girls and you and Aunt Marylyn turned
back when the road ended. Dad, Gerald, David and I went on. We hiked a long way up and came to an old mine, with a cabin and a spring. We drank water from the spring. I wasn’t feeling good and even though I really wanted to go on, dad told me to stay there and wait and they would come back. I was so afraid being along. Shortly after they left I heard a noise in the brush. I was so scared I couldn’t run or go anywhere. It came again and again. I just remember being so afraid and then Uncle Gerald came out of hiding. He was tossing rocks toward me so I would think it was a bear. He must have known how afraid I was. I was so glad to see him I couldn’t be mad.
That summer dad showed me ways to follow trails that would lead from one mine to another clues to look for. Dad would let me lead the way. I thought it was so much fun winding through the trees and then finding an old mine that wasn’t even on the trail. I’m sure he knew all along where they were but dad taught me so much and I loved spending time with him doing things a lot of girls didn’t like to do. I didn’t need to be on a vacation to have fun with dad, he made most everything we did fun.

vacations, part 3 of 5

I remember that I loved Kansas. Don't remember where it was....but we stopped at a park that had hot showers and they were free. It must have been the only place that summer because I decided I loved Kansas....they had showers!
And I remember that old army tent.....smelled so horrible inside that I wanted to sleep outside, but we couldn't, it was raining.
Washing our hair in ice cold water because we were teenagers and couldn't possibly go without washing our hair.....then tying a hanky over it to cover it up. Pretty funny.
I remember sitting on a rock at Kelly Dale....outside of Boulder (I went back to find the exact spot as an adult). Looking west to the mountains with a lake in front of me and "talking" to God. It was the most beautiful spot on the planet...I must have been 15 or 16. And to this date, I have never found a spot more gorgeous. I remember sitting on the rock until Dad came looking for me. I found peace there as a teenager. And since then, when I have needed "peace", my mind has taken me back to the beauty of that spot.
Going to Estes Park and buying salt water taffy. Never quite understood how they had it there with no ocean around.
Going to Central City and watching the goldsmith forge earrings. Climbing that forever hill back to the top because I swear, dad parked the camper as far away as he possibly could!
Dad driving into the gas station and hitting the overhang. I was up on the top and thought I was going to die for sure.
How you and dad always seemed to hook up with another family who followed us for a few days and they always had kids.
The week in Afton Wyoming and the Baptist church there.
Bouncing around in the camper when we went over rough roads thinking it was going to come disconnected from the truck and we would never see you again!
Mt Rushmore. Dad said a man could stand inside the eye....and it looked about 2" tall from where we were.
The snow in the middle of the summer at Rocky Mtn National Park.
Swimming in the ocean and hearing the sea lions somewhere on a cliff.
Seeing the world's oldest tree.
Dad making me read a map. Telling me we were lost when he knew exactly where we were.
You getting so sick to your stomach and looking like you were going to die. :o)

vacations, part 2 of 5

oh, the mosquitos never bit dad, and we always stopped where there were the most mosquitos. they sure bit me!

Kansas always took forever to get across, and I was looking for the mountains once we got past the state line (kansas/colorado).

We rode above the cab in the camper loft. I bet all those kid's faces looking out made people smile. We played some game where you tried to be the first to guess what the make/type of oncoming vehicle was. All the cars look the same to me now, but I could sure tell a buick from a ford back then.

There are a lot of memories and they are all good

Monday, February 18, 2008

vacations, part 1 of 5

Vacations must be listed in Ecc. chapter 3 ??? Vacations became a time to prepare for, and a time to clean up after.

My husband came home from work and said he had a week off and we were going on a vacation!!! He had just finished building us a new home, and we were living in the basement while he finished the up stairs in his off work time. We had also had our 4th daughter in 5 years!

"My mother" who has not been mentioned much in this blog becuase I have a whole story written on her life somewhere on this computer waiting to be edited. My mother said she would keep the baby and we could take a vacation. Sigh of relief!! ( My mother played such a huge part in helping me with my children. I could not have made it without her, and when at 86, she could not live alone, we moved her to Colorado and put her in an apartment next to ours. I wanted to do that for her. It was not a question.) So she kept the baby.

My Mother in law went with us. She was such a blessing, she played with the kids, and sang to them and told them stories and kept them happy. I did not know how to play with babies. I had never grown up around any. I learned a lot from my mother in law.

Early on in life a made a RULE to myself. When my mother would say " Why doesn't he fix that fence" Or when he would say " Why doesn't she buy posts so I can fix the fence"
I never passed those comments on. I just let them roll like water off a ducks back. I always got along fine with my inlaws and outlaws.

