Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Past Memories

Did you ever go for an apointment and after you got there you found out they meant to tell you it was for another date? When I made the apointment they asked if I could come Tuesday. They never said which Tuesday, so I figured they meant the next coming Tues. I found out she meant - not for the next coming up Tues, but for the Tues of the next following week. Bet I ask the next time- do you mean this coming Tues?, or another Tues this month?
It warmed up today to 40 degrees- enough for most of the snow to start disappearing. Supposed to have snow and rain mix on Thurs., rain on Friday. It should wash away the rest of the snow. I won`t miss it at all. I can remember when I used to love to see it snow.
Where I grew up my Fathers family owned a farmhouse with a large forest. This forest had two roads going thru it. One road went straight down a long high steep hill. We used this road for skiing and for riding down on a skip-jack. The other road was three times as long and started down on less of a steep grade. About a third of the way down the road was a bad curve. If you didn`t want to go over the side and down the cliff side, you better know how to stear your sled and how to move your body to make it around the curve. Then beyond the curve was the longer slope which ended up in a large clearing near the old apple tree. If you happened to be still going too fast as you passed the apple tree, there was another small downward hill that ended up in a bad swamp. Boy, you were certain to drag you feet to slow down before you reached that far, or you simply rolled off the sled and let it go. We used long dead branches to reach and pull the sled back out of the edge of the swamp when it wasn`t frozen very deep. In the coldest of the winter the swamp would freeze up, but in the summers we walked the long way all around the swamp. This swamp was caused by the Barge Canal which ran along the further edge of the woods. There were other little streams thru the woods that were flowing from the canal.
There was a High stone wall with an opening in the center that allowed water from the canal to flow thru into the woods. We named this area "Polar Beach". The name was painted onto the stone wall. It became our private swimming area as we grew up. We would swim across the canal, climb up the stone wall on the other side, dive off it and swim back across. This same canal became our private skating rink in the winter. There was a road that went along the other side of the canal with railroad tracks beside it, and further down on the other side of the road was the railroad station. There was seldom ever any vehicle on that road as it was called a Tow Path road. It used to be used for the mules to walk down as they pulled the barges down the canal. My grandfather used to run one of the barges and my Mother was actually born on the barge. One day my grandmother decided she wanted to accompany her husbnd that day. I often wonder if she new she might have the baby that day and therefore didn`t wish to stay home alone while he was at work. By this time the barges didn`t need mules to pull them as they were a bit more modern. I was told that the barge was located right behing the Cement Works building when my Mother was born. So, she was born on a barge, on the Barge Canal behind the Cement Works
I wish they still had one of those barges around today as I would love to see where my grandfather worked and where my mother was born. I never knew this grandfather as he died when my Mother was still in High School.
Well, this has gotten off the woods that I was writing about.
These woods had blueberry bushes that we picked every year.
It also had the most beautiful Skunk Blossoms, so very pretty if you could stand the skunk odor long enough to eye them. There was also lots of wild violets and a other wild flowers. It never surprised us to see a rabbit, racoon, skunk, squirrel, muskrat. snake, frogs ,all kinds of birds and other small animals running off as they heard us in the distance. Today there are also deer, moose and wild turkeys in these woods. my oldest bro now owns the farm and most of the wooded area and he has it posted to keep hunters out and protect the animals.
I once lived on this farm and my twins were born there. We intended on buying the farm and wooded area from an Aunt who was still living there. But while we lived there the step daughter found a bottle in the old stantial shop ( as they called it back then), she spilled some on her arm, tossed it, it hit some boards, broke, splattering both her and her 2 yr old sister-- burning them severly. They spent the entire summer under mosquito netting on a bed. The liquid turned out to be mercuric acid and battery acid combined that was used years before on the farm to dehorn the bulls. We thought everything of danger had been removed. But this bottle had fallen down behind a board out of view. This happened when my twins were just 4 months old. The worst summer of my life. Once they were healed , we decided to move and built our own home that I still live in today.

