Saturday, May 31, 2008


Never rains but it pours.

I am sure most of you have heard the phrase "It never rains, but it pours". Well, that is how ai am feeling at this moment.

Update on my brother- heard yesterday that he was critical and we might lose him at any time. He had another stroke a couple weeks ago. It left him bed ridden and unable to speak. Him and his wife went to their son`s in Georgia for the winter and due to his condition will not be returning north this year like they normally do every summer. So, my brother is so far away that I can`t even visit him. At least I was able to talk to him on the phone just before his last stroke and was able to tell him how much I love him. I hold my breath every time the phone rings for fear it has bad news. My other brother and 2 of my sisters live a few miles from me and our other sister lives in the same state, but a 4-5 mile drive from the rest of us. This brother`s home is also not far from the rest of us. Sure wish he was home at their own place where I could visit him instead of way off in Georgia.

A sister just got out of the hospital- has emphasema and still fighting double pneumonia. Think the Hospital shouldn`t have been so quick to send her home.

My only living Uncle has just been moved from the hospital to a nursing home for therapy with hopes of getting him well enough and strong enough to go home. Dr said almost a year ago that his heart is bad from age and there is nothing more they can do for his heart condition. He spent a little over 2 weeks in the Hospital and being in bed so long has made him too weak for walking. Hoping the therapy will get back his strength. He is 92 and his wife is 88 and she had a heart op last year and also is not doing real well.

Been so busy running to the hosp to see my sister and uncle, plus seeing Dr`s, that I haven`t even found time for exercising all this past week.

Well, it has already started raining and we are expecting a thunder storm today, tonight and possibly again tomorrow. So, If I am not on much. it will be either more bad news, ot a thunderstorm which keeps me off the computer. I never use my computer, television, telephone or my electric tools in my wood shop during thunderstorms.
God bless everyone and I wish you all some good news before this day is over.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Friday, May 24, 2008/ Medical Thoughts and Family

Friday, May 24, 2008
Medical Thoughts

A blogger friend once wrote about what he went thru after each stroke in hopes he could help others to understand more what their loved ones might be experiencing after they had a stroke. As he said, every case is different, but what he experienced sure opened my eyes to a better understanding of strokes. Having my oldest brother going thru many strokes over the past few years just made his blog even more important to me. I heard yesterday that this last stroke has left my brother completely paralyzed. Him and his wife spend the winters at one of their sons homes -who lives in Georgia. So, now this last stroke will mean he can no longer make the long trip back home near us in New York.
I have carried this terrible feeling every since they left last Fall that I would never see my brother again. I also heard that he was crying because he didn`t wish to go south for last winter. But, I also heard that the Dr had told my sister-in-law that If he even caught a cold, he probably wouldn`t have enough strength to fight it and that was why she insisted they had to leave here before the hard winter set in. While my mind can understand she was doing what she felt was best for my brothers health, my heart also understands why he wanted to stay up north where all his family could visit him. All his other children and great grandchildren live in New Jersey and so they could drive to New York in a few hours, or spend a week-end up here with him, while they would have to chance losing their job if they took off enough time to make the trip all the way to Georgia.So, up here was easier for his family to see him, but he would be risking his life to stay here thru the cold damp winter.

As for the wonderful friend who wrote the blog, many of you might remember our wonderful caring, thoughtful friend Denny Shane. His stroke information blog was titled "NOT SO NORMAL NEWS ".
The last time I heard anything was months ago when he had another stroke and this one left him in the same condition that it has now left my brother , so he was no longer able to keep in touch with anyone. I miss hearing from him and hope his wishes come true, that others would read his stroke blog and that they might benefit from it. Some of you who knew Denny have probably already read his stroke blog,

I wish to say "Thank you to Denny for all he went thru trying to publish the information. If you read his blog, then you will see how hard it became for him, but he still kept writing in it for as long as he was able. I know his regular blog was closed, but the last time I checked his stroke blog was still on the net for anyone to read. He was hoping people from all over the world might benefit from the information on his stroke blog. If you have never read it, I hope you do. You will be surprised at all the information you will learn about what some go thru during and after having a stroke.