The vacation actually went pretty well. We went to Washington DC and stayed with a nurising friend who had small children then. WE did the Smithsonion etc. My memory fails me as I have already given the old photos away.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Love and Vows

When thou makest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it, for he hath no pleasure in fools, pay first which thou hast vowed Ecclesiastes 5;4
Love, the best description of love is best explained as a gift that most of us are given at one time or other. I remember being pregnant and thinking how I could divide my love with a new baby. That is not how it happened When I held that baby, I was given a total and new love that did not take anything from other loves in my life. I experienced that added love 5 times with children. And I continue to experience in friends that I have, and ones that have gone on.
So when I was married, we were "in love" It was as the above picture displays, a prickly pear rose cactus kind of love. But we had made vows to each other and to God and somehow, we worked things out. We had 42 years together, still in love.
I remember on his dying days, He thanked me for staying with him, and asked me to forgive him for what ever . shattered did you hear my heartbreak? A couple months after his death, a doctor I worked with asked how I was doing. I said "Ok days but I still have nightmares at night where I wake up thinking " What can I do to help him?' and he was already dead.
One day a patient came in to see me and said she was sorry to hear my husband died and she started talking about her husband that died. I asked, when did he die? And she said, That was 35 years ago! So then I decided you don't get over someones dying, you just live through it. I did take hospice classes which I highly recommend to all. A lot of people are suffering.
Oh yes. Read Ecclesiastes chapter 3

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stress, not in 1950 1951

Hans Selye discovered stress in 1935 as a syndrome occuring in laboraory rats.
Stress has become a universal explanation for human behavior in industrial society.
However findings were rejected by physiologist until the 1970's

No wonder I did not know about stress, I was born too soon. And how lucky I was!!
In 1951, I was in my senior year of nursing school.
I was married and had to find housing outside the school.
I was pregnant and my husband was called back into the Marines for the Korean War.
I was in the midst of my Senior exams and my dad was dying in the hospital. I had requested that they call me if he died as my mom was alone with him. They did not, but told me after the exams were done. How would you have felt?
Then the funeral, No one could find my husband, not even the Red Cross. After this we had our graduation ceremony. I was so sick I could hardly go to the ceremony. One of my teachers said I was so white, she thought I would faint.
It was a sinus/bronchitis that ended me in the hospital for 10 days and then 10 more days at home which added 20 days that I had to work beyond the alloted 3 year time.
Certainly no one mentioned stress. I lived through it all, My husband was found, I finished up my days in nursing, working nights for 6 months on a 32 bed ward of mostly senile hip fractures that I had to turn every 2 hours. And I worked this shift by myself.. I tried to sleep days with a jack hammer outside my window that was removing the streetcar tracks. It was a long hot summer in Indiana! Why did I not have a fan?? Life certainly got better!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

1948 Choices

The choices we made that so molded our lives. Being rather bored in high school and somehow making my grades without much effort, when a teacher asked if any would be interested in touring nursing schools in Indianapolis, there were several of us who volunteered. I guess we were all interested in a day out of school. We toured Indiana University Hospitals, then the Methodist Hospital and finally St. Vincent's. The first two were very busy , and about all I remembered were underground tunnels linking different buildings. These tunnels were cluttered with large wheeled laundry baskets with dirty laundry. Trays of dirty dishes etc. By the time we arrived at St.V's the work day was over, The hospital was neat and clean. Going through the surgery, we were invited to peek in a window and see a brain surgery being performed! Then they took us to the nursing home and had a fireplace going in the student lounge and they served us hot chocolate and cookies. Now that didn't even take a brain to choose which school to attend. Of all the girls that went, I was the only one who applied and was accepted into nursing school at the tender age of 17. My other choices were to go to a secretarial school, or be a teacher. I knew I did not want to spend my life at a sitting job. No one even said I could be a doctor or anything else. My how times have changed.
After graduation, and later that summer was that boy that just would not give up. He finally joined the marines and was in for a year with 6 years in the reserves.
And I was off to nursing school. I was so eager to go , and so eager to get home. Three years of working days later!!
The nursing, school, and experiences makes a book by itself. I will only mention a few things in passing in this blog.
In l948, the State of Israel was born with May 14, 1948 their Declaration Of Independence declared.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Highschool and World War 2

Besides or in addition to: church and camps, riding horses and bikes, sleds and sleighs, making hay, feeding the pigs and cows and chickens, losing my hair and a tonsilectomy, we had parties!
Vi's mother was a school teacher, and she had parties for all who came. They were for anyone who showed up. They had games to play, usually circle games, and plenty of food. It was a fun place before we were old enough to pair off in two's. I spent a lot of overnights there!

