Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Mom worked awhile (nights) at the county farm east of the Gables and had to go to the basement and shovel coal in the furnace.

Dad worked with carpenter one winter. Dad helped your dad tie many rope knots & mounted them for 4-H project when B. was 11.
letter from my Aunt Mary, dated March 23 2014
This afternoon I have been reflecting over days/years gone by. About 2 weeks ago, I read a quote of Ellen DeGeneres. She said, "I love stories that are inspirational, yet have a lot of heartaches because I think that's what life is." I wholeheartedly agree and your story is truly that!
I know that you and our siblings have all grieved for your dad. I have too! Many days this past winter I was terribly depressed, especially on gloomy days or near dusk. When I can get out and walk it helps fight depression . All of my car woes (expensive repairs) & less hours of sunshine & cold & snow & ice added to thinking about your dad and contributed to feeling sad. I've been glad that Fred has been here a lot and we've gotten out a lot.
When you were a baby, someone told me that your dad & Donnie both wanted to carry you when they went out (to saddle club events, I think.) They were proud of you. I think Donnie & Nancy losing a baby made you even more special to him. Well, I thought you were special, too! And I still do!
After my dad died, '01, and I retired, '02, (just over six months after 9-11, I went through terrible depression. Fred went to the country and his son & family were living in Richmond (& the girls had been going to church with me) so I was really lonely. Sunday evenings were dreadful!
After Al died, it was hard to carry on. Sleep seemed to be the best medicine for my grief. Mrs. Conner was a blessing since I didn't have a driver's license for 4 months or barely over that. We'd often go for pie & coffee or something on Sun. p.m. Her youngest son was going through a divorce that was hurtful to him & Mrs. Conner.
You girls were such a blessing to me many times, too when we did things together such as seeing "Benji" and "Herbie the Lovebug."
Helping decorate at Vaile Mansion 2013 helped me through a lot of grieving. I felt a tremendous let down once we'd dismantled "our" kitchen. There had been so much anticipation for months before (as I'd find something "perfect" or try to visualize how it would all come together. The white, ceramic duck in the butler's pantry shelves was the top to a soup tureen of mom's (she promised it to me.) Freeda mailed it & some other stuff, not properly packed (just wrapped in dishcloths & no bubble wrap or Styrofoam beads) & the base to it and the base to a chicken soup tureen, both arrived broken. I can't bear to throw out the tops!
Farm life is not easy as we both knew it! Mom & dad didn't have milkers for many years. Dad farmed with horses many years. I think I was probably 8 years old when he got a 2nd hand tractor and around 10 when he bought a new Ford tractor. We never had running water or an indoor toilet. We always had a huge garden & canned 100s of jars & fruits & vegetables. Mom & dad (& at Cainsville, Grp. & Grm. too) butchered. I hated to milk after I was 10 or so. I loved to cook & bake & would willingly cook a whole meal in preference to milking.
Uncle Jr. & his tribe & Aunt Kate's brother Bill came down at the time dad got the new Ford. All of the men & boys were looking over the new tractor & disc. Your dad climbed up somewhere, slipped, fell, cut a foot badly on the disc. Uncle Jr. rushed mom, dad, & your dad into Cainsville to a doctor's office. Aunt Kate began fixing supper & Bill helped me (& probably Freeda) round up the cows. We moved to Trenton in March 1951 before I turned 11 on May 29. At Cainsville, mom helped dad & Grp. Johnnie shuck corn & Grm. would cook a big meal. Mom helped dad vaccinate and castrate pigs (I would never want to do either!)
P.S> Mom & Dad got a hay stacker with big "teeth" & Mom helped him before they did bales.

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