I wish to greet you all again!!!! I finally have material for a new Bulletin. Most of the writing I am delegating to Donna this time. I will start with a reminiscence that I received today.
Thanks for the "picture" of your childhood; sounds like it was lots of fun! Plus, as you mentioned, gave you so many tools for your adult life.*
I can remember cutting out our own paper made paper dolls with Debbie, making the clothes to go along with them. We enjoyed many hours doing that. I remember singing to the cows on one place we rented ... found that to be fun, as they were so curious and I'd laugh at all the huge brown eyes watching my every move ... quite a responsive audience. Donnie and I would make mud "boots and gloves" and Mom would hose us down later on.
Another favorite memory was spending times at Grandparents' homes. Swinging on the rope swing at Grandpa and Grandma Dake's, picking eggs, listening to Grandpa's stories, washing some eggs, eating home mixed malted milks Grandma made. Visiting Grandma Cleo's brings back watching the fire in the stove in the living room, dusting the piano, listening to the mockingbirds while sitting on the back steps, being hushed while Grandma "rubbered" on the phone :-), riding behind Grandma to deliver food to the men working in the fields. I remember the feel of the material on the seat I hung onto, as I stood on the "hump" to see over the huge seatback in front of me.
Then there was checking out the outdoor shower, listening to Dwight play his guitar, if I got the chance; I thought he was the most handsome man I'd ever seen! (He still is a looker! :-) Then back to the Dake farm, was the rock picking, mustard pulling days with Grandpa, riding on the fender of his little Ford tractor -- loved that. Playing with the milk containers cart ... many hours of pushing one another up and down the driveway with that. Sitting on the stoop of the tool shed with Grandpa Dake, tool smells still brings that back to me!
Then there were country schools ... where a person HAD to know your work, as you were noticed. I loved reading, which had grown from Mom reading to me a lot. All the fun games we played, the big old merry-go-round, the pounding the erasers (still smell that chalkdust, too) for the teacher, helping to fill the water cooler, cooking our potatoes on the woodstove -- you could smell them and it would make our mouths water; eating out of brown paper bags or lunchboxes. Sandwiches tasted better that way, it seemed. :-) I can remember flavored straws, to make the milk taste strawberry flavored or chocolate. Fun Christmas programs and watching the fresh snow falling when we came out -- the sparkly diamond effect in the moonlight. (That was the year my mother was the teacher.)**
The sledding and ice skating, how invigorating it all was! I remember one winter the lake froze and was so clear that we skated all over it and listened to it pop and crack. We played "crack the whip" and did spinning tricks. Later, when the snow came, we'd shovel all sorts of odd passageways to skate on.
I can still hear the laughter, see the fire burning where we warmed our hands, smell the crisp air. Which also makes me think of raking leaves and jumping in them, of bonfires and roasting hotdogs. Donnie, neighbor kids and I would tramp out to the slough and push down cattails and make "rooms," where we'd each have our own "homes."
Summers would be bike riding safely around the area and up to the Highland Store, where we would either purchase a bottle of pop or a grape sucker, depending on how much money we could come up with. I helped the neighbor kids with baling and stacking hay; good workout! Also watched while they delivered the lambs and felt bad for the mothers! When I was young, remember going into Wahpeton and sitting parked along the street, having a DQ cone with Mom and Dad and watching people walk by. I loved going to the park and visiting the zoo; the bears in their cage were my favorites. I could go on and on ... good memories!
* This is in answer to Doris who wrote her memories -- after Elaine had sent an essay around about growing up in her era.
** This was one of my most successful programs. We learned by heart all the verses of many of the American patriotic songs -- did several plays, all by heart. Reuben Bonk, a schoolboard member and also a teacher, told me that he felt the children had put on a program worthy to be on any stage. I was very proud of that group!!! Donna was one of the three students I had in that school system for her first and second grades.
Earlier this month, Donna sent me an update on how Caity and Jayce are doing and I thought you would enjoy that too. Also a little article about Beaver's trip to the vet!!
Caity had her first "sleepover" last night with one of the girls from her class and four other little girls from her grade. She said one of them wanted to go home, but stuck it out. Said another got crabby and then better. :-) Typical with a group of little first graders!
Caity's front teeth are finally coming in, she's been very toothless looking for some time now, which bugged her at first. She's also learned to whistle this week, so is proud of that. Like I told Mom, she did whistle for one day when she was two and then forgot how the next day!
She's reading more all the time, really enjoys it. She read three of her little books this morning to Grandpa Beaver. Being he loves to read, is very supportive of her reading too. He used to read to her a lot when she was little, still does on occasion, but not as often.
Jayce is speaking more clearly all the time and achieving a larger vocabulary, with new words all the time now it seems. Making up for being behind, I guess. Still hard for strangers to understand him, but getting better. His teacher did a home visit yesterday and she commented on what a charmer he is, said even her supervisor mentioned how cute he was. Told her more people in school know him than you would think possible for a preschooler! He has a very endearing personality and is very sweet (although lately more boisterous and boy acting).
A of couple days ago, Beaver put three dogs in their cages (two indoors and one from outdoors). The other outdoor dog rides so nicely, he put her on a rug on the seat. Then off to the vet he went, for shots and check-ups. They laughed as he started bringing them in, one a time, first with the 85 pound dog, getting smaller with each dog, ending up with the 9 lb. Min-pin, Reesy. (She's the one the vet was scared of biting him too!)
The vet also teased Beaver about his bill getting paid, as years ago Beaver had told him his own dad's theory about bill paying. When he drove into a yard, he looked for the dogs. One dog, good to pay bills, two dogs, slower ... over three dogs -- be careful, probably not a good payer!!
Short Items on Other Family Members
I wrote Doug that Stressed backwards helps to relieve stress. His retort -- "The only way I have been dealing with stress is S-L-E-E-P." But then he assured me that it is nice to feel "needed," and to be able to delegate the "grunt work" to his staff.
You will have to check this one out as I have so little information. Curt and Patty have bought a new couch and small chair and leather chair for the living room ... according to earlier reports, the two of them had spent a lot of shopping hours before agreeing on the ones they bought. Patty tells me it is a lot different style than what they had before!
I got a nice letter from Becky recently. Her schooling is going fine. She passed all her classes with B's and C's and is now taking three classes on Mondays; one on Tuesdays;two on Wednesdays; and one each on Thursdays and Fridays.
The class she mentioned was Ethics and there are 60 students taking it -- she feels it looks a little hard. Sounds like a load!! But continue faithfully doing that homework bit and I am sure you will do as well this semester as last!!
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried!!
And remember: half the people you know are below average!!!!!!***
Grandma, Mom, and Dorothy -- and guest editor Donna
*Modern One Liners supplied by Merna