I enjoyed reading about your memories, sounds like a lovely childhood. :)
Thanks Deni. I was very lucky to be a part of a close family where things were so available and free not only for family, but our school friends were always welcome to join us.
Today there is no water in that section of the canal as they closed it off a few miles upstream. I wish it had remained open for the next generation to have enjoyed what we enjoyed.
It's nice that this land is still in the family. Cherish your memories.
i bet you were worried to death about the twins. when i was growing up i lived in the country in massachusetts and we spent a lot of time out there in the snow and the ice. i was use to it then but not now. i have been in the south to long now. have a good day dot.
Yes Nan, we sure were lucky to keep it in the family. My oldest bro has 3 Horses there which reminds us of the horses, cows, pigs and chickens that used to be on that farm. I just wish all kids had the same advantages as we did. There wasn`t much extra money in those days, but we still had more than all our richer friends .
Mr Haney, you would have laughed to see me back then. The 7 yr old would sleep pretty good with the pain pills and her arm up on a pillow, but the 2 1/2 yr old daughter had burns on her side, one arm, plus a few littler ones scattered on her so no matter how she laid she was on one. Then the twin boys , being only 4 months old-- if one of the 3 little ones cried , it would wake up the other two and all 3 would be crying. An Aunt loaned me her huge old fashioned cradle. I would hold the 2 1/2 yr old in my arms and put one baby on each end of the cradle. Then while I rocked the little daughter, I would use one toe to keep kicking the cradle to keep it rocking. Sometimes it took over an hour or more to finally rock all three back to sleep. I often wonder how I would have managed without that cradle. Dr came every day to check on them on his way to the Hospital. he was great.
Your kids knew how to keep you busy with climbing trees fallin down wells.
It must have hurt like hell,
Loves these stories, keep them coming :)
The substances that contain mercury is highly toxic.

I am sure the chidren must still have the marks of the burns.
Jac, the little one had brand new shoes- real leather and it ate great big holes right thru them. We took the older D to three specialsts and they all said plastic surgery would only remove one scar and leave another and the new skin would never tan to match the rest of her arm. With the scars there is some small indented
places that don`t tan, but the rest does.
Yes, they each have scars on one of their arms, plus the younger one also has a bad scar on her side that will always be there.
The burning was so bad that I was watching the skin eaten right off the burned areas as I carried both of them into the house. I put the little one sitting in the old wash tub on the floor and the older one I sat into the sink and kept pouring cold water over them till the Dr arrived. The only reason I was allowed to treat them at home was because I had no medical insurance at the time and had my hosp. bill, 2 nursery hosp bills and 5 Drs I was still paying for just 5 months before they got burnt. ( specialist had to be called in when twins were born as our hospital had never handled a Birth with the problems like mine before) So, Dr came to my house every day to check on how we were all doing. Having Nursing training also helped. Had to put globs of vaseline all over the severe burns three times a day. I can still see all that yellow pussy junk that came off the burns as I applied the vaseline. Ane the odor was awful. My youngest sister would sit outside the back screen door and read real loud so the girls could hear her in the other side of the house. The smell was that bad. Mother loaned me her record player and sis brought over all her kiddie records for them to listen to. One hectic summer that I will never forget. Those girls are now ages 54 and 59 and the twins will be 51 yrs old on April 2nd. Many years ago, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday.
Was really enjoying that until the bit about the bottle and getting burnt severely and the mosquito netting. Damn that sounds painful.

And boy you have a heap of different wildlife to what we see over here....I love that you have racoons, squirrels and muskrats, moose etc...I'm quite happy that we have no skunks or snakes over here though lol
Yes Walker, it was one fall i will never forget. My youngest bro was leading the way, snow covered everything so we never knew we were walking over the old well. We had been hunting for a calf that didn`t come to the barn with it`s mother. An older bro was walking behind mw. Uncle yelled _ Stay away from that old well, y bro said- We are a long ways from it. Famous last worde. He made it across, then the boards gave under mw and when the boards flipped up they dropped my older bro right down behind me. He ended up with a broken nose, i just had cuts and scrapes, but he was lots taller so the water just touched under hie nose when he stood on tiptoes, but was over my head. He was 4 yrs older, and the Y bro was 2 yrs younger. There was the falling water well pipe and I started shimming up it like you shimmy up a rope in a tree. Glad i had learned how to put ong hand over the other to climb. That falling pipe is what broke my bros nose. Luckily Dad heard the y bro yelling to him and came running to help get us out. God was with us that time.
Lisa, I left you a message, then my machine crashed, so I will try again.
I said I would like to send the skunks someplace, but was sure you didn`t want them. I smelled one again last night. I`m just glad they are staying away from my back porch where the dog house is. Sassy, my border Collie is still insisting on staying outside. This is the first year she has spent the whole winter staying outside. She used to come in on the colder nights till this winter.
I was glad the pain meds worked pretty good. I burnt a hand real bad once when the kitchen stove oven blew up. I know how that hurt especially when I was going thru the theraphy to get the fingers moving again. I had to exercise the older d`s arm as it was starting to freeze up- it hurt to move it and so she wasn`t moving it and would have eventually lost her arm if I hadn`t done the arm exercises. She cried and I cried right along with her. Her Dad wouldn`t do it cause he didn`t want to hurt her. I was determined she wasn`t losing her arm even if she ended up hating me. Luckily I had learned the exercises by doing them for patients in the Hosp.
The little one would forget and move her arm.
They got burnt right after school let out in June and got out from under the netting the following Sept., just before the older one had to go back to school. She had to wear long sleeves to school even though it was still warm out just to protect the thinner newly healed skin on her arm. They spent the whole summer in bed under the netting to keep flies from landing on their burns. i felt so sorry for them, and the 2 1/2 yr old was still almost a baby.
Enjoyed your memories, Dot. They reminded me of ones from this guy who published his own autobiography called "me 'n Henry," and since no one would sell his book, he opened a store called "The One Book Bookstore" in Bisbee, Arizona. Years ago, I got to meet him in that store and bought the book. The story I remember the most is how, back around 1914, his father drove them to a pond in their Model T car. He got the ingenious idea to take the inner tube out of the car tire and let them use it as a swimming tube. When they were done, he would put it back in the car tire and drive home.