Now for another medical topic: Comas.

Most people probably already know that people in a coma can still hear everything that is being said around them.
I remember my Mother once asking me if I thought they could hear and I told her yes. Her next words to me were "Then they ( meaning the people in her Hospital room) shouldn`t have been talking about her like she was already gone.

Here are three of the reasons I know they must have heard what I said.

The first time was when I was working in the Hospital and one of the patients had been in the hospital for a very long time. When she got worse she had special nurses so I no longer helped take care of her. But, since I had always stopped to speak to her when I came to work every afternoon as 3pm, I asked the special nurses if they minded if I continued checking in with her when I came on and was told yes. Well, this one day as I reached her room, the nurse on duty with her motioned for me to stay outside. Then she came out to tell me she wanted to tell me that the patient had gone into a coma shortly after I left at 11pm the night before. When I said I would still like to stop and speak to her, like I had been doing, the nurse agreed. While talking to the coma patient, she suddenly said "Dorothy" in a questionable style voice.She was still in the coma and never woke up, nor did she ever say another word after that. I told her, yes it was me, Dorothy. The nurse wanted to tell her family about her saying my name till I asked her not to. She wondered why until I told her it would probably hurt her family to know her last word was of me and not one of her family. I felt that would hurt them more. This patient passed away after I went off duty that night. This patient was a very intelligent person and had been a Teacher in a College for many years until retiring. She was such a warm loving type of person that I have never forgotten her and this happened back in 1950. I got married in Dec. 1951 and stopped working to care for a step daughter from my husbands first marriage.

The next time was many years later. it was one of my Aunts that was the patient. She had been in the coma for a couple days and I went to see her every morning for the weeks she was in the hospital, while most of the family worked days and could only go in the evening. This one day I could see she wasn`t going to live much longer. I had spoke to her daughter shortly before going to the hospital and her daughter said she would probably meet me there a little later. So, I happened to mention to my Aunt to hang on- that Thelma would be there shortly. I saw my Aunt suddenly start breathing so hard like she was fighting to hang on till her daughter arrived. After a few minutes I could no longer stand seeing her working so hard so I told her it was ok that Thelma would understand and that Thelma wouldn`t want her to go thru so much pain. I told her to stop fighting so hard and she went back to her normal breathing.

Another time is was another Aunt who had cancer and went into a coma which lasted for a few days. I also went to the Hospital every morning to be with her till others showed up. I told her that I would give anything to see one of her beautiful smiles again. She started crying so hard that the tears were flowing down her cheeks. This made me feel so bad. So, I told her it was ok because God and I could see her smiling on the inside. Then she relaxed and stopped crying. It was about this Aunt that my mother had asked me if I thought comatose patients heard what visitors said while in the same room. I told her about the Teacher from Albany State teachers College, but not about either of the Aunts because these Aunts were her sisters and I was worried that telling my mother might upset her even more. She had heard one of her other sisters talking to another family member about this Aunt like she was dying soon. I knew this was bothering my mother and worried it would bother her even more if I told her about the crying.

Today it is my oldest brother that has me worrying. He was still alert this morning, but unable to move or speak. So, my mind is still telling me that we could lose him at any time. But, my heart hates to give in and accept his condition as final stages. Too many strokes over the past few years. I am glad I spoke to him on the phone before this last stroke so I was able to tell him how much I loved and missed him. One of my younger sisters has been in the Hospital since last Thusday and it took over a week before they could find why she was having such a hard time breathing. X-rays showed nothing. Finally , yesterday they did an MRI which showed she had pneumonia in both lungs. This morning they took her to the or and used a probe to clean out her lungs. Hopefully she will be feeling better soon. In the room next to my sister is my only living Uncle who has also been in for over a week. He is 91 and hasn`t been doing good for a couple years now. He looked a little better yesterday, but his problems are mostly age ones that no one can do anything about. So, we all just keep hoping. His wife is 88 and not doing too good either, and they have been married for 67 years. I can`t see either of them making out without the other one.

