Friday, June 17, 2016

A Cat Tale

My Name is Sassy LeMassy

I volunteered to foster a cat while her owner is recuperating from an illness.
The person passed away from her illness and I inherited a cat which I named Sassy LeMassy. I know very little about cats, but I am learning. She is a neat one, constantly grooming herself. She seems to be very happy except when I want to take a nap or at 4 AM. She lets me know that she is not going to accept that kind of behavior by clawing at my toes. She lets me do almost everything else as long as I stay awake while I’m doing it. If she doesn’t knock it off, she is going to have to move on. I now have a peeping Tom. A big gray cat sits on my outside window sill and stares at her.
It is now many months later and I have learned a lot about cats or maybe I should say 'this one'.
If I reject her offer to sit on my lap she thinks she is punishing me by taking a day-long nap. Little does she know I love it. Now I can knit in peace or browse the internet or read or whatever I want.
She can hear a car drive in the driveway and heads for her safe place under a bed. Sometimes late in the evening she makes a mad dash for a bedroom and it scares the bejibbers out of me. When coming to see me after dark call first because I do not open my door after dark because it might be the boogie-man.
When it's her dinner hour she never lets me forget it. I recognize my dinner hour as well. When I'm opening the can of food for her she winds herself around my legs. She never does it otherwise and I wish she would stop it.
They may be very short, but they know exactly what you're doing. You can't sneak too many things past a cat.
I have an attached garage with a door to the utility room. When I first got her
I accidentally closed the door to the garage not knowing she was out there. She must have been out there all of ten minutes before I realized it. She has not offered to go in the garage again from that day to this. What was ten minutes to me must have been ten days to her.
I have a fenced back yard and I let her go out there because she loves it. I know cats can climb over a fence or even a house if they want to, but she is pretty content with staying in the yard. One day recently she decided to go exploring and I thought I had lost her forever. She was gone for an hour and I was in tears and very upset with myself. Finally, she came strolling in the back door as though it was just another day at the park.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Many Years Ago

The front porch steps is a great place.
Molly, Emily, Laura and Katie.
Mel, Karen and Kenny
Cora, Deena and Anthony AKA AJ.
Laura, Emily, Molly and Katie
Emily's arm in a cast. 

This is a very old photo of Sadie and me. She thought she was a lap dog.
She belonged to the grandkids. Of course, she is no longer with us. It's a great life. I still haven't struck it rich, but there may still be enough time. I've reached a ripe old age and still feeling fine. 
 Molly and Emily
That's all folks.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Few of My Early Days

This was our old farm house that we lived in.
This picture was taken years after the event. 

A Few of Early Days

The family included my parents, my three brothers, myself and a baby sister
 moved from Oklahoma to Colorado during the Depression because it was getting so difficult making ends meet with our farming. My maternal grandparents lived in Colorado and encouraged us to move there. It was decided my father could probably find work there. It was 1935, work was in short supply. We had a sale and sold farm equipment and livestock, and only God knows what else, but we got rid of it. Grandpa didn’t want to go or maybe he wouldn’t fit in the car so he stayed home to tend to the dog.

I was a kid so don’t expect me to remember exactly how this went, but I think it was prearranged that my Uncle Vincent, who lived in another city would come and get Gramps and the dog, and take them home to live with him because that is what ended up happening. Except Uncle Vincent didn’t want a dog in his life so the dog was left there to starve to death. Yes, I know it’s cold, barbaric and cruel, but it’s exactly what happened, and I never got over it. A neighbor later told us about hearing the dog howling for days until it finally died from starvation. The neighbor didn't want a dog either.

One day we loaded up the 192? Model A sedan with the crank hole in the front 
of it, and attached a four wheel trailer behind, loaded to the hilt. Mama, Daddy and baby girl were in the front seat, and me and three brothers on the back seat. I say ‘on’ because we were on the edge of the seat because this trip had been planned and talked about for months. We were expecting something truly exciting and breath-taking. 
We went cruising down the highway without a care in the world. Mama and Daddy both liked to sing, so they sang for the first 20 miles or so. You would have thought we were going on a million mile trip, but when you can get to the Panhandle of Oklahoma, it’s just across the fence.

We made occasional stops along the way to get gas or we stopped in a town to buy bread and lunch meat for sandwiches because we ate our meals out of the car. Sometimes we just stopped so Daddy could stretch his legs as he was the only driver. Everyone jumped out of the car to stretch their legs. Daddy always reminded us to get back in the car because we needed to keep the wheels rolling if we were ever going to get there. The scenery was mostly fence posts, blackjack trees, farm houses, and an occasional red muddy pond near the road. We had to stop at least once to stay overnight in the motel. The Motel was a little white cabin with two beds, one for adults and one for kids. There was a separate one room cabin with a shower only. You paid extra for the shower.The next morning we were up early and on the road again.

We finally arrived at our Uncle Loy and Aunt Edith’s place. It was in Colorado, I don’t recall the name of the town. This was daddy’s brother. They also lived on a farm. We stayed there for a few days until the visiting was caught up on, then we loaded up in the car again. Off to greener pastures. We were now headed for Del North. One of Mama’s sisters was married and lived in that town. Her name was Murl and she worked at the Del Monte cannery, canning tomatoes. They had one kid, a daughter, my age. Her name was Yuba. I was so weird in those days, and so was she. We just sat there and listened to the adults talk. Once in awhile we’d glance at each other. I guess we were both too shy to talk. No one can accuse me of that now. Meal time was a big production. It was just a tiny little apartment with a kitchen, living room and one bedroom. A big meal was cooked and as it was very wonderful after our sandwich diet. We didn’t stay overnight there because there just was no extra room for us. We traveled on down the highway for a few miles until we found another one of those country motels, the cabin with the beds in it.

