Friday, July 25, 2008


More old time Memories

More old time memories. started on July 23rd, finished Friday, July 25th, 2008

We had a nice family re-union picnic. Always some sad memories added in for the ones who are no longer with us. I can remember when there would be close to 200 attending, then for a few years there were still 100 or more showing up. This summer there was only about 50 -60 that showed up. Too many of the younger ones had to work. In my own family there was just one son who brought his grandson with him. Same thing happened in most of the other families.

A couple of the little boys started climbing the tree in front of my sisters home. That got us thinking about when my brothers and I used to climb trees. About a year before ,my mother passed away she told me that there was a time when I really scared her. She told me that it happened when she was at the stove cooking supper. She said that she happened to look out the back window and what she saw scared her so bad that she had to turn the stove off and glued her eyes to looking out that window. She said I must have been about 5 yrs old at the time. There up high in that tree was my brother with me climbing up right behind him. She told me she wanted to run out and tell me to get out of that tree, but she was afraid if she yelled at me I might lose my footing and fall out of the tree. So, she just stayed by the window watching until my brother and I climb down and were standing on the ground.
My brother and I got to wondering, now, if that scared her, what would she have done if she had seen another brother and I going hand over hand out onto some limbs and swaying the branch up and down we would grab onto other tree branches as we swayed past them and would end up climbing down from another tree.
That brought up the subject of other things our parents never knew about. Like how much larger the strawberries grew on the neighbors fenced in property than they did in our open field. This fenced in property is hidden from view from where my parents home was. Also in this enclosed field there was a large bull who wasn`t friendly. But we didn`t worry about him because there was a deep pit at one place where that field bordered another field belonging to the family farm next door to our home place. In one of the bad storms a small tree had fallen and landed across the open deep pit and a tiny section jutted outside onto the farm property. We soon learned we could be safer if we went hanging from that tree and walking hand over hand towards the end of the tree . From there we could climb under the fence and onto the other field where the bull couldn`t reach us. This went on for weeks, until the day when we found the tree had fallen into the pit. Being young, we never even thought about something like this happening, so we never checked to see if the tree would be still there. Well, this time when the bull came running to where we were and the tree wasn`t there, I can still hear my brother asking "What do we do now? I never took time to answer, I just sat on the ground and slid down into the pit and my brother followed me down. Here is where the larger problem was. The other side of the pit where it extended onto the other side of the fence was straight upward and impossible to climb as far as we could see. So, there we were, standing in the bottom of the deep pit while the raging bull was snorting and running back and forth around the top of the pit. We knew we could never climb back out the easier side with the bull there waiting for us. I knew we needed a way to climb the steep side to safety on the other side of the fence. But how??? Finally I decided we needed steps for our feet to use and the only way to get steps was to dig out spaces as we climb. By the time we reached the top, my fingernails were loaded with dirt and my fingers were sore. But, we did manage and you can be sure we never went picking strawberries in that field again. We settled for picking the smaller berries on our own families farm property from then on. We sure would have been chewed out if mother had known. If she had found out, after chewing us out, when Dad came home from work, she then would have told him and he would have warned us to never enter that property again. Funny , when I think back, all Dad ever did was tell us, he never threatened or raised his voice and we just knew we better not disobey him. It was like he was always giving us a second chance, but he never did tell us what would happen if we disobeyed him and since I did as he said, I still don`t know what he might have done If I had gone against what he said.

Another thing I remembered our mother saying to me was how sorry she felt when she would see me walking up the road from high school with so many books that my head was held up in the air so my chin could help me keep from dropping any of the books. Things are so different today. Kids don`t seem to have as much homework and so they don`t have to carry as many books home every night. I remember when we had 4 years of History and Social Studies in High School when I was attending. Then for some unknown reason when my older children attended High School they only had 3 years, but by the time my youngest was in H.S., they had again re-added the 4th year. I used to wonder how they could teach two more Wars than we had in less learning time. And now we have another war for the kids to learn about. I wonder what they will remove about past History to add on this war?