This was during WWII and before any one had television. I do not remember any teachers or preachers talking about the War. Some of the older boys enlisted after graduation and my brother tried but he was put in 4F. One home economics teacher who also did PE, did have us outside learning to march one semester.
It was not until later that I learned of the holocaust and the terrible times of the Jewish people.
Everyone should see or read the Exodus, Schlindlers List, the Pianist and there are many more books and documentaries. It should have been a great lesson for everyone, but I'm sure that many like me just played, or worked through it. War is terrible where men and governments make money and the poor and brave give their lives.

Then came 1948, and to bring in the Leap year. I invited this boy, And the rest as they say Was History

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Doctors and Doctors offices

Lesson learned early : Doctors are not Gods

When I was about 13 I was sick, I couldn't eat, and my stomach hurt. My folks called the doctor who came out to see me. He punched around my stomach, checked me over. I told him the ache was kinda up by my ribs on both side. ( My lower right quadrant was not tender.) He was a doctor but not a surgeon. So he suggested I go to a surgeon. So my folk took me to the surgeon who said it was appendicitis, and proceded to admit me to the hospital and do surgery. After the surgery I ran a high fever, then one day the nurse brought the old doctor in and she said, "Look she is yellow" So my diagnosis was changed to hepatitis. For that they gave me 2 large tablespoons of castor oil, morning and night!! After about a week, the yellow was all gone from my skin. I have told this story to doctors who cannot believe the treatment and that it worked. Has anyone ever known of that treatment for hepatitis? I was in the hospital 3 weeks for a surgery that wasn't needed. My mother and brother also had hepatitis but were treated by using pills. They never turned yellow. Because of my fever,then my hair all came out. Just what I needed as a teenager! It was not long after that that my dad and brother put in a septic system and bathroom. We had used an old 2 seater before. I think the hepatitis came from other school children that had it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rambling Thoughts

Why did people stand up, and yell and scream at Hoosier Basket Ball games? It was just a game?

Why did the principal take me aside and tell me I could do better if I tried. I was just third in the class. Others wanted to be better...were you not susposed to let the other person go first?

If Heaven had streets of gold, why did I like to run in the grass?

My parents took me to a political rally once. Why did the politican yell and get red in the face like a preacher did? Their message did not seem the same.

Cleaning wallpaper after burning a coal stove during the winter. You would take a big gob of wallpaper cleaner and swipe it down the paper, then you would kneed the dirt inside the ball. Repeat that about a 1000 times. The coal stove kept you warm and cleaning the wall paper kept you warm too.

When we moved then I found out about hanging wallpaper. I had bought the paper, read the directions, Had everything out of the room, and was ready to hang new paper. I put the wall paper paste on as directed, and started with the ceiling. It fell off, I tried again, it fell off. So I go downstairs (before cell phones) and called Aunt Dorothy. She wall papered all the time. She just said use more paste. So I used more paste, the paper fell off, so I called Aunt Dorothy again and she said Use more Paste. I had more paste, on both sides before I finally got a piece of paper on the ceiling. Two rooms and a stairway later. I never put up wall paper again!! I did occasionally learn something!

My dad always made a trip to Indianapolis when he sold his cattle. I would get to go with mom to the big downtown stores. My first esculators, and elevators, and all the things of civilization. And we would always have lunch at Woolworths. It was a day of treats. My dad always took us in and out of town on the truck route. It was where the trains ran, and the very poorest people lived. I asked him ONE TIME why we never went down Fall Creek Boulevard where the beautiful houses were. He said " This way, you will be content with what you have when you get home" He was a wise man and I have always been content with what I had.

My mother grew up in her grandfathers home. She never liked antique furniture, as that was what she always had. So when she took me to my great Aunt Mead's I was enthralled by her house and furniture. Especially a picture on her dining room wall of a dead woman laying on a funny looking table. I would always take a good look at that picture! She also had an old foot pump orgain. Occasionally I could play a little bit. Not that I could play, that was probably why it was only a short time. Then on the back porch she had an oak icebox. Have you priced one of those lately? And upstairs she had dark walnut dressers with big mirrors and marble tops. I always had to be on my best behavior and after squirming around a bit I was put outside to the sidewalks to skip under the grape vines etc .At that time, my mom and her cousin were the only relatives left to take care of her. That must have taught me another lesson. But to this day I enjoy the antique road show!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Church suppers etc

Church was a big part of our country life. Not only was it personal but a community together.
Have you ever tasted good fried chicken. And certainly not from the fast food resturants. First you would go out and catch the chicken, a young one about 3 months old or about 3 pounds: you could tell by feeling the leg. Next you would kill the chicken, I always liked to put a broom handle on the neck, step on both sides and pull hard and quick, then throw the chicken because the blood would splatter all over until the chicken quit protesting having it's head removed! Then you have a bucket of boiling water ready to dip the chicken in until the feathers would pull off easily. Next, you pull all the feathers and quills out and get it clean, take it into the sink to gut it and reclean the chicken. I'll spare you the gutting part. When the chicken was butchered and clean, then you rolled each piece in flour and fried it in a hot skillet of soft lard. I can still smell it cooking! Now that was fried chicken. We did not have freezers yet.