They say it never rains, but it pours and that`s how I feel right now. At least we have good news about our sister. So, it isn`t all bad news right now. We must thank God for helping them find what was making my sister so ill so they could start working on a cure to make her well again.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Sunday, May 18th, 2008 just thinking...

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Ever look at the date and wonder where all the years went to, or wonder what you have accomplished in all that time? Ever look around you and find you have lots to be Thankful for even if there are some problems to handle?

Seems like as long as you own your own home, there is always some repair waiting to be done, This morning I finally got around to sanding the wood smooth where , last winter, I filled the cracks in the wood over my side door. I didn`t want the bees to find there way into my home using those tiny spaces in the wood, like they did last fall. Only problem with using the spray in filler is that it expands and extends outside the boards. It was too cold last fall to sand it all smooth, so this morning I decided I should get it sanded and ready for painting so it would look neater. The filler is a yellow cover and looks bad along the white painted walls. Last week I made some extender steps and nailed them to a riser board that was cut to match with the original porch steps. I have the supports lined up to hold the new steps outside the original steps railing. I have some large pretty flower holders I want to sit onto these steps so I can have flowers going down the side of the porch. I fixed these steps so that they can be removed in the winter so they won`t be in the way when I need to shovel snow off the original porch steps. I have them already stained and am waiting for some more dry days to finish them. Plus, I also want to add some edgings to the steps so the planters can`t be blown off in bad storms. Haven`t decided what type of support trim I want to add, but my mind is going a mile a minute on a lot of ideas. With all this hard work and repair money spent in trying to keep my home in good condition, I am thankful I have my own home as I would have a hard time trying to pay the rent prices they are charging today. I don`t see how the younger ones can pay so much and still properly support their families. My heart goes out to them.

Next week it is off to see the Dr that handled my arm after I dislocated it a year and a half ago. After another fall about 6 months ago, the arm started paining again and x-rays didn`t show what was causing the pain. Lately it has been aching worse and my Dr says an MRI might show the problem, but he sent me back to see the specialist that treated me before.

In July it`s back to see the Specialist who first tested me for sleep apnea ( unless they have a cancellation to fit me in before July). Getting so I fall asleep to easy with no warning and I don`t think that is good. Wasn`t a big worry till it happened only a little over an hour after I got up one morning.

Then the week after next, it`s off again to see my eye specialist. Got new glasses a couple weeks ago and have 20/20 when reading with them. But, they are no good for seeing distance. I have double vision which requires prisms in my glasses to bring the two images back into one picture wearing glasses. I have to wear the old glasses for driving and walking around outside. The new glasses leave the double vision with two separate images. I didn`t realize this about the new glasses when I picked them up as they simple checked how well I could read with them. And I thought it wise to wear the old glasses to drive home until I had time to get used to the new glasses. Well to make a long story short, I was wearing the new glasses at the computer when Sassy (my Border Collie) wanted to go outside. I got up, was on the porch hooking her onto her chain when my youngest son yelled "Hi Mom" to me. When I looked up, he was standing on the son-In-laws truck in the next door driveway and the son-I-Law was standing on the ground behind the truck. What I saw was two images of my son on the truck and 2 images of the S-I-law on the ground. That is when I found out the new glasses were not any help with distance. It hit me strange since , before, the newer glasses had always worked fine. I told my son and son-in-law that they should find it real easy removing the new kitchen range off the truck with four of them to lift it. LOL. At first they looked at me like I was crazy, till they remembered I had double vision. Looking thru the new glasses was no different than looking without wearing any glasses. Not sure what the eye Dr can do about it this time. I told him that the two images were no longer overlapping with the right eye image much higher than the left eye image. When I told him the two images were now side by side a couple inches apart, he told me that prisms can bring images up or down to match, but they can`t move images sideways. So, I ask myself
What next? Glad I can still see ok for distance with my old glasses even though they aren`t as good for reading or computer. Just have to remember to change glasses every time I start to get up and walk around. It`s like that pill you have to take only once a week, hard to remember when you aren`t used to it.

