Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Chapter of My Life

The family moved from the Rio Grande river bank to a small town nearby. It was late in the summer when they took the tent down and loaded everything into the trailer.
The house was one half mile north of Center, Co. It was a white two story house with an outside toilet and a large yard with a small shallow lake next to it. The three school kids walked the half mile to school.  They lived in the kitchen and one bedroom. Other rooms were closed off to preserve heat; the only heat source was in the kitchen. It had a potbellied stove near one wall and the opposite wall had the very large wood burning stove. It had a reservoir attached to the end of the stove. It held warm water for doing dishes and their hygiene. It only held warm water while the stove had a fire in it. A small table located on the wall at the end of the stove held a wash basin and water bucket which held the drinking water. A ladle was kept in the bucket. Everyone drank from the same ladle.   There was no concern about exchanging germs. The dining table sat next to the wall by the potbellied stove with a bench on the back side for the kids to sit on.
The upstairs rooms were only investigated the day they moved in. The upstairs had three rooms and one room had a massive amount of funeral wreaths and dead flowers strewn all over. The mystery of the flowers was never solved. Their imaginations, fueled by the funeral wreaths and dead flowers, led to their belief that the upstairs was haunted by a ghost or possibly numerous ghosts. They all heard the eerie sounds coming from the upstairs night after night. They made sure one bed was placed in front of the door to the stairway to block it from the ghosts. Just in case they can’t walk through a door. This bedroom was actually the living room of the house. The main entrance to the house was in this room and was also blocked by another bed. They only used the backdoor entrance. They continued to share the house with the ghost, and had many conversations about the cause of the dead flowers and wreaths and what might happen if one went upstairs. This was not entirely a kid issue; the parents were also concerned about the overhead noise. Another mystery was the door to the other bedroom which opened from the kitchen. It was stuck tight during the day and very difficult to open, but it never failed to come creaking open during the night. One day Naomi was visiting and the door problem was explained to her. She said, “I think I can solve your problem”. She saw a heavy dresser sitting next to the door and the door swung open into the kitchen so she tugged and shoved, and with some help moved the dresser in front of the door. It took care of the problem, but created another one. The next morning the mom wanted something from the closed off bedroom and the dresser was in front of it. She was somewhat miffed about her sisters’ actions and wished she was there to move it back where it belonged. 
They planned to live there until the spring thaw at which time they would hightail it back to Oklahoma if enough money could be earned. The story went on forever, but this is another chapter.
From left to right: Dennis, Letha, Carol, Gene, Hollis, Bennie, Lorrene, Ray, Cecil.

The parents and the four on the right were the only ones in the Colorado episodes except for a baby sister that did not survive. The parents and the three men on the right are now deceased. Only four of us left.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our Tent Living

They were known as the Okies that live down by the river; a family of seven including the baby. They had sold out, packed up their belongings, and traveled from Oklahoma to the San Luis Valley in Colorado. They pitched a tent by the Rio Grande River among the tall evergreen trees and the roaring river sounds. Many families moved to California, and lived in migrant tent camps in 1935. They didn’t have any tent neighbors in Colorado, but there were a couple cabins nearby where families lived, their only neighbors. They also had access to an outdoor toilet.

They didn’t live very high on the hog, but didn’t go hungry. Fish was a great food source. Rainbow trout waiting to be caught, and all that was required was a rod and reel, and a hungry fisherman. They had fried fish and fried taters cooked over the camp fire. The drink of the day was Kool-Aid, red Kool-Aid, orange Kool-Aid, and purple Kool-Aid.  There was also an ice plant nearby where they could pick up all the free ice they needed for their Kool-Aid. Breakfast was fried eggs and more fried taters and store-bought bread.

A lettuce picking job was found, and the family parked the car at the end of the field. The ones old enough to work in the field picked up the heads of lettuce. The younger ones left to dillydally around the car and watch the baby. Happy Hour was when it was time to go home to the tent.

One day it rained and it rained a lot. Somewhat as it was in Noah’s day only they gathered in the tent instead of the ark to wait it out. 

Bath time was once a week whether they needed it or not. They had a galvanized tub which they carried around in the trailer with a few other necessities. The tub of water was heated on the campfire. Everyone took their turn in the tub in the same water. You do what you need to do.  There was some privacy provided with quilts draped over chairs around the tub. The chairs were from the trailer. 

The mom washed their clothes in the same tub, but with brand new water.

The clothes were draped over the same chairs, and anything else that was available.
One day the Dad said, “We need to find a house to live in before it gets cold, and get these children in school”.  He always called his kids, children because his children were children, and not goats.

This was the end of the tent living in 1935. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Way You Wish it Wasn't

I’ve been hanging around for 86 years, and I’ve seen a lot of new inventions in those years.  I have been wondering which may have been the greatest invention of all time. I’m not sure, but I bet toilet paper caught on pretty quick. Who invented toilet paper? No, they didn’t teach that in school, they taught you who invented the cotton gin. Who cares who invented the cotton pickin cotton gin. I don’t think I’ve had any use for that piece of knowledge in my entire life. What a waste of my school time. Even if I were on Double Jeopardy, they wouldn’t ask that one. 