The ladies at church would almost always take fried chicken. I remember that they would be very careful of whose chicken they ate. Some people cleaned better than others. One time they even threw a chicken out because it had some pin feathers on the skin. I would hear the ladies talkng! It was best to have the ladies incharge, because one time some men got together and killed a goat, they ground up the meat, and said they were having free hamburgers. Everyone had a great time, saying it was the best hamburger. Then the men took everyone outside where they had the goat head propped up on a box like a coffin. I heard that some even lost their suppers!! Yes, the evening meal was always supper. It was just the farming way.

In the spring the water was up in the creek. Maybe even 2 foot deep in places, and the carp would come up on the ripple. Farmers around would come and shoot the carp and because I loved the water even when it was cold. I would go in and bring the fish out. My mom would fry that in flour and soft lard too. No my cholesteral has never been elevated, but neither do I eat that way anymore. The other story connected to the creek, was that it came through a town about 12 miles upstream that had a canning factory who dumped all their trash in the creek. By the time it came to our farm, the water was black and you could smell it a mile away. Yes,
Some things have changed for the better!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More on the farming community

Before cornpickers, corn was shucked by hand. I only remember helping one year. It was cold, the corn stalks cut your skin and made it itch. It was cold and wet with a light snow. I was probably too young to do much and too young to stay home by myself! Then there were shocks of oats. All those things made a pretty farm, and what places to crawl under and hide.

Barns were a great place to climb around and walk on the high beams. We did not need exercise gyms. We had it all. And you could jump into piles of hay, and sit in corn cribs and make corn necklaces with a needle and thread. There were new kittens under the barn step each year. I would reach under there and pull a fluffy kitten out, until the year I reached under the step and pulled a dead kitten out with maggots in it.! That was the end of that way of catching kittens.

One summer I went down by the creek and across the fence on Mr. Levi's property. There I picked wild blackberries. I finally had enough and started home and there was Mr. Levi following me inhis car. He went ever so slow, Just about as fast as I could run. I was so scared because I knew it was his land and his berries. I ran to the house about half a mile and told mom. He drove up and came to the door. My mother apologized for me and offered him the berries. He said no, he just wanted to see if I got home ok. It scared me, I didn't pick any more berries when he owned the farm next door. And maybe I learned a lesson too.

We had 4-H clubs Showing the pigs and horses were much more fun than making a tea towel. One yeaar we had a 4-H leader who had us square dancing. That was a lot of fun. Her daughter and mine became good friends in later life.. I remember my son had to take a sewing class in Jr. High. He made a down vest and sewed all the pockets shut. His sister rescued him, fixing it for him

There was also MYF on Sunday nights and then Church camp in the summer for a week. Church Camp was on Lake Webster, a church would take their group and rent a house on the lake for a week. The church women would go and cook. WE went to classes and it was hard to sit through Paul's journeys when there was a whole lake of water out there. But they did give us time for both. I went several years. I think it was the last year, that my boyfriend wanted me to climb out the window and slide down a tree so we could take a walk by the lake after dark.
So I climbed out on the roof, and then was afraid of not being able to reach over for that tree. He was coaxing me, Come on you can do it. So I did, but unknown to me They All had it planned and had coated the tree with molasses, and then water pans at the bottom. Oh, I was so wretchedly embarrased and run to my room. Some nice lady,cleaned my sweater for me. And I did live the next day

There were also the community rodeo's The barrel racing was the most fun for me. It was just fun to ride somewhere and have someone to ride with. The whole family rode.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Work for the Night is Coming

The years mesh in and out, woven with memories here and there. A mosiac more grand tha I could ever have painted or imagined.

"WORK for the night is coming, when man WORKS no more" a hymn often sang in a little country church in a hard working rural community.

Whe I look a Jlo's art, I see not a field of play, but what looks like WORK to me.

And I think of my dad who Plowed and tilled the fields, planted the seeds and pulled the weeds, then harvested the land.. It was a WORK of love. When I remember the hours I painted, it was a WORK not play, The gift I had was perserverence. So we have different gifts, some the ability to make music, and others the gift to listen and enjoy.

So let us " WORK for the night is coming, when man WORKS no more"

Sleigh rides

On a cold winter night, my uncle brought his grandsons to our house in a one horse open sleigh. While mom made cocoa, my uncle took me for a ride. He had a bear skin rug to put over our laps. It was a cold, clear night with stars and a moon. It felt like we were gliding through the night. All too soon the ride was over, but I can still experience the memory in my mind.

I remember a bob sled ride, and a few others from my youth.

