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.

page 1

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.