Thursday, December 7, 2017

As The World Rocks

The world has turned into one big money grabbing operation. It’s called marketing skill, but in reality it’s cheating the public skill. Purpose for it is so the higher ups can draw the biggest possible check, and the CEO’s can add another billion to their bulging bank accounts.
It is now happening in the stores that sell used clothes and other items for the low income people. Their items just keep getting higher until it’s hardly affordable by most of their shoppers. Yet their employees work for a small wage. It is supposed to be a non-profit business. They probably get a great tax break and still cheat the public. Maybe they are the worse culprits of all.
Most things are made as cheaply as possible so it will wear out in a short while. Many shelf items in a grocery store are in smaller containers, and still charging the same price or more.
Even the Dollar stores are in on the cheating action. Now they sell miniature sizes of a product that was formerly sold in the regular size.
Many of the people that live on SSI are not deadbeats as they are classified by the general public. Many people are unable to get a job because they act or look peculiar at the interview. Some get extra nervous and freeze up and can't remember anything they planned to say. Shyness is often viewed as being unfriendly. Who wants to hire someone that may be unfriendly whether they work in public or just with other employees. 

  Most people on SSI have been thoroughly checked out to make sure they deserve it. There will always be cheats that will lie and manipulate their way into receiving a check.
When they receive a measly little raise from the government, the food stamps are cut back so where is the raise?
Oh well, tis  the season to be jolly. You would never know it if you listened to me.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Another Chapter of My Life

My father, Dennis Lockwood, was born in the family farmhouse in 1900. His Dad, Jasper Newton Lockwood, had homesteaded 160 acres of land near a town that was barely in existence in 1889. It was called Still Water Valley before it was known as Stillwater. It was listed in a map as a town with no name for a long time.
It didn’t attract much interest because it was hard to get to without roads. Indians began to move into the area because of the white people taking over everything else. It became known as Indian Territory.
President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Homestead Act in 1862 so legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres in size. If a settler lived on the land and improved it, he could then receive the title to the land.
There was a date set for the Land Rush. This is what my Grandpa entered into. They lived in Illinois or Indiana at the time. Grandpa was born in Indiana and Grandma was born in Illinois, so I am not sure where they settled after they married. I didn’t pay much attention to such details when I was a kid.

Some of the individuals who participated in the run entered early and hid out until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the choicest homesteads. These people came to be identified as ‘Sooners’. This led to hundreds of legal contests that arose and were decided first at local land offices and eventually by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Arguments included what constituted the "legal time of entry.” While some people think that the settlers who entered the territory at the legally appointed time were known as "boomers", the term actually refers to those who campaigned for the opening of the lands, led by David L. Payne. The county was named after this man.
Several rivers flowed across Oklahoma, including the Cimarron, which received the flow of numerous small streams that flooded with the seasons. One of these persisted through frequent droughts.

Cattlemen began to take an interest in the area because of the water from the river. It was named Still Water Creek. It was a nice stopping over place for the travelers. From there a colony of Boomers, whose presence there in 1885 forced open the Indian land to white settlement.

Many traveled in a wagon train with many wagons and families. They took household items and food to last for several days. There had been so much rain that the trails were soaked and muddy.

Grandma stayed behind with the seven kids while Grandpa went on the venture alone on horseback. He staked a claim of farmland Northeast of Stillwater. He owned the property the rest of his life and was able to attain more acres. It ended up being 360 acres.
They lived in a dugout while they built the house. My father, Dennis, was born in the new house in 1900. He was the youngest of the children. There were seven boys and one girl. My aunt Carrie was the oldest. Many of the people lived in dugouts while their houses were being built. The house is two stories, but not very large, and it is still standing today with people living in it. He had three brothers that died at very young ages, late teens and 20's. Dad told me they died from kidney problems. I'm not sure if it was someone’s guess or if anyone knew for sure.

Grandma L was 73 when she passed away. She predicted her own death to the day, and she was not sick. She just knew what day she was going to die. I don’t know what caused her death. Maybe it’s like having faith, if you believe something strong enough it will happen. It has stuck in my head all these years. I was four years old and was outside playing when it happened. I don’t know why we were at their house that day, but I remember all the hustling and running around. People were coming and going all over the place.
So I found a quiet place behind the cellar under some bushes where I hid myself and fell asleep. I woke up when I heard everybody calling my name. Until my Grandmother died, my parents lived on the backside of the farm and raised their own crops. They raised cotton, sorghum cane, and corn. They had turkeys, goats, cows and horses.