Later, my daughter took me, a sister in law ,and 2 neices on a horse drawn sleigh ride in Vail. Belgiums were pulling the sleigh. We had a great ride then too. The guide, told us that Gerold Ford had a home up on the mountian side that he had to use a helicopter to get inand out of. I wonder if tax payers money?

I have always loved the belguin horses, the big gentle giants, and often went to the National Western Horse Show in Denver. May you all have a chance to see them dancing!!

Just wear shoes when you are around them, They weigh a lot if they step on your foot.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ponies and horses

As a 1o year old, I won a blue ribbon with this Draft Horse named Pete at the State Fair. They stood me on top of a step stool so they could get a picture of me and the horses head. That was fun for me, but I could never understand why I could not sleep with the boys up above the horses if I could show a horse. Somethings were hard to figure out for a tomboy.

First we had ponies, never ridden ponies, and as much as I liked "Hi Ho Silver" on the radio, I did not like to fall off ponies! Being the youngest and skinny, I remember dad plopped me on a pony and told me to "hold on". The first couple of times, I landed on the top of my head. The next time I made it half way down the lane and then fell off. I was so glad to be off that pony that I did not care if my dad whipped me. The only whipping I ever remembered. And I do know he was just mad because I wasn't the star rider he expected.

Somehow, I did learn to stay on a horse, and came to love the horses. One year dad brought home a cross between a dun and a palamino. I was about 13 and it was not broke. My brother said, You cannot ride that horse, You bet I thought, and climbed the wire fence and jumped on the horses back. It tossed me right off on to the top barb wire. Yes, I have that scar too. But with dad's help, maybe my brother helped too, we got that horse tame. It had a gentle gait, I think was called a rack,and I rode it most every day. A great friend to have. Tillie was her name. When I went away to school, she foundered and dad had to get rid of her. I never had another horse.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Homeplace 1893

This is the house that mygrandfather built and my dad grew up here. We moved to the homeplace about 1939, because my grandfather had died,then a son Clifton, and my grandmother all died. The place was up for sale. Back then , if you kept one family name on the property for 100 years,then you never had to pay taxes on that property again. Of course they changed that law, before anyone benefited from it. Never the less, we moved there, There were still a few good years of " Down home on the farm", but war was coming every thing was changed!!

Christmas then and now

Having discussed Christmas with everyone who would talk to me, that means family, no one would tell me if there really was a Santa Claus. So I peeked around and observed. I saw dad carrying redwagon down the stairs, as we went out the door to go to town... We always had Christmas on Christmas eve.

Maybe that is why as a child, I tried to find presents and even unwrap presents before hand, (and of course, rewrap them) I always wanted to be prepared for the disappointment of substitue gifts..I never wanted to cause my mom and dad to be un happy, so I was happy.

And later when I had my own childdren and they wanted to know if there really was a santa clause, I would take them to town and say , "Now look, there is a Santa on every corner."

In the meantime, we would read the beautiful story in Luke Chapter 2, and they would tell the story over and over playing with a manger scene.

I remember one year, I had cut their sister in law's hair, and one of my little girls took the hair and put under the Christmas tree. She said it was Angels Hair. However I did not leave that under the tree.

May years later, we decided to not give gifts as it was a burden to some in our family. We all enjoyed it just as much, and then in later years, with marriages and others involved, we decide to make our family a Thanksgviving family.

Now, we all understand that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Aren't we blessed (so far) that we do not have to be Moslems or Hindus and can serve the one true Jesus ,Jehovah, Messiah.

About our Dad

My brother born in 1926 had these memories to add:

On the Farm----
This is in response to being asked what I remember about my Dad, Wm. K. House, and my growing up on the farm. He loved to farm and take care of livestock. He was a good farmer. Seemed to know what to do at the right time and saw that it was done in the right way. He was a hard worker when he was able. Due to having rheumatic fever at age 13, he developed a heart problem that he had to endure until his death at the age of 52.. I remember about three different times before I was 10 years old when he was sick, and neighbors came over and stayed all night because they didn’t expect him live. One time a Doctor came over and stayed all night. Dad would have been in his 30’s. He always bounced back----must have had great determination and great faith. Not being able to work steady much of the time, I remember him always having a “hired hand” working full time for him. Often they would live with us if they were single---- a couple of families came up from Tennessee at different times needing work, and my parents rented a house nearby for them.
My dad did not show his emotions or seem to get unusually upset with us, at least verbally. He executed his discipline by the way he looked at you. If something was wrong, he said very few words, but you knew what he meant.
I very well remember exceptions to this---we always had a large garden. Being 8 to 12 years old I would always lead the horse that pulled the plow when making the garden each year. He would get very upset with me that I couldn’t lead that horse in a straight line.
He liked to whistle--I especially remember him whistling from the house to the barn in the morning, and other times too. He liked the “Mocking-Bird Song”. Would say to my mother “Good Morning-Glory!”. He wasn’t very talkative at home, but he liked to laugh and joke with people. When he and I would go to the grain elevators or to the filling station to get the car serviced --- he would talk with everybody. He liked to be around little kids and tease them. Unfortunately, he did not live to see any of his grandchildren.
He was active in and a good supporter of the Harvey’s Chapel Church. Was very faithful--would not talk business on Sunday’s. I remember an Insurance salesman coming to our house on a Sunday afternoon. He told him to come back the next day. When I was in my early teens the church furnace went bad, so my Dad and two others bought a new furnace. The church had no funds for that. I remember the “revivals” and “homecomings” each fall. The church overflowed. Anyone who had ever attended the church would come back for these events.
Not many organized activities in the community back in those days, as there are today. They attended parent-teacher meetings and ball games at the school, and ice cream socials frequently. On Saturday nights we usually went to Arcadia to see a western movie that was shown on the side of a brick building. Almost all of the community was there. A big part of their social life was getting together with neighbors, or my uncles and aunts, and often the preacher, on Sundays after church for a fried chicken dinner, greasy gravy and home made noodles. Especially on holidays we always made home-made ice cream. Dad and Mom liked to play checkers with us and eat popcorn after supper. My bedtime usually was about 8:00 pm., because we got up early.
Something that I will never forget is the night our barn burned in 1936 when we lived a quarter of a mile from Walnut Grove. I was ten years old. It was so hot that night that we were all sleeping on the floor near the screen door, trying to get some kind of a breeze. No air conditioning at that time. About midnight Dad noticed a fire in the barn. He yelled at me to go open one of the barn doors, while he opened another door to let the livestock out. Mom says he ran out in his bare feet. It was raining hard and I fell flat on my face in the mud before getting to the barn. Dad had opened the door for the horses and they were running out toward me, but I did get out of the way very quickly. The horses were then let out on the road, and the next morning a couple of neighbors had found them and brought them back. The barn burned completely to the ground. I remember him being very sad, but he drew up plans and a new barn was built, one of the nicest in the area. The haymow was floored and had a high roof, so a great place for a basketball court. After that, I had more friends !
It does seem like that we had some real bad snows in those days. I remember my sister, Annabel and I going to my uncle’s home a mile away, crouched down in barrels, on a big sled pulled by a team of horses with my Dad driving. Snow was too deep for cars. I always wondered why it was so important that we go over there before the snow melted!
Another experience at Walnut Grove. I was about nine years old. It snowed so hard that day that most of the kids could not get home from school. Dad and Mom called the school and offered to help--so eight or ten about my age walked to our house and stayed for two nights before their parents could get them. Dad had just butchered a hog that week, very timely, so they had fresh meat to feed them. Remember, this was during the depression, and all the food we had was grown or raised on our farm. Every winter neighbors would help each other butcher. Always on the coldest days, in order to help preserve. Would then hang the meat in the smokehouse to cure.
The Depression during the1930’s was very tough. My sister remembers my Dad coming to the house crying one day -- one of his team of horses had died. Everything was done with horses back then, no tractors. My Mom thought he was upset mostly because he needed another horse to farm with--but didn’t have the money. I distinctly remember the day we all came home from town and a foreclosure notice was posted on the gate to the barn. Dad was very upset--apparently they had not notified him. He went back to the mortgage company, got it worked out somehow, came home and took the notice off the gate. Somehow he managed to keep the farm.
You asked me about my chores as a child. My Dad liked to be around livestock. We had Belgian draft horses, usually two or three riding horses, and he raised cattle, hogs and sheep. Sometimes we would even have goats--their purpose was to eat the weeds out of the barnlot. He would make trips to Kansas City by train out of Indianapolis to buy young cattle, have them brought home by freight train, and then feed and fatten them until ready for market. As long as I can remember, it was my job to feed some of the animals, or throw hay down from the haymow. He was very particular in keeping weeds out of the garden, corn rows and fence rows along the road. I got to do some of that too !
That was some of my rainy day jobs--and picking up rocks off the fields.
When I was 12 years old we moved from the Walnut Grove farm to the House “home place” two miles east of us. My great-grandfather, George House, was the first House to settle in Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1841, and purchased this 160 acre farm. My dad was thrilled to be back on the farm where he was born. He was the sixth child of Robert M. and Ida House. He had five brothers and three sisters. As I got older, into high school, he and I would go to the barn and milk the cows and feed the livestock, usually before breakfast. Then same thing over in the evening. On evenings I practiced or had a ball game, he usually would have the work done when I got home. For about five years after high school I farmed the 160 acres plus another 140 acres that we rented.
My Dad and Uncle raised and showed Belgian horses at the County and State Fairs. When 10 years old, I joined the 4-H club and started leading and “showing” the horses at the County Fair. From then until I was about 22, every year we would enter eight to ten horses in competition from all over the midwest. I would go with my Uncle to one or two County fairs in Indiana, and usually to the Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio State Fairs, and a big one in Chicago called the International. At the State Fairs we would sleep above the horses in what was called the hayloft. Each morning we would feed and water the horses, curry them and then take them for a walk for exercise. We had a lot of fun at these Fairs. My cousin, Ralph, continued showing horses at the Fairs for several years and now his son Kent is still carrying on this “House Belgian Horse” tradition.
Growing up with riding horses, I learned to ride very young. Used these horses to round up the cows at milking time in the evening. They always seemed to be at the other side of the farm at that time. Also, when I was in high school we would have rodeos in certain towns nearby, usually on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes lots of people would be there-- I had a bay mare we called Lady. She was one of the fastest. Lot’s of fun! Sometimes after working in the fields all day, a friend and I would ride our horses about three miles into “Dogtown”, in the evening just to buy a Coke.
Not as much “playtime ” while growing up on the farm then as they have today with Little League and all the organized events. Not many boys my age nearby. Would get together with my cousin sometimes to play “catch” and basketball in the barn. Our house was a tall two story with a scalloped gable on the west side. I had a rubber ball about the size of a baseball, and seems that about any spare time that I had, even when I was in high school, I was throwing a ball against the side of the house. Back then I knew all the major league baseball players names, so I would pretend to be the pitcher and throw the ball against this scalloped gable to a particular batter. Depending on how the ball would hit the scalloped part, the ball would either come straight, or go left or right, and if I caught it the batter would be out. If not, he would have a hit. This was the way I practiced. Must have been very disturbing to my parents, but remember my mother telling someone that at least she knew where I was! I really enjoyed playing softball and basketball while in school. Continued playing on organized independent teams at Noblesville-- basketball until about 25 and softball until age 30. Have a clipping from the Noblesville Ledger about “this ole House” not ready to topple yet!.
Now, about Yvonne and I---she was attending Anderson College. We were introduced by my cousin, who was also going there. He was dating a friend of Yvonne’s who lived in the same Dorm. This was in the fall of 1948. We seemed to enjoy being together, and I thought she was pretty attractive. I think she liked my car. Anyway, we dated pretty regularly until we both graduated. Then we were married in November 1951 at the Park Place Church near the college. Yvonne had gone there throughout college. She knew everyone. She often sang in the choir so our Sunday evening dates usually started there.
No, I did not know how to cook when we got married. Not something I learned on the farm. Now I can fry an egg and heat water in the microwave. But Yvonne knew-- had a lot of experience cooking at home.
As you can see I have some great memories, and I am thankful for the experiences I have had in growing up in a farming community, and for a good family heritage.
By Wendell House
(May 1, 2000)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Brother and Sister