Funny how you think you have everything under control and you suddenly find there are some things you just can`t control. They told me it was a mini stroke that caused the double vision and that prisms would correct it for you. You are also told that over time your eyes would become crossed, but not to worry because when ( not if) that happens they can correct it by operating. Well, it has been about ten years since I was told this. About 5 or 6 years ago the Dr was surprised that my eyes hadn`t became crossed. After all these years, I hope that means it probably will never happen after all.
The body is a funny thing , often with a mind of it`s own. You, or your Dr expects one thing to happen and an entirely different thing ends up happening. OH Well, all we can do is smile and make the best of what we have. After all, things could always be a whole lot worse. Just look around you and I am sure you will find people who are either going thru something much worse than you are, or someone much worse off than you. As long as you keep the cup half full, you will be thankful that you are not as sick or as bad off as some others are. Remember, there is always someone much worse off than you are, no matter how bad off you are. I know I will be ok as long as I remember this and can feel thankful for what I have instead of feeling sorry for what I don`t have.

As one nephew once said to me " Aunt Dot, I would gladly give up all the money my family has to have the love in our family that I see in yours and in Uncle Ken`s family" . That was at my brother Ken`s funeral back in 1994, but I never forgot it. Money can`t buy happiness, only love can. Love is such a huge word and can make many bad situations easier to handle. Love is one of the hardest words to define, and yet, it is the most important feeling a person can know. When I feel lonely for Walt, I often remind myself that I was one of the lucky ones to have shared a love with the same person for a little over 50 years and that I am loved by children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren that are constant reminders of that first strong love. Some never are that lucky. So, yes, no matter what, my cup is still half full, not half empty.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Happy Birthday Mother, May 14th, 1904

Mother, I wish you were here so we could celebrate your birthday with you like we always did in the past. But, I am sure you are having a wonderful Birthday, back in Dads arms where you always belonged. You lived 20 long years without him and now we have already lived 13 years without you. All your family was there waiting for you except for your two brothers and a few months ago one of you baby brothers joined you. Your youngest brother and his wife speak of you often and tell me how much they still miss those fun card games at your home.
I remember one time when we were playing crazy eights and you dozed off for a cat nap, like you often did. I noticed the plate clock up on the wall needed cleaning. So, while you slept I climb up and took down the clock and cleaned it and then replaced it. Hours later when you looked up to see what time it was, you mentioned that you could see the clock clearer and you wondered why. I told you I cleaned it and you asked how I could without you knowing. I told you I washed it while you were napping. I was always doing other little things when she napped during the games- such as washing the stove of, wiping down the front of the frig/freezer, and other such things. I remember the time you noticed the tea kettle was real shinny. I knew how hard it was for you to keep up so much in your 80`s. I hope I can do as well as you if I should live that long.

Another time it was New years Eve and Walt and I came down to spend the evening with you and we played cards. Every time Walt mentioned we should be heading home, you would say " You can play just one more game, can`t you? Well, that one more game lasted till 5am the next morning. Suddenly you said to us " You look tired, why don`t you both go upstairs and get some sleep? So, after playing crazy eights all evening and on thru the entire night, you still were going strong while Walt and I were playing half asleep. We did take you up on your offer because we didn`t think it wise to drive home feeling half awake. You must have been feeling more lonesome on that New Years Eve and I am glad we were able to make it a special night for you. If I remember correctly, I think most of the family was out dancing celebrating, like we usually did with some of them.

I wonder what it was like the day you were born. I know that Grampa ( your Dad)worked on the barge on the canal also know that Gramma wasn`t feeling well that day and didn`t want to stay home alone. So he took her to work with him. I was told that the big barge boat was going down the canal and stopped behind where the old cement works was located beside the canal. And that was where you were born on the barge that day. As far as I know there was only gramp and gram alone there to deliver you. Your parents must have done a great job as everything went along fine from what I heard over the years. I never heard if there was any Dr or midwife summoned to the barge. Wish I had thought to ask more questions about that special day.
The only other thing I did hear was that when your Birth was reported you hadn`t been named yet-- so you were listed only as "baby Thompson" and to this day that is still all that is on your birth certificate. I remember your Mom calling you Annie. But all my life you were known as Anne on all official documents like your School records, your Marriage certificate, etc..
I remember you once telling me that at the official office they told you you could choose any first name you liked and it would be legal-- the choice was up to you, since no first name was ever recorded on file. Must have felt strange to know you could use any name you preferred while others had to keep the name they were named at birth. Of course anyone can have their name changed if they want to go thru the legal steps to do it.