The house only had two rooms with a screened in porch. One day my mother was tending to her garden while Cecil about three years old was sleeping in a bed by the window. Ray was just a few months old, and was playing on the floor while she went to the garden just a few feet from the house. As she started back to the house she noticed a lot of smoke was shooting out of the top of the house. She ran and opened the door, Ray had crawled to the door so she was able to pull him out easily, but flames were holding her back from entering to rescue Cecil. She ran to the window by the bed he was sleeping in. The window had screen wire nailed over it. She found a way to rip the screen off and pulled Cecil out. They lost everything. The house burned to the ground. They speculated that a mouse may have found the matchbox and chewed on a match and set the fire. There was no fire in the stove, the matches were out of reach of a baby, and the house had not been wired for electricity so electrical wires could not have caused it. The trauma and fear my mother experienced caused her to have a miscarriage later that day. I was the result of her next pregnancy, which was about a year later.

My Dad and his brothers and Grandpa built another house in the same area. It was a larger house and much nicer than the first one. I was about three years old and one day my big brother, Cecil and Ray wanted to walk over and visit Grandpa and Grandma on the other side of the farm. I wanted to go so it was decided that I could go as long as Cecil and Ray held my hands so I wouldn’t get lost. So we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa. This is another one of my earliest memories. I really thought this was a big deal to go with my brothers like that. We got over there and they made a big fuss over us. Grandma had us sit on a little bench by the front window while she went to the kitchen to make us a snack. Grandpa kept talking to us and asking questions. Grandma came back in with a plate of biscuits with butter and Jelly on them. She gave each of us one and I remember how delicious it was. Grandma had a shelf in the living room with three kewpie dolls which she had made dresses for each one out of crepe paper in different colors. They were so beautiful and I wished I could play with them, but Grandma said they were just to look at. They also had a telephone on the wall. It was made out of dark wood and was big and trimmed with black wood. I didn’t know what it was for, so I asked, and they told me it was to talk into. We finally had to go home so we started out with them holding my hands, but they got tired of that so we could run or whatever we wanted to. We saw a car coming and you hardly ever saw a car out on our roads and the boys were so excited about it. It was black and had no top. When it got nearer I was scared and ran to a tree to hide behind. The tree was not big but I was standing behind it and could peek around at the car. When the car got even with us the man stuck out his arm and pointed straight at me. Now I was really scared, but it kept going so I was safe. I thought that was a really big event, to see a car with no top or even just to see a car.

Everything was hard work. It was a lot of work to create something as wonderful as sorghum molasses. There was no running to the local Safeway and picking up a bottle of Mrs. Butter-Worth’s syrup, original, lite or otherwise. It just wasn’t done. Molasses are delicious on pancakes, cornbread or biscuits and is a wonderful sweetener for cookies. To make the sorghum molasses takes a lot of time as well as hard work from the growing of the cane to the entire process of cutting it and bringing it from the field. It was especially hard work for the horse, which had to walk in a small circle all day, to operate the press that was squeezing the syrup out of the cane.

The yellow colored syrup flowed over a large tray and was heated to a boiling point. I would explain it better, but I was very young and my memory has faded a little. I do remember that my little brother, Bennie was only a toddler and was accidentally splashed with the boiling syrup. I remember the pathetic screams and all the scrambling my parents did to find some relief for him. It took hours to produce enough molasses to can in fruit jars. Enough had been preserved to last until the next year.
The turkeys were sold and Mom was able to buy a much needed winter coat. The cotton field was picked with help from the neighbors. The neighbors helped you and you helped the neighbors when help was needed. The cotton had been packed into a large four-wheeled trailer to be taken to town the following Monday morning to be sold. Sunday night the family went to church to fellowship with the neighbors. A good time was had by all, and when they came home and drove into the yard Daddy said, “What happened to the trailer; somebody must have stolen it.”

When they went inside they found that somebody had also stolen the sorghum molasses and Mom’s new coat. Think of all that work, just snatched away from them. It was a sad time. Thievery was not as rampant at that time as it is today. The news of the stolen cotton and sorghum was spread around. Uncle Tom came over right away and said he had heard about our loss. He was so outraged; he offered to go gunning for the thief. He helped try to track down the trailer wheels, but they kept running into dead ends. It took years to forget the disappointment and hardship of the theft. It was talked about forever. That is why I remember it so well. This story was repeated over and over to different folks they would meet. One time they brought up the incident to Uncle Tom while visiting him in Colorado. It was then that Uncle Tom decided to make a confession.
He was the thief, and he thought it highly amusing that he was over there guiding them away from the tracks instead of helping. There is just something about it. A thief or murderer cannot resist bragging about their crime.

Uncle Tom ended up being driven out of the State of Oklahoma by the county sheriff because of his bootlegging and whiskey making. I think that is what he used the sorghum molasses for.
He left the state and moved to Colorado and never returned again. 
Not the end. Maybe another chapter later.
This is a more recent picture of the old house. It is still standing and the last I heard people were living in it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Another Move

Continued: and probably a rerun:

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 which 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 was 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 her sister 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.