All that to say, you should make sure you keep the memories you shared with us and write more down for your kids and grandkids. They are precious.
Thanks Skye. I remember riding on those inner tubes when I was young. We never used them at the canal, but did at some of the lakes we went swimming at years later. They were lots of fun and safer for the littler ones till they became better swimmers.
I never did know where the idea of using the inner tubes started from. I wonder where he got the idea. Just read the write up. I never could inderstand how any mother could leave her children like his mother did.
I have a large binder and I have been printing off my blog entries and keeping them in the binder. I have the tool for making the three openings for the binder. I have fallen behind in printing them off, but one of these days I`ll catch them up.
I started writing out my past memories , including much about My Husband`s life, by hand for a few years. Then a friend ( Mr Haney) mentioned using a blog to print them to. Much easier than writing it all out by hand. Best part of using the blog is all the great friends I have met when reading their interesting blogs.
Hi dot. Sorry it's taken me so long to come and visit ... but I can guarantee I'm going to be here all the time from now on !!!

Your memories are awesome !!! I wish I could persuade my mother or grandmother to share theirs as freely :)
Kassi, I also wish I had thought to ask more questions years ago. I would have liked to known little things-- like how my Grandparents met. I did think to ask my Mother, but it was almost 20 yrs after my Father passed away. lost my Mom in 1995, so can`t ask any more questions. Do you know how your Mom and Dad first met, or how your gram and Grampa first met? If not, that is a great place to start asking questions. Wish someone had told me this when I was younger. If they answer that question, you might find them telling you more things. Try it, and good luck.
I found out that my Mom and Dad met at a friends Birthday Party.
An Aunt was there when i asked and she volunteered more information. it seems that my Dad had taken another girl to that party, but ended up also walking my mother and I believe my Aunt home. I never thought to ask my Aunt if she were there or just knew about it. But she sounded like she went to the p[arty with my mother. So, my children not only know how their father and i met, but also how their gram and gramp met. Wish Walt`s parents hadn`t died when Walt was still still in school so i could have learned more about their past. Was able to trace his Fathers ancesters, but not his Mothers. Still trying to do that. My own Mothers side is traced way back, but my Grandfather on my Fathers side was adopted so that has me stuck there. It leaves us wondering what our maiden name might have been before the adoption.

Thanks for stopping by. I will be visiting your blog also.
Great post Dot! It's always so interesting to read about the past, it's like a book that catches you.

It's a pity that the different generations don't talk as much as they should to each other. There is so much to learn.

Have a great weekend.
Yes, Lifecruiser, it is a shame that we don`t have more informationabout those in our past so we can tell them to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I have kept many wonderful memories for my family and future memvbers , so they can know more about their roots. Only wish i knew even more to relate to them.
Wishing a great weekend to both you both. Thanks for dropping by.
where are you dot? we are all waiting for another post. have a good day.
Mr Haney, I`m still around and trying not to get into any mischief. Don`t you think that spoils all the fun? HaaHaa.
Why did we suddenly get so serious once we started raising children. Guess setting a good example for our kids stopped some of the good old fun times. It was do as I say, not as i did. :):)
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