Now I am wondering ? Did Gram start you in school using the name Annie? If so, how old were you when you changed to using Anne? So many unanswered questions. Wish I had thought to ask them before. I am glad I remembered to ask you how and where you met our Father. Of course Aunt Daisy answered me before you had a chance to say a word. Maybe you would have told more about that first meeting at the friends birthday party. But, out of respect to your sister, I felt I couldn`t ask you more. I felt it would be looked at like I didn`t believe my Aunt and that wouldn`t have been nice. I know you were in High School when you father passed away and that the funeral was held there at home. I remember you telling me how hard it was having to pass the casket every time you went up stairs to your bedroom. I remember when a friends funeral was held at their home. You wished they hadn`t as you felt the teen aged daughter would never be able to get that memory out of her head since you couldn`t erase the memory of your father in the casket and it stayed with you the rest of your life. Guess people didn`t have the money for the Funeral parlor back then and did the best they could afford.

Well Mother, Happy Birthday to you. You are loved and missed so much by all of us. I love you dearly and you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Monday, May 12, 2008


More thought of my Mother.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More thoughts of my Mother.

More thoughts of my Mother- Now that I am older and looking back I see things much different than I did when I was growing up. I remember how my mother had her favorites, the oldest son and the oldest daughter, plus whoever was the baby at the time. I remember feeling I was letting her down because I wasn`t getting as high grades in school as my older sister did. She was second highest in her graduation class, while I kept passing grades and graduated with decent grades, but not that high. Looking back I remember my mother once saying she wasn`t smart enough to do the harder puzzle books that another brother and I were always doing. Actually my Mother was a lot smarter than she gave herself credit for. So, looking back, I think her low feeling of herself was what actually had her so proud of my sister`s high grades, not that she thought my sister was better than the rest of us. But at the time I didn`t know she had such a low opinion of herself. My dad was always telling us to ask our mother- he considered her very smart, while she thought he was lots smarter than she was. So, her feelings must have come while growing up with two brothers and three sisters. one half sister and one step sister. I know one of her brothers was very smart, even high grades in College. So, maybe she had the same feelings growing up that she showed with us kids.Now, grown up, this is what I have discovered:Took my Mother into her late 80`s to find out her favorite daughter wasn`t all she thought, that graduating at age 15 didn`t make her a smarter person. When mother broke her hip and her pet ( everyone thought this) wasn`t willing to stay for a couple weeks to care for her, she told me that my sister could leave her home for months to spend the winters in Florida, but when it came to spending a couple weeks helping her, she had to get back to her house. I ended up caring for my mother with the help of a brothers wife and thru these weeks, I saw a great change in my mothers outlook as she realized the ones she never favored were the ones she could count on. I never realized the change until one Christmas when we were all there ( 7 of us), she was heading for the hospital again and she refused to let the ambulance drive out of the driveway. My Aunt came in and asked where I was and told me my mother refused to go to the hospital unless I rode in the ambulance with her. That not only surprised me, but also my brothers and sisters' as we all were used to having our oldest sister and oldest brother come first with her. Lost our Mother 13 years ago on May 10th, just 4 days before her 91st Birthday on May 14th.. All my growing up in my older sisters shadow became unimportant as I finally knew she loved and trusted in me before she passed away.Funny that I never felt I was growing up in my older sisters shadow till after my mother broke her hip and I saw how hurt she was to be let down by my sister. Seeing her hurt brought back so many things where my sister always seemed to be allowed to do so much more than I could at the same age. I remember once asking my mother for permission to go to the dances at the grange, my sister told her I was too