Until next time

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Home In The Tent

They were known as the Okies that live down by the river; a family of seven Dad, Mom, Cecil, Ray, Lorrene, Bennie and Eulabell. 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 tent neighbors in Colorado, but there were a couple of log cabins nearby that families lived in, 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 Koolade, orange Koolade, and purple Koolade. There was also an ice plant nearby where they could pick up all the free ice they needed for their Koolade 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 until the bathing was about half over then a new batch of water was heated for the rest of the family. 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.
Mom washed their clothes in the same tub, but with brand new water. The clothes were draped over the same chairs to dry, and anything else that was available. The water source they used came from a spring that came out of a nearby hillside.
They had relatives that lived nearby, and they came to visit. The two families would often go for long walks and explore the area. On one of the walks they were frozen in their tracks when a very loud roar came out of a dense group of trees not far away. They couldn’t see the animal, but it was a roar that sent chills up their spines. They continued to soft pedal their way back toward camp. Not even a whisper was spoken until they arrived at their tent home. That event ended the explorations. Mom said, “Whatever will be, will be, but it’ll be without me”. Everyone felt the same way.
One day 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 as he explained to a smart-mouthed brother-in-law.

This was the end of our tent home in 1935. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Blue Skies Will Come Again

  It is bluer today than yesterday. Smoke was so horrible you could almost choke on it. It's still smoky, but not nearly as bad as it was. 
There is the man killer hurricane on the way to kill and destroy as many as it can. I can't imagine why anyone would think they will be okay if they stay there. I think some people just like to prove something. If they don't prove it, they'll be too dead to care. 
I haven't heard anything about the fires since the hurricane is front and center stage.
Hurricanes destroy more than fires, at least where homes are concerned. 
 Living without wheels is a pain in the rear. How is this any different than living in a prison cell?
Well, maybe there is something on TV other than storms. 
I shall take a look. It's lunch time so I can eat, which I live for or do I eat to live. In my case I live to eat. 
Till next time.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

No News Today

Can you imagine turning on your TV in the morning and the Announcer says, Sorry, we have no news to report today; you may as well go back to bed. Or perhaps you could make your own news. So I did, I sold my Van.

I have an old Van 27 years old, but it runs very well, and the last mechanic that looked at it said it's in excellent condition for it's age.  I need to sell it because I didn't pass the vision part of the licensing renewal procedure. How to sell a car. What is it worth? Start high because they'll offer you less and if they offer me anything I'll grab it. So I set the price at $900.00 and I'll be lucky if I get $600.00. It also has a set of snow tires included.
Chris, my DIL (if they'd ever get married) just called and said she sold my Van for $900.00. I know the person she sold it to so I know it's true. He is going on a trip so it will be one week and asked for me to please not sell it while he is gone. It's hid in the garage so there is no danger of that. I don't have to figure out how many cylinders it has or how many miles to the gallon and no one will kick it's tires or any of that cruel stuff. 
This is news. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Sun Comes Up

I wasn't born here, but this was the era when I was born. In a little farm house on the Plains of Oklahoma. The old car looks like the one my dad owned when I came on the scene. Life was so boring then, but no one knew it. The cows had to be  milked and the eggs gathered on a daily basis. Church was the highlight of the week. Neighbors gathered at the little country church and exchanged tidbits of their lives. What in the world did they talk about? Crops and cows for the men and canning, gardening and kids for the women? The mother was usually expecting another baby.
Our house had a tiny kitchen with a stand in one corner with a water bucket and a wash basin setting on it. A wood cooking range, an oval shaped table on the west wall with a bench behind the table which three of us kids sat on. Grandpa lived with us and he sat on one end of the table and Dad sat at the other end. Mom was a great cook and always had a nice meal. I remember we had lots of fried potatoes. She grew a big garden and canned everything We had a cellar to store the canned goods in. 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. That's my life today. The sun comes up and the sun goes down. 

Till next time.

Monday, July 3, 2017


These blogs are getting too complicated for me. Something is wrong with this one. It seems to be okay if I open it with the Internet Explorer, but if I open it with Chrome it's a mess. I have no idea how it looks to others.
People have moved on, why look at a blog when you can hear from everyone on Facebook. If you agree with this say amen. All those sentimental plaques are okay, but when you see fifty of them a day it gets a little much. If you agree with this say amen. If you have someone in heaven say amen. If you don't say, amen, does it mean they are in hell? If anyone that has reached adulthood, you can be assured they have lost a loved one so we all have someone in heaven. If you agree say amen.
My parents attended a little country Pentecostal church when I was a youth.  One corner of the church was called the amen corner. I doubt if that was an official title, but those men that sat in that corner said amen a lot. I think Facebook has an amen corner.
Since it's a holiday day I have nothing to do but wait for the end of the day and tomorrow will be the holiday so I will sit that one out as well.
Have a Happy Holiday !!!!
Sassy says, share this and say amen.