I remember when we used to play tree or wood tag. One younger sister was always going in to tell our mother that we were running away from her and wouldn`t let her play with us. Then our mother would come out and tell us to either let her play or we could all come in the house and sit. We would try to tell mother that we weren`t running away from her, we were running playing wood tag. Then Mother would tell us to let her play. That usually ended up with us stopping the game just to keep her from getting us into trouble. She was just to small to keep up. But we always had my basketball with the hoop up over Dad`s garage door. When it became this youngest sisters turn, I would lift her up so she could get the ball closer to the net. I wasn`t tall enough to hold her very high , so most of the time the ball would just hit the rim and bounce off, if it should get that high. Once a fellow I was dating ran over my basketball in the dark where the younger sister and brother had left it in the driveway. That Christmas him and my brother went together and bought me a more expensive basketball. All the relatives used it whenever they stopped at our home. So, when I got married I never felt like I could bring my own basketball and hoop and put it up where we were living. I worried that mother would want to keep it there for everyone's children to play with- to give them something to do. When my kids got big enough to play, we bought another set and put the hoop up on the back of the bicycle shop. All their friends hung here so it also gave them something outside to do on good days. I remember this one day when some of the step sons friends were playing while he came in for supper. When he joined his friends, he discovered that one of the friends had thrown the ball to another of the boys who missed it and over the back fence it landed. The older lady who lived there didn`t like kids playing in my back yard. So she took the basketball and put it into her milk case sitting on her back porch. She refused to give back the ball saying whatever lands on her property is then hers. Later when she went into her house, my Step son climb over our fence and went after the ball. Out she came and started hitting him on the back with a board as he was climbing back over our fence. She was something... About a week later she saw the ball laying in our back yard. She came onto our property, took the ball and returned home. I went thru a lot to get the ball back and after that the kids remembered to bring the ball into the house when they were finished playing with it.

Funny how your mind just keeps remembering more and more once you start writing.

Just answered the telephone to learn that my remaining brother ( who had the leg removed in Nov. 06) got the results from his MRI and they found more bone cancer. Not sure yet what the Dr plans for the next step. Then a sister called me to tell me about my brother ( he was the one who had already called me). She was surprised as she didn`t think he would have let me know, but him and I have a closeness the past few years and he leans on me more than the rest when he needs to talk.

But, my sister also had some good news to tell me. She had a great grandson born this morning. I knew she was due soon as her grandmother ( my niece) attended the picnic last week. Seems the baby was having trouble dropping into place so the Dr ordered a test and what they discovered was that the cord was wrapped aroung the baby 2 or 3 times, holding it in place. Thank God for these new machines. They immediately did a cesarian and the baby wasn`t hurt. I have the first granddaughter in my parents family, but my sister actually had the first granddaughter, but that baby died due to the cord wrapping around the babies neck during birth. So happy her great grandson had better results. If we had only had these modern machines years ago.

Seems like there is always someone for us to worry about. I Pray that things turn out better for this brother. We lost the youngest brother in 1994 from a Heart Attack, then our oldest brother last month from another stroke and this is our only remaining brother who is 4 years older than I am. He is just starting to walk with the prosthesis and a walker. He had the gland in his throat removed almost 10 years ago from cancer and we thought he had won the cancer battle. While talking to my sister I asked her if she knew what the date of the picnic was. When I told her it was 6 years since on that date since I lost Walt, she told me I should have told her and she would have changed the picnic date. I knew she had already changed the picnic date twice for the sister-in-law, so I didn`t think I should ask her to do it again since most people had already been told.

We had a thunderstorm this morning while I worked in my wood shop. Glad I own a couple battery operated drills so I could pre-drill holes and pound in more nails without using power tools. I am in the process of making myself another kitchen cabinet. I wish I had made my large bench a bit lower as that is where I have been putting the cabinet together as the top of the bench is level. To reach the top of the cupboard when sitting on the bench top , even when it is turned on it`s side, I had to climb the small ladder to be able to drill nail holes that high. I need to re-level the shop floor. The hardest part is done. Frame is built and two shelves are in and the sides are nailed on. Still a lot to do-- close up the back, add the top shelf , add a top on the cupboard, and decide what type door- or doors- I want on it. Still raining hard out and can hear thunder in the distance. Think I will rest for a while and work another day in the shop. I also made stuffed peppers today using my own grown green peppers. Ate a couple smaller ones and froze three for another day.

