Project plan for this blog – 40 items on the list!
Lists have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Most recently as we got ready for retirement, I made several lists. One was about finances, another was the invite list for the retirement celebration party. Actually there were several parties, so several lists. Another big list covered possible things to do with all that extra time after work was no longer part of the picture.
One of the items on the activities list was “write a blog.” For me, a thought becomes real once written down. Mere thoughts or spoken words aren’t enough. Saying it out loud for God to hear doesn’t nail it to my memory. That was good enough for the Biblical Israelites, but not for me. Adding that little item to my list two years ago planted a seed for me. It had been ignored for over a year. Then one day last spring the thought germinated. Guess what I did with that? I made another list. That became the list in the photo, and then this blog. Continue reading
Henry with a Hereford bull
There are limits to any method of writing a story. The format Grace and the others used to record their stories for me focused on making it easy for her to get the stories on paper. It worked marvelously. Thanks to this project we all have well over a hundred stories from that generation. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
Can you forgive me if I ask for more? The story about Henry moving the bull from one pasture to another was one of Fanny’s favorites. When she told the story it took more than Grace’s five sentences. Far more. All I remember of the story now is that it was long, involved, and full of detail that Grace didn’t have room to share. Wouldn’t it be fun to have more of those details?
The photo of Henry and a bull gives some detail about the North Dakota prairie. There are no buildings in the picture, not a road in sight, not even a dirt cow path! The vegetation looks lush, but maybe a little dry? The bushes in the background are suspect, what are they? Berries? My mother was big on chokecherry jam, maybe those are chokecherry bushes? There are wooden fence posts. Herny’s carrying a holster belt, too. Is that a Bowie knife? He looks pretty well dressed for moving cattle. How many stories are hidden behind this picture?
This is what we have, in Grace’s handwriting and her words. Our imagination can fill in the rest.
Photo from Wikipedia
Being sick at any time is inconvenient. Every year there is another spectacular advance in some medical procedure. On the farm in the nineteen twenties treatment was particularly painful. When Judy and I grew up in the fifties things had progressed somewhat. Mustard was out, but Vicks was still in. Today the baby goes directly to the nurse instead of a home remedy. The treatments are still uncomfortable, and they might even help.
A scan of her letter is below.
Home remedies were all our folks had for colds flu etc. The worst of all for colds was a mustard plaster. I had such tender skin it was painful. They would put together some spices, dry mustard and rub your chest with it and place a cloth on the top and leave it there until the skin turned bright red. Then mother would rub your chest with Vick’s Vaporub. This was supposed to help a cold. If misery helped, we had it. She said when she was small their mother would use turpentine and goose grease. We were supposed to like this concoction.
New Year’s Resolutions
Twenty two years ago Judy and I and three other couples started a tradition that would do us well for a long time. The eight of us originally met at various church functions and started to coalesce as a group, we all had children about the same age, similar interests, and there were enough differences among us to keep it interesting. We got together for dinners at each other’s homes, went out together – all the typical couples activities.
One January evening at our house we were relaxing after dinner and someone asked about New Years resolutions. Some had taken the plunge, some hadn’t, but we started sharing our goals for the coming year. Everyone enjoyed the evening, went home and that was that.