Me and Oil Can Harry

imageMother was stuck taking us everywhere she went, even to buy a new washing machine just  days before her fourth baby was born.  She never asked anyone to keep us since that would have insured she had to return the favor and keep someone else’s monsters in return, probably some of our killer cousins.  She was always on guard against that.  We followed her into Continue reading

Poor Hungry Kool-Aid Kids

Kool

Mary was the child-bride (victim) of an old-goat in his seventies.  God only knows what kind of situation he’d rescued her from, since she clearly adored him.  When I first met them on a ramble with Daddy when I was about ten years old, they lived with their two babies on a creek bank an old school bus that had been converted into a trailer for hunters.  Two full bunks ran across one end.  Twin army cots were stacked along both sides.  A stove, powered by propane sat near the front door.  The family’s few belongings were stored in boxes under the beds.  Though I was only a kid, I could see that Mary was just a teenager.  Mother later told me she was only eighteen.  She was hugely pregnant.  I was enchanted with their trailer, thinking how nice it would be if our family lived such an adventure.

Not long afterward, the neighborhood learned of the family’s dilemma, helping them into a small rental house not far from us.  My youngest sister Marilyn was an infant at the time with rampant milk allergies.  In consultation with her doctors, Mother had tried many formulas.  Finally, in desperation, she and the doctor settled on a frequent feeding regimen, supplemented by feeding her warm Jell-O in her bottle, so she would still have the experience of sucking.  Finally, she thrived.  Young Mary, struggling with two babies under two and newborn twins and a husband averse to working, was struggling find milk for her babies.  All four of her children cried all the time.  The neighbors brought food in, but the new-borns just looked pitiful.  She was visiting one morning and told Mother she had put her babies on Kool-Aid, like Mother had, thinking it would help, but it looked like the babies were starving.  Mother was shocked and explained that she was giving her baby Jell-O, not Kool-Aid, and supplementing with frequent feedings.

The church provided many cases of canned milk, as well as other food.  All the children did much better.  Social Services was notified. Mary got some help, though she did have four more children over the years before we lost touch with them.

We did eventually end up with that classy camper, but that’s a story for another day.

I Ain’t Havin’ It!

Pointing finterJust this morning Mother told me this fascinating story.  Before she started school, she’d tagged along behind her father to the local blacksmith shop to have a bit of work done.   The blacksmith, Dud Baker, was fairly new to the community and newly-married.  His young wife was a widow.  She’d brought the men a cup of coffee.  As they were drinking and visiting over Continue reading

More Gravy?

imageBud said his mother almost killed his ambition when he was a kid.  He asked her what was the difference in the food they ate and what rich people ate.

She explained, “Oh, we eat the same food.  They just have more gravies and sauces than we do.” Continue reading

Messed Up Family

It just occurred to me that Mother may have been raising a tribe of cannibals during the time Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Edward lived with us and I bit my cousin Cathy.  My brother Billy was five months old to Cousin Eddie’s six weeks and much bigger.  Mother and Aunt Bonnie had Snowmanput the two babies on a quilt to play while they did their housework.  Eddie had colic and cried all the time, so Aunt Bonnie wasn’t too surprised at the wailing.  She went in to check on him after a few minutes to find Billy, who was teething, had worked his way over to Eddie. He had a foot in one hand, a thigh in the other, and was gnawing him like a Thanksgiving Turkey.

Biting Cousins

Cathy and Linda0001When I was about three years old, my cousin Cathy’s parents moved their tiny egg-shaped trailer house under a big shade tree in our front yard. It was about as roomy as a nice bathtub. Like any right-thinking parents with two tiny children, they quickly moved into the house with our family, leaving us with four adults, a six-year-old, a three-year-old, an eighteen month old, and two newborns in a three bedroom house.  The women cooked, cleaned and watched the kids together every day.  Mother said it was a great time.

Pictured above are my cousin Cathy and me.  She was much smaller though only a year younger than I.  She also developed a nasty habit of biting.  After I was bitten a few times, Mother told me to “bite her back.”  She didn’t specify how hard.

The next time Cathy bit me, I bit her just below the eye and hung on.  Cathy screamed and Mamas came running.  Still I hung on.  Mother told me to turn loose but I was too wrought up to hear her.  She had to smack me to make me turn loose.  It hurt my feelings.  “You told me to bite her.”

“I didn’t tell you to bite a chunk out of her face.!”

Cathy had a bruise showing all my tooth prints.  It turned from purple to green to yellow.  I’m sorry, Cathy.

Guest Post – Linda Beatha – Nothing Ever Went Right At Our House

Reblogged from but I smile anyway.

But I Smile Anyway...

Last week I was approached by the fantastically great writer and blogger Linda, of Nutsrok, to do a guest post swap.

Linda Here she is! Great idea! I have never had a guest post on my blog before, so why not start with an amazing writer like Linda! If you haven’t already checked her blog out, please do! It is a mixture of recollections of her own younger days, excerpts of memories from her mothers history, which she is going to be publishing, and generally funny stories, and jokes! I always finish a post of hers with a smile on my face, if not a guffaw!

So without further ado, I present to you, Linda and her guest post!

Nothing Ever Went Right At Our House

Nothing ever went right at our house. As a family, we could fall in a rose bed and come out smelling like horse manure…

View original post 367 more words

Little Lost Indian Girl!

 
 It is such an honor to have Ritu from But I Smile Anyway do a guest post for me.  I love this delightful story and pictures from her childhood.  Thanks Ritu.
Ritu's PicIRitu in Carndian weddings are big affairs, and in a Sikh temple the men sit on one side, and women on the other.  It was, and still is, the norm for young children to spend most of the 3 hours that the ceremony lasts, running from mummy to daddy, them back again. And then to do it all over again!
I was no different.  A child with far too much energy, and also far too much to say!
My mum told me a story of one wedding we had attended, where I was doing exactly this.  Sitting with Mummy, then getting bored and running over to Papa, then after exhausting his entertainment, running back to Mummy again.  They were used to this, and would glance over at each other periodically to make sure I was with the other.
At one such glance, they realised that Ritu was not with either of them!
A quick scan of the large prayer hall confirmed their fears; that I was not there…. They dashed downstairs to the main Langar (Food) hall and I was nowhere to be seen, not even in the kitchen.
Now this temple was on a busy main road, but I wouldn’t have gone out, would I?
They quickly rushed out and checked the car park, and surrounding area, but nope, I was well and truly gone.  Where would this little curly mop head of a girl have gone? I was possibly 2-3 years old at this time.
 
Little me!
Pops walked out of the gate to the main road, and they were scared by now. And lo and behold, there I was, coming back up the road, holding an English Man’s hand, happily chatting away!
The man saw my parent’s panic stricken faces and walked straight up to them.  He said “I assume this little one is yours. I saw her wondering down the road, all alone, and I had a feeling that as she was alone, she may have ventured from this her temple, so I was just bringing her back.” 
Obviously, my mum was almost delirious at this stage and grabbed me as my Pops profusely thanked the man.  I was still smiling, and chatting away to the man, to all intents and purposes.  I had found someone new to listen to my whittering on!
Had this been in the present day, what would have been the first thought?  Kidnap, child abduction, the poor man who returned me to my parents would have been called all manner of things like a pervert or a paedophile.
But he wasn’t.
He was just a genuinely good citizen, who, in all honesty, if he had wanted to take me, he could have…( but it was probably my chatting away that made him bring me back. I’d give anyone a headache!)
 
I’m still chatting away!
Hope you enjoyed my little story!