My brother sent this picture to me so I have to make another memory to go with with the picture. I remember the time my brother and some friends were playing ball in the barnyard. I had climbed up into a wagon that was sitting there, and decided to climb out again. I got as far as the tongue and lay down on it, trying to figure out how to get off of it... ( Not to smart) and finally fell off, landing on my elbow and breaking it. I remember going down a dark stairway to an Xray machine, and the next thing I remember was that cast itching so bad. It all ended fine. I remember that I could always twist my left arm a little further around than any one else. A kid has to show off something!!!!

Then there was a great snowstorm.
We lived close to the Walnut Grove School and they brought several kids to stay all night who could not make it home. I was not in school yet, but I remember mom put 4 of us in my bed crossways. I thought it was a great time, and people came for their children all to soon to suit me. If anyone remembers that, let me know.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lightening Strikes- The barn fire 1935

Something that I will never forget is the night our barn burned in 1936 when we lived a quarter of a mile from Walnut Grove. I was ten years old. It was so hot that night that we were all sleeping on the floor near the screen door, trying to get some kind of a breeze. No air conditioning at that time. About midnight Dad noticed a fire in the barn. He yelled at me to go open one of the barn doors, while he opened another door to let the livestock out. Mom says he ran out in his bare feet. It was raining hard and I fell flat on my face in the mud before getting to the barn. Dad had opened the door for the horses and they were running out toward me, but I did get out of the way very quickly. The horses were then let out on the road, and the next morning a couple of neighbors had found them and brought them back. The barn burned completely to the ground. I remember him being very sad, but he drew up plans and a new barn was built, one of the nicest in the area. The haymow was floored and had a high roof, so a great place for a basketball court. After that, I had more friends !

The above was written by my older brother. As a 5-6 year old, I was scared...Thatwas a big fire

and a neighbor came and took me to her house for the rest of the night. When I went back home, the oats in the bin smoldered for days. I have no pictures of the old barn but her is the new one built in 1936.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


About Me before we moved to the home place.