young, and my mother told me I was too young. When I said my sister was going when she was even younger, the reply was that at my age she was already in higher grades in High School and hanging with older kids. Another time I asked for my own bicycle and was told we didn`t need two girls bikes- so if my sister said yes, I was allowed to borrow her bike. But this brings more memories, like when I wanted to buy my year book the year a brother graduated and her answer was we didn`t need two of the same book in the house, even though I was going to pay for it with my own baby sitting money. Then that brother told me he wasn`t allowed to buy his second years book for the same reason- the sister graduated that year. So, that puts a different light on those memories. Back then it just looked like my sister won ever time. Now, I think it was the thought of what she felt was a waste of money being spent on a second copy of the same item. I think it was because I always felt so loved by my father that I still felt happy and never resented my older sister. I had lots of close friends and grew up with lots of fun memories, so I never let things bother me for long. As for the older brother, he never acted like he though he was any better than the rest of us and still treats us all that way today. Funny how you see things so much clearer when you are older. Today I feel it was money, not favoritism that made it look like the older sister won every round. It went to my sisters head and looking back it was actually her and not my mother who put herself on the pedestal. I felt bad when I saw the hurt on her face when my mother started bragging to everyone how I was able to get her back walking after her first hip operation. I tried to explain to my mother that it was much easier for me to care for her than it was for the others because I had been trained when I worked at our local Hospital. I was trained in caring for the open cut and also for the therapy afterwards. I told her the others had no training and were afraid they might do something wrong and make things worse for her. I also told my older sister that I understood why it was harder for her to care for our mother. Plus the oldest brother`s wife had told this sister that our mother would never walk again if she wasn`t sent to one of the recuperating places and my sister believed her. I visited my mother at the Hospital one day and she started crying while telling me she didn`t want to go there. I told her she didn`t have to because I would take care of her at her home. Then I spoke to our older brother who agreed with me. I knew the others wouldn`t go against his word. My mother once told me "What are they ( meaning the older sister and a younger one) going to do if their husband ever needed bed care?" I told her they would make out if they had no one else to do it for them. Years after we lost out Mom, my older sister did end up caring for her husband the last couple years of his life and the younger sister lost her husband due to an accident. The following year after the hip operation, our mother had a full hip replacement. This required no bandage changing or special therapy so the others did ok helping out. I think this proved to my mother that it wasn`t that noone else wanted to help her, but that they were just afraid to help the first time.So, while it did feel good finally feeling I was being respected and feeling more loved by our mother, at the same time I felt sorry for my sister. I am glad things worked out ok before our mother passed away. I have one problem that will always bother me and that was due to something our mother did that was as wrong as a person can get. She should never have hurt my younger brother so bad, and even though she finally saw how wrong she was and did tell him she was sorry, there wasn`t enough time left for that hurt to heal before we lost that brother due to heart trouble one year before we lost our mother.

My mother has now been gone 13 years- on the 10th, and her birthday would have been in two more days- on the 14th.
Happy early Birthday mother.I Love you and will always miss you..

Sunday, May 04, 2008


My Mother in May and the many hardships she faced.

Sunday, May 04, 2008
Subject: My Mother in May and some of the many hardships she faced.

Hard Time Memories of my Mother and her special days in the Month of May.

May is not only Mother`s day- this year on May 11, 08,
but also my Mother was born on May 14, 1904,
and she passed away on May 10, 1995 , just 4 days before her 91st Birthday.

Hardships were an every day event for most Mothers even up into the `30`s and early 40`s.