We have almost reached our destination. Grandma and Grandpa knew we were coming and they were prepared for us. All kinds of desserts were made, and a feast to enjoy. They had a large family with three boys and five girls. Two boys and two girls were still living at home so they also had a crowded house, but we soon found another place to live.
It was a dark dreary place among a bunch of overgrown trees, and scary as all get out.
We spent the rest of the summer there and Daddy found a job helping on a road crew. We kids started to a school that seemed huge to me. The room I was in was so overcrowded; I only got a glimpse of the teacher about every third day. I didn’t learn a thing the entire time I attended that school. The area we lived in smelled like tar. It must have been from the road work. Summer finally arrived and the job ran out about the same time winter ran out so we resumed our adventure.
Now it was beginning to become fun. We found a place by the Rio Grande River, and set up housekeeping among the big pine trees, and the nearby river roared day and night.
We bought a tent and set it up. It was large enough for our two mattresses we hauled around in the trailer. We hauled a lot of household items in the trailer. We had a table and some old ugly kitchen chairs. Mom had her pots and pans, dishes and silverware. We even had a couple of those old galvanized tubs. We took our weekly bath in one of those tubs. The water would be heated on the bonfire, and chairs would be set around the tub with blankets draped over them for privacy. We had a white granite chamber pot to use during the night. This area may have been part of a park because there were a couple of outhouses nearby which we used during the day.
Mama’s family would come and visit us in our riverside home. We would go for long walks and enjoy the scenery. One day we were hiking down a rather steep hill and I slipped and fell. I began to roll down the hill. It was awful, I couldn’t stop and I seemed to be rolling faster and faster. I finally reached the bottom. Girls only wore dresses in those days, and my legs were scratched and scraped raw, but otherwise I didn’t break anything and my head was still intact. At least it was still there, not sure how it was working. It took awhile to get rid of those abrasions, but they finally healed. My uncle said maybe it would slow me down the next time. I told him it didn’t take me all day to get to the bottom of a hill. He thought it was funny.
Another time when we were on one of our excursions we were walking along when all of a sudden we heard a very loud, nearby growl from a wild animal. We thought it was a wildcat, but we never saw it. We moved on out of there as quietly and swiftly as possible.It was the last time we went hiking.  

 I've written a book  and this is just a chapter out of my long lifetime.
The Rio Grande River

Saturday, June 4, 2016

One Chapter out of My Life

A chapter out of my life as a child. In fact, it's a chapter out of an unfinished and unpublished book I wrote.
Down and out, out of a house to live in and down on our luck. We were returning to our old Oklahoma farm-house after our wild goose chase to Colorado. I think we had lived in Colorado about two and a half years. When our Daddy was finally able to scrape enough money to move on, we made it to the border of Oklahoma. The name of the town was Hollis. It was late fall and there was a cotton- picking job. We found the most pathetic shack to live it, from the man that owned the cotton field. Part of the roof was missing and sand had blown in. Much effort was spent by Daddy, Ray and Cecil to shovel out as much sand as possible. It was the aftermath of the great sand storms that hit that area in the early 1930’s. I think we shared the house with much of the sand, but we had beds and a table and stove. It was the fall of 1937. It was unseasonably warm because we were going barefoot on Christmas day. It started getting too cold after Christmas to live in a house without window panes and part of the roof missing, so we found another house. We moved into a very nice house across the street from the school, but that was short lived. We couldn't afford the rent so we moved into a one room cabin. It had a small wood cooking range which also provided what heat we had. There was room for two beds and a table. I think we had a couple orange crates to sit on. Our Mama was expecting a baby, not that it was discussed with us kids, but we were smart enough to know the big belly meant a baby was on board. People were just out and out weird in those days, to utter the word pregnancy was the same as a dirty word, and you never heard anybody say the word. The common words you heard were expecting or heavy with child. I like that one; it sort of tells it like it is. We had no clue when the big event would happen, so we just waited until it did.

It finally did, on January 26, 1938, when we arrived home from school; we were greeted by a baby brother, already named Hollis Harmon, the name of the town and the county we were living in. We, the kids, thought that was  the dumbest name we had ever heard of so we immediately began calling him Sonny. That was what he was stuck with until he was old enough to go to school and the teachers got creative and renamed him, Hollis, again. I think we have all grown accustomed to his name; however it has come up over the years as to how he acquired his name, after the city and county he was born in. I remember one time, as an adult, he was looking at an Oklahoma map and said, “Do you realize that if the folks had gone down the road another 25 miles, I would have been named Altus Jackson. Daddy got a big hearty laugh out of that idea and Mom said, “Too bad, we didn’t make it to Stillwater and we could have named you Stillwater Payne. The rest of had a big hearty laugh at the thought of that title. Mom could always come up with the last word and it was usually funny. The next leg of the trip was in the planning. Daddy got a few temporary jobs while we lived there. He was always looking for whatever he could find.

This old picture of us  when we lived in Colorado plus three cousins.
The baby was our little sister and she died a few months later due to Whooping Cough and Pneumonia.