I remember I was ready for school , had a nickel for something, And I swallowed it waiting on the bus.
My mother did not know what to do, so she called Aunt Nellie who said to give me a big laxative and wait for the nickel to appear. I did not go to school THAT DAY.

And on the trips to Brown County, I remember Eula Gunning taking warm milk for her girls, and she being so nice, wanted to know if I wanted some. NO WAY could I drink warm milk.

The Huckster came to our house occasionally, This was during the depression. They came from a little grocery in Dog Town (Omega) . Mother bought very little, sometimes a can of baking powder. But sometimes I would get a penny sucker. Then they were big and such a treat. I must have been a little spoiled!

Then I remember going with mother to the grocery in Noblesville, It was in a building, rather narrow with long shelves on each side. With a counter all along the front. If you wanted a box of cereal, the clerk would get it down for you. Mom would take a crate of eggs, and see how much he would give her for them then, buy a few things with that money. I remember a banana or orange was quite a treat, And dad would have bought 10 cents worth of candy. Some chocolate drops, or some peppermint candy.

At the home place, my grand father had built it for his large family, and at the time there was natural gas. So they piped that in and had gas lights. Some of the gas lights were still there when we moved there in 1939. The big transoms over the doors let the air move from room to room, but the gas source had run out.

During the time we lived there were the ration books in the war. Since dad farmed with horses and we seldom went to town, mom said they would trade gas stamps for someone’s sugar stamps My mother was a good manager and she made the best chocolate cake, whether she had to make it with sorghum, molasses, lard, real cream or plain milk. She just adjusted the recipes and never looked at a cook book. When I was away from home and after my dad died, She went to stay with Esther Newby Day when she was having her 6th child. My mom made them chocolate cakes and they loved them and were amazed how she could do it with out a recipe

At the end of summer the basement shelves were filled with canned fruit . The bins contained onions, potatoes, beans. They worked hard and were very self sufficient. Not many I know could do that today. I am thankful for the family I grew up in and the ways we lived.

At one time Aunt Geneva (Tad’s wife), lived in a house south of Ray parkers. There they had a root cellar that was built into the ground. It also had a little spring running through it where they kept their milk. That was a fun place to explore when I was little. I stayed o/n with them once. The time my folks went to the Chicago World’s Fair. She tucked me into bed upstairs in a cold cold room, and wrapped a brick she had heated on the stove in newspaper and put it at my feet.

I remember butchering hogs. They would build a trestle and pull the hog up and hang it after they shot it and then butcher it. Peel the skin off, gut it, and let it bleed out good. The Bible says to eat No Blood. They used a lot of stuff of the hog, but never the blood . They made mincemeat out of some of the head meat, They cleaned the entrails to stuff with sausage. My but that was a lot of work, and they put the fat in a huge iron pot, built a fire under it to render the lard, and cook the cracklin’s.
But one job I disliked the most was using old oil based paint to paint a hog house. I must have been a rebellious teenager. Why does a hog house need to be painted? But I did it and had paint all over me. I am so thankful for the water based paints of today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One horse

The one horse walking plow like I have on the old cistern behind my house on Plum street. Was used when I was young to plow the garden because you had to get in around the peach trees. And we just used one horse, and maybe the guy in this picture doesn’t know that? Dad would put me on top the horse and I would have to duck under the trees. I expect he put me up there to keep me out of the way.

A shivaree was always the mostest fun! It would usually be on someone’s birthday or an anniversary, or someone new who moved into the neighbor hood. It was a group of families from the same neighborhood and church, who would quietly gather after dark along a road, and when everyone got there, they would then go on to the appointed house in the dark, No lights on the cars. Great excitement for us kids! Hoping to catch the people in their nightclothes, everyone would gather outside the door while someone knocked urgently. Then when they come to the door you would shout Shivaree and go inside. Everyone took food with them and things the couple could use and things to eat. Us kids would just play and have a great time. There was always a crowd. The tradition must have faded out after World War II . I don’t remember any more.

A Wake
I also remember going to Sherman Carey’s wake. He was an old man sitting up in a chair behind the old base burner. He was pretty much in a coma, Big swollen legs. Friends from church and community came and just sat around and talked. There was lots of food brought in and spread over the kitchen tables and you could go eat anytime you wanted. They would make beds of coats in the bedroom and let us kids go to sleep. I remember getting up in the night and everyone was still sitting talking and he had not died yet.
It is a comfort to have someone with you when you are waiting for someone to die. I don’t know why, it just is. I remember staying alone with my mom when she died. Oh yes, there was a Respite girl who was there, but I told her she could go get some sleep which she did. So I just watched mom breath until she quit. It is a lonely time.