My mother was one who did lots of things, a good cook, good housekeeper, knitted, crocheted, gardening are a few of them. Her and my Dad raised a large family during the recession and kept us all well fed and healthy.
I remember one day when she was in her 80`s. I went down to see her and found her wall-papering a room. She was standing up on the step ladder with a full sheet of pasted wallpaper going up over her head and hanging down - both in front of her and behind her. She had an old towel wrapped around her head to keep from getting glue in her hair. I still remember how funny she looked up on that ladder and mostly hidden by the paper. :) ( Maybe I should explain that this :) stands for the smile I have while remembering that day- in case years from now the kids are not still using :) written.) You mostly saw her shoes and a bit of stockings. She was only a little over 5 feet tall and each sheet had to be cut to fit 8 foot tall walls. She had her ironing board open with a cover over it to protect it and that was were she laid the wallpaper while she brushed on the paste. So much easier today with the wallpaper already prepared with the glue backing. But in the 60`s it had no glue on it and you had to take a wide brush and spread on the paste to stick it to the wall. Well, It ended up that day with her putting on the paste and me standing on the ladder and her handing me the sheets which I held on the wall while my mother used her other brush to slowly press down the paper onto the wall, making sure there were no wrinkles and it was real smooth. I remember how we would have to be sure each sheet went on straight, only covering the edge border of the last sheet. Until that day I never realized all the work put into wall-papering a room. She had always done it while we were in school, so it was finished when we got home. Maybe helping her and seeing how much work it took is why I never used wall-paper in my home.

Many time I joined her working in her garden every summer. From her I learned how to can vegetables and fruits. She also made lots of pickle relish and piccadeli . Without looking it up in a cook-book, I can`t remember how she made the piccadeli. When we were younger, she never allowed us to use the oven for fear we might get burnt. Back then our kitchen range was always hot as one side had a place to burn wood for heating the kitchen. I remember that old green and black stove with the top shelf high on the back of it. I remember how she had this empty large coffee can where she poured left over grease. Later she sometimes used this grease to make doughnuts. Today most people would be afraid the old grease would make everyone sick. Funny, we never did get sick from her cooking with it. I remember the long handled pick-up tool that was used to lift the solid top lid that set over the places where you set your pots and pans when cooking. I have a small mineature antique stove like the opne we had. On the wood heating side was another shelf with a door that opened to shovel out the wood ashes. Beside that end of the stove was an ash bucket with a handle for use in carrying the ashes outside. Today I have a large ben franklin to burn wood for heat when the power goes out. I also have one of those ash buckets and once the ashes are cold I dump the ashes into my compost bins to help making doos soil for my flower beds.

When us kids were young, Mother had no dryer and hung all the clothes out on the high pulley line that ran about 20 -25 feet, from the side porch to the top of the garage. I hung up clothes for her many times. Today I still have my 60 foot long clothes line running from my back porch to an old telephone pole and back. I remember her cloths pin bag with the clothes hanger to hang it on a nail, which was later changed to a wooden box my Dad made for her and nailed onto the porch near the line. Her old washer was one with the wringer on the top. I remember watching her pulling those large sheets, gently folding them so they would be small enough to fit the narrow width of those double rollers. I remember her turning the crank which squeezed out the excess water as the cloth went thru between the two wooden rollers. She had a large tub of clean water for the clothes to go into for rinsing, and then back thru the rollers to again squeeze out the water, then into the large wicker style clothes basket, and off to the porch to be hung onto the line. Once they were dry, you folded them neatly as you took them off the line and placed them in another clothes basket, and just filled up the line with the second load. Over and over till everything was washed and dry. Still more work to be done as almost everything had to be ironed and many items required starching. No electric flat irons years ago, the irons had to be heated on the stove and knowing when the iron was hot enough, and not so hot it would leave a burnt spot on the clothes- that took some constant checking. I remember you could put your finger in water and then shake your hand so the water dripped onto the botton of the iron. If you heard the sizzle or saw the water drops bounce back off, you knew the iron was hot enough. I still own 2 of those heavy old antique flat irons. I learned to use them when we were first married. I even burnt a shirt once because I had heated it too long. Totaled destroyed the shirt with the shape of the metal flat iron real black looking left on it. They came in different sizes, small ones to iron into small spots, like the puffed sleeve tops, and the large irons used for larger things. So much harder in those days. Today, we just toss them into the washer and let it do the washing, squeezing out the water, running in the fresh water and again spinning out the excess water, then tossing in the dryer. Then just remove them and put them away. Only special items still get ironed or starched, and not very often. I remember my mother using a soda bottle with a cap filled with holes used to sprinkle the clothes while ironing. No such thing as a steam iron back then.

