Continued from page 1…
As I was saying on page one, in 1948 we left the bright lights of Spokane and moved to a farm in northern Minnesota.
It was quite a shock to two city kids. We had no electricity nor
inside plumbing, but we did have an almost new Sears & Roebuck house. Yes,
you actually ordered these houses from the Sears catalog and they
shipped you all the pieces complete and ready to put together. A nice house, however, was easily forgotten when you were hauling
pails of water to the house or dropping your pajamas in the freezing cold to use the outhouse.
By far the biggest change for us was the country school we attended. Our bus was a
hearse driven by Mr. Carlson. He got it used and we all sat in the back. We thought it was very fancy because the inside was all purple velour, although
it scratched your legs when you crawled across it. You could hang onto the rails on the floor (the ones for sliding in the caskets) when it was
spring and the roads were terrible. In fact, we usually had a week or two off in the spring and it was called "Mud Vacation." No one could get
through the roads except with horses.
Our school had an entry where we could hang our coats, two outhouses in back of the school, and a large room for grades 1-6. In the northeast
corner was a huge stove with a metal shield wrapped around it. When the stove was in use there was a canning pot of water on top of it. We could bring food
in Mason jars and put them in the water. By noon they would be warm and ready for lunch.
Our Amusements Back Then
Recess activities changed with the season. In the fall we played kitten ball (now called softball) and would swing on the swings. If a boy asked
you if he could pump you at recess, it wasn't anything nasty. It meant you would sit on the swing while he stood up and pumped his legs so the swing
would go high…high enough so we girls could squeal.
Winter brought snow and we built snow houses and had snowball fights and lots of the time we stayed inside. Spring was the best time though. The marbles
came out at the first sign of snow melting. I never see kids play with marbles these days. We had big bags or jars of marbles
and the competition was fierce. We had
shooters, steelies and aggies. Here are lots of marbles to jar your memory.
The girls played hopscotch in the mud. We had no concrete on the place. And we played jump rope.
Remember all the rhymes we said in cadence as we jumped?
Miss Lucy had a baby
And she named him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He ate up all the soap.
He tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down his throat.
Miss Lucy called the doctor.
Miss Lucycalled the nurse.
Miss Lucy called the lady with the alligator purse.
Mabel, Mabel, set the table,
And don't forget the
We may not have been able to text our friends, send them selfies, or call from anywhere in the world, but we did get to
actually talk to our friends face-to-face, play with them, and sometimes even fight with them. In Spokane there was a garden and
raspberry patch between our house and the next one, the one where my friend Dixie lived. When we got mad at each other, we'd stomp home and
pout and then in a few minutes we'd meet by the raspberries and make up. Our friends weren't faces on cell phones. Our friends could play marbles
with us, jump rope with us, hold hands, and hug. It's a shame that if you hug or hold hands with a same-sex friend today you're
immediately labeled as a homosexual. Friendship doesn't seem the same without the "touch" element.
Ah, the good old days when life was so much simpler.
Becaws we want to know.
So, what's trending? Heard last night that bar soap is on its way out. Know why? Because people don't want to handle a bar of soap
after other people have used it. Why? Because of all the germs on it. Germs? I thought that is what soap did…kill the germs. Those people are
didn't have to use homemade soap with lye.
Reminded me of a song from the 50s called It's in the Book. They played it every
day on KDMA.
The station had just come on the air and
Jim Wood was the announcer. If you go to the link above, you'll have to listen to "Little Bo Peep" first, because our song is on side 2 of
the record. (It's a 45.) One of
the verses went like this. I can still remember it.
Out in the valley
Suffered from ulcers
She swallowed a cake
Of grandma's lye soap
And now she's
Cleanest ulcers in the land!
They don't write songs like that anymore and I miss them. Would you believe I still have the sheet music somewhere?
At our house we use the bar soaps that our families used years ago. And maybe more years than that. Lyle likes Palmolive, the green bar soap. I like
Lifebuoy, the orange-red soap with "100% better germ protection." Our bathroom sink looks almost like Christmas.