I don’t know when it was invented, but the bread toaster was a great one in our household. We never had toast. My mother would make a pan of biscuits from scratch each morning. Mixes were not in existence yet. She also had to build a fire in the stove to bake them in. The first toaster we had was not automatic. It had a panel on each side that you dropped down so you could flip the toast and burn/toast the other side. Someone had to man the toaster because you had to guess when it was done. I wonder how many slices of bread went up in smoke in those days. 
Speaking of bread, my mother always made our bread, and one day we bought a loaf of bread from the store. We were bowled over because the bread was already sliced. What will they think of next! We constantly hear the impression ‘the greatest thing since sliced bread’. I still think we should say ‘The greatest thing since toilet paper’.

We even had electricity in our house. Many people didn’t have it yet in our area. We lived without it for a few years. It was like camping forever. Who wants to camp forever?

The day our new refrigerator was delivered was a day of celebration. People kept their food in ice boxes. People continued to call the refrigerator an ice box for years. I think some still do.

Our first washing machine had a gas motor. You pulled on a cord to start the motor. It was something else for us kids to fight over. It went like this. I get to pull the cord. It’s my time, you pulled it the last time. Did not. Did so. We didn’t have many toys in those days. On wash day everyone gathered around the washing machine, and watched the agitator go back and forth. As I recall, we had to bolt the washing machine to the floor because it danced all over the porch.

Those were the days I don’t want to relive. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Things that Make Your Hair Turn Grey

Life is so full of money grabbers and other greedy bodies,  it’s impossible to keep ahead of their game. 
Charter Cable Co must hire a full time staff to decide how to suck a little more money out of you. Every service they offer has a variable price. Internet, telephone, TV service.
Why can’t they put a set rate on each one? My garbage can has a set rate. They don’t send a letter telling me I’ve used the can for a year so now I have to pay another 20 a month for it. The Cable Co. would. In July of 2015 my telephone goes up another $10.00 because it was on a special rate for a year. They advertise on TV constantly that you get internet for $29.99.  They don’t explain that it’s a one year rate.
The Cable company decided to raise my bill $5.00 a month, no explanation so I called to find out why, and it’s because there is a TV-Surcharge added beyond their control.
I found the following link.
It’s rather interesting. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cousins Growing up Together

Leah and Chloe
 Leah and Chloe a year later
Here we go again.

 Fun at the park

Now it's a sleepover at Leah's house
Leah has a little sister, Shelby

I couldn't resist showing off the grand kids. They don't live in the same town, but still get to see each other a lot. I think Nana and Papa's is a favorite meeting place.
The following is my post 12/24/10. It shows what was going on at that time.
Chloe, get your diaper bag packed. You are going on a trip.  
I'm all dressed up and waiting for you.
I've been waiting for a long time. 
I can't wait to meet my parents.  
I can't wait to show you my new teeth.   
Here we are in 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hospital Surprise

I recently had a medical problem, and spent one night in the hospital. Hospital care is expensive. I received a notice from my insurance company today, and the total cost with all the test that were taken it came to a little over $8000.00. Everything was itemized, and at the bottom it had a line that said, Amount you are responsible for is $.01
I thought it was kind of interesting. I can probably afford it, but I can't afford the stamp it will take to mail it in. 
The hospital has improved their care beyond belief. I can't complain about anything. I won't even complain about the one cent charge.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's A Cat World

Living with a cat is a new experience for me. To start out with, she was a foster cat until her owner got well, but her owner passed away, and by then I had fallen in love with her. She is so much company, and I truly enjoy her, however she has a couple flaws, 0ne is that she has an extremely willful personality. Meaning it will be her way or no way at all. For one thing she insists on sleeping on my bed, which is fine with me, if she would find her own spot and stay in it. I don’t think it is ever going to happen. She has learned that if she gets next to the touch-tone bedside lamp it will automatically come on. Not a good thing at two in the morning. If I turn off the lamp she will wait about ten minutes and then start nibbling on my toes.
It works like a charm; I jump sky high and land on my feet. She takes off for dear life, and I slam the door shut and go back to bed. She waits until I am back to sleep and begins her night time serenade. Meow, meow, meow, meow. meow.  I ignore it and then she starts jumping against the door. I also ignore that until she gives up and goes to sleep. This morning the same routine started and I heard her jumping against the door, but fell asleep anyway until I felt her jump on the bed. I’m sure I looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I was instantly wide awake asking myself how she could possibly get through that closed door.  I got up and looked, she had managed to turn the knob and it came open. By now it’s 3:15 AM so I stayed up and she won again. Cat for sale!!! Oh not really. I still like her. Maybe ‘love’ is a little too strong

Sassy LeMassey

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Monday

Today I’m driving the Van on Tieton Drive on my way to buy toilet tissue, on sale at Shopko. I never  pass up a good bargain. Wouldn’t you know I’d get behind one of those stupid buses that make a stop at every corner to load/unload passengers. I looked back to make sure the coast was clear and there was nothing behind me at all so I pull out in the other lane to pass said bus. I am even with the bus when I hear this siren horn sound and glance in the mirror and the big red lights are right on my tail. I glance at my speed and it is exactly 35 which is the speed limit on that street. I whip around the bus and the big cruiser with the siren and red lights was moving on. I thanked my lucky stars right then and there, bless his heart; he was in a hurry.  Where did it come from? It must have dropped out of the sky because there was nothing behind me two seconds before. After buying toilet paper, I stopped at nearby store and bought tomatoes, corn, strawberries and a cantaloupe. The cantaloupe is delicious. The first good one I have bought this year.
That is my excitement for Monday.