I must tell about what happened one day when my mother was using the washing machine when the phone rang. The phone was in another roon. She forgot to turn it off, so the rollers continued to keep rolling. A younger sister decided to run some clothes thru the ringers. She was sure she knew how our mother did it. Well, we soon heard her scream and when we hit the kitchen her arm was up in the rollers all the way to her shoulder and her feet were off the floor. It scared my mother so much that without thinking she ran the rollers backward and we watched as my sisters arm slowly was rolled back out ot the rollers. The maching had a clamp that you could unlatch to open between the rollers in case some too thick clothes got caught, but my mother never thought of the latch till later when she had calmed down. My sister never touched the machine again after that.

WOW, does remembering all this make me feel antique myself. We also didn`t have running water when I was in grade school. We had a small pitcher pump sitting on a shelf by the sink where we had to prime the pump by pouring water into the top while we pumped the handle up and down real fast till the water started flowing from the well. I remember- sitting in that old sink was a pail with a long handled dipper. The dipper had a curve on the end of the handle so it could hang over the edge of the pail and not fall into the water in the pail. I remember we all used that same pitcher to drink from and no one worried about getting sick from drinking after each other. There was only one rule, if the water was low in the pail, you couldn`t take a drink until after you pumped the pail full again as water was needed to prime the pump before you could draw more water up from the deep well. If someone drank the last of the water, my father had to go next door to get some water to prime it. At my Aunts farm next door they had an old cistern that was kept full from the rain and it was just covered with heavy sheets of tin. So there was always some prime water available, just a nuisence ( haven`t thought of this word in years), to run next door after it. My mother had to pump all her water for washing clothes and had a tall, very large oval copper kettle with handles on each side which she would fill and heat on the stove when she needed hot water for anything. It was so large that it covered two burners on the stove. There was a name for that huge container, but right now I can`t recall what it was called.

Seems everything I remember was more hard work for my mother. When the well was getting low in the winter, she often filled that huge copper kettle with snow and melted it on the stove. I used her kettle to melt snow and her wash tubs for washing clothes the winter the water line froze up where it went under the road. That water supply was pumped up from a well down over the hill in 1955 when i lived in the farmhouse. drinking and cooking water I carried over from my parents home. Oh yes, Mom also used a scrub board in one wash tub for scrubbing out stains from the washings. Can`t forget that scrub board because she also loaned it to me when I lived in the farmhouse with no running water and no washer or dryer. Then there were the wooden racks that were used to dry clothes on in the house on rainy days. My mother also loaned them to me to use. I still own one of the wooden racks with all the long dowels to lay the clothes over. I probably understood how hard my mother worked better than the rest of our family because I used so many of her old time items years later myself. I even learned to cook and bake on a wood stove, since the first three months of our marriage was spent in an apartment with a wood burning kitchen stove. Many times over the years I would tell myself, if my mother could manage these hardships, then so could I. I couldn`t fail them, so I would just try harder.

My mother was a remarkable woman. The year I was married, she was in a car accident and broke the bone in her arm half-way between her wrist and her elbow. They operated and wired the bone together, but the two bone sections never knitted back together and she spent the rest of her life running a house and raising kids with that broken arm. Dr wanted to take a piece of bone from her leg to try again to get the arm bone to knit back together. I remember her telling me that if her arm wouldn`t heal, what guarantee did she have that her leg would heal. She was afraid she might end up with both the arm and also the leg being messed up. Even with the pain, she still insisted on holding every new baby that came along, the grandchildren, great grandchildren and even a few great grandchildren. As she got older in her 80`s and up to almost 91, she couldn`t hold them for long, but she did hold them the rest of her life.

The more I think, the more I remember. Think I better save the rest for another time as this is already getting too long. Her and my Father certainly showed us a good example and that example has gotten me thru an awful lot of hard times over the years.

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