Well, think I will close off in case the thunder storm might get any closer.
Wrote this Wednesday, and the thunderstorm prevented me from posting it then. More thunderstorms and rained hard yesterday. . Hot, but no rain so far today ( Friday). Might rain later tonight. Went to the Hospital Wellness Clinic and worked out with their machines, weights and bands for about 1 1/2 hours. Then went grocery shopping. When I got back home I decided to rest and work more in the wood shop tomorrow. Yesterday I went next door to ask two favors from my son-in-law. one was to remove the large battery from my craftsman drill. The arthritis is not allowing me to reach wide enough to press the release places on each side of the handle at the same time. The second favor was to come to my shop and help me lift the cupboard off the huge bench and onto the floor. I built it upon the bench because I knew I made the bench nice and lever.
But even when resting there is still all the garden plants and flowers to be watered. Just finished doing that. All this rain has ruined one of my lettuce heads.
I can hear a lot of hammer pounding. They must be still working across the road on the 4 family building. I heard each apartment has 2 bedrooms, but there is plenty of room in the cellar sections for more bedrooms if they are needed. So, still have no idea how many there will be in each of the 4 families once the apartments are occupied. It is one long building with all the apartments connected together.
Guess that is it for tonight.

Dot, I was just telling a niece of mine the other day, that we didn't things like scans when I had my babies.
By the way, it was after your last year's picnic that you had put up the recipe for a pineapple cake. It was really good.
Yes, Hillgrandmom, we sure could have used a lot of the newer equipment they have today.

Glad you liked the mexican pineaple cake. I am not crazy about pineapple, but I do love that cake. Until I read your reply, I had for gotten about the cake. I usually make it every year in memory of the cousin`s wife who is now in a retirement home with Alzheimer and unable to attend our picnics. She was the one who used to bring this cake and she was nice enough to give me her recipe. I also didn`t make my mother`s special rice this year which I had kept doing for the past 13 years in honor of our mother and also because our oldest brother loved it so much and I am the only family member who learned how Mom made it. Losing this brother, I just didn`t feel like it this year. I had always made an extra smaller dish special just for him to have the next few days after the picnic. I made an easier faster rice pudding instead this year along with a large dish of jello with fruit and a salad. So, I don`t think anyone minded .
Oh, Dot you are such a wonder!! I'll tell you right up front, your brother is in my prayers. I could relate to what you said about him calling you and that you were closer than people probably knew. My younger brother and I are like that. I find it so wonderful that on occasion when something goes wrong, he knows he can call me and vent!

You have so many wonderful memories, Dot, some of which I can relate to. My, that was a scary time with you and your brother being in the pit with the bull up there. YOUCH!! You're a smart one though.

You know, your dad and mine sound so similar. I can't ever remember a time that my father yelled at us; he just was so quiet. We knew though when things weren't right, and knew how to behave.

I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, and thank you so much for visiting me!!

Take care, Dot, and I'll look forward to your next post. I do hope though that you take good care of yourself - I doubt that I could keep up with for one day!! hahaha
You keep your family alive with your stories and passing them along to the younger kids will ensure that everyoine will always be close by.
Like you when i was a kid we used to have family icnics that numbered over 100.
Today I am planning a bbq for family and friends that will probably number only 60.
The younger ones rather go out with their friends than hang out with the older crowd.
The wee kids have no choice LOL
The only thing we are garanteed in life is death so living well makes it all worth while.

I hope your brother wins his battle again and you get to share more of your stories with him and the youngins of your gang of family.

Great post as always
Dot, I hope you're doing okay! When you get a chance, let us know!!

Take care, Dot. Thinking of you!!
Thanks Sally, He can use all the Prayers he can get.
I learned from my Dad that yelling would never make my kids want to behave, but when I lowered my voice and sounded stern, then they seemed to hear what I was saying and it had more effect. Guess we inherit more than our parent genes.
Glad that you and your younger brother are also that close. We all need someone we can depend on when we need a shoulder to lean on. I was real close with my younger brother all his life and still miss him. But I am glad I can now help my only brother and be there for him whenever he needs someone to talk to.
Thanks for stopping by.
I am doing pretty good now, but we are having a lot of thunder storms so am not on the computer as much due to the storms.
Thanks Walker. I wish you a wonderful BBQ with more family showing up than you expect. Family is so important and without our family get-together picnics every year we would probably lose contact with some of them. I hope your 60 turns into 80 or more , with more of the older kids changing their minds and showing up. I am sure your BBQ brings lots of pleasure to your parents and the other older family members. I think the older we get, the more we look forward to them. We know there will be more every year for us to miss, but at the same time it is nice getting together with those we seldom see. I know you put a lot of work into handling the BBQ and making it such a success. You are a good family member. Thanks for the wishes for my brother, and thanks for keeping in touch.
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