Saturday, July 05, 2008 11:43 PM
It seems I have been inactive with the list for so long that I was truly amazed at the responses to my 4th of July posting!  Truly you have warmed my heart and I love YOU too!  As I reflect on the 4th of Julys of my life, it takes me back to my childhood some 80 years ago and my daddy!

I was my daddy’s girl and he found many ways to entertain this little girl. I did not like the loudness of the fire crackers and was afraid of them.  So dad would take the fire crackers and show me how to break them in half and put them in pliers so I could hold them and light them and watch them fizzle without getting burned!  Dad also got me a cap gun. I remember the red rolls of caps.  Dad showed me how to thread them into the gun. They came in a longer red roll and you would break off a small roll at a time to use.

I remember it was all I could do was pull the trigger to shoot it.   I kept the cap gun under our dinning room table.  It was a round wooden table you could put table leaves in.  Mom had several table leaves that she put in to spread the table into a long dinning room table. Many a good dinner my mother prepared for company and served on that table.  But then that is another story.

Where the table was pulled apart it made a little shelf like when you closed it. My daddy showed me how to crawl under the table and find that little hiding place and it was there that I kept my little cap gun with the rolls of caps.

Recently when the kids were clearing out things at 642 and choosing what each wanted to keep, that gun was one of the things, my youngest, Kin, wanted.  That and my little iron that I used to iron many a clothing for my family of dolls!  But that’s another story.  The more I think about that little iron, it was heavy and little; and I think it was my mother’s when she was a little girl.

Dad always had fire crackers on hand; and used them routinely to get the horses in from the pasture.  How, you might wonder.  Well my dad had some very unique ways that even my husband when we were first married had a hard time getting used to.  Even though there probably were BB guns in my day I don’t remember our having one as a child.  So I am sure it was the buck shot out of an old shotgun that stung the horses’ rumps until they learned to come in from the pasture alone.

After they were pretty well trained dad would go to out on the porch and shoot the gun up in the air and here they came tearing up the lane from the pasture.  Then at last all he had to do was go out on the porch and light a fire cracker and they would come on the run up the lane!  The lane was across the road from the cow lot and barn and dad would open the gate and bring them in.  Oh my now this tickles my memory thinking of many horse stories when I was a child.

Then there are the 4th of Julys when my boys "were really boys".  My oldest, Gary, remembers their always being bare foot and stepping on the hot sparklers accidentally; and how they would really seared the bottom of his foot!  Then I recalled the middle one, Lenney, when just a tyke trying to hold his pants up and cover his ears at the same time!

Oh there are so many stories of such wonderful memories to this old lady when she was young and a child. And I have precious newer memories also but then that is another story!

I praise my Heavenly Father for the good times and the ability to remember them.  He has taught me how to edit them, keeping the good ones and the ability for the most part to edit out the undesirable ones.  Or at least not to dwell too long on them; just the good ones!  This life if full of good and bad and will be until our Blessed Hope arrives to take us home with Him.

The older I get the more I find that it is not that important to always be "right"!  That causes too many quarrels and hard feelings!  It is so important to tell our loved ones we love them at every opportunity. God gave us our breath and He can take it away at any time!

If you are still there, thank you for listening to this old lady.  May God Bless each of you!  Addie here
To Addie, May God bless you too and these wonderful stories you bring to us of times in the past. You are quite the story teller. Its such a joy and a pleasure to hear from you. Did you ever make a journal of all these wonderful stories you tell us all. that'd be wonderful to have if a member of your family. I just did a journal for my daughter of past stories, Maybe someday it will sound half as good to someone as your stories do. You have such a gift, its really special , your stories of the past and your way with words. You have brought so much to all of us. Have a wonderful day. Jane Boucher.

From Paul
This one made me think.  I remembered my dad coming home with two or three bags of fireworks.  I liked the fire crackers the best and use to put them under a soup can and watch them go way up in the air.  I also remember the roman candles.  DO you remember them?  If you don't, they were a long tube and you lit one end.  Then you pointed them up in the air and waved it in a circle.  Sparks would come and every few seconds, a little ball of fire would go up high in the sky, and, sometimes, they would explode.  I also remember "Fountains".  They were pointed cones and you lit the top.  It would spray sparks rather high and would usually end with a bang!  It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed brine back those memories.  Thanks.

Hi Paul!
 Yes, I enjoyed the 4th here. The activity director here is a special person.  He cooked hamburgers on the grill and we had big fat hamburgers with a large slice of onion, and a big slice of tomato and pickles lettuce and all the good stuff.  I piled mine so high even Dagwood would have had a problem getting his mouth over it!  We had potato chips and corn chips also.  And pop.  I had grape pop. Had not had that for a long time and it tasted good!  And to finalize the picnic on the patio, cold watermelon.

After we ate and it got dark, he had his kids here and they shot off fire works.  He moved us all out on the grass so we could look up and see the big explosions etc.  Let me tell you that's a big job, a lot of wheel chairs moving over grass and you know how easy that is!   Really neat. I really appreciated all the work he went to.

Thank you so much for sharing your memories with me.  I had forgotten some of the items you mentioned.  but as I read about them I recalled my boys when they were young.  Those were the things they enjoyed doing too.  As a spectator I did also!  On additional thing it brought to mind when I was a child, my dad bought some big sounding firecrackers and he used to put them under cans.  They sure made a loud noise and the can sure went high in the air!
Thanks much for writing. May God Bless you and yours,  Addie here


From Lillian

It is wonderful to hear your stories.  I turned 86 in June and as I grow older, I spend a lot of my idle time thinking and dreaming about those days of my childhood and youth when the world was so much more relaxed and we took time to enjoy our family and friends.  I grew up in a small town but spent much of my summers visiting my two sets of grandparents.

Your story about the dining room table reminded me of my mother's table which I now have.  It has the little shelf like space you mentioned but I don't know if it was ever used as a hiding space.  I remember when my children were very young they used to play under the table.   When my older daughter was very young 4 or 5, I had worked many hours making her a
beautiful lilac polka dot dress with three flounces around the skirt edged in lace.  On Easter Mother had my family, her sister and her son and his young daughters for Sunday dinner.  My two daughters and their cousins were so full of energy and were running around like wild animals.

Whatever they were playing involved going under the table.  Somehow Leanne caught her knee in her skirt and ripped one of the flounces loose.  I remember how hard she cried.  I tried to tell her the dress could be repaired but she was sure it was ruined.  She was always such a tomboy and loved to play at being Davy Crockett with her toy gun and coonskin cap.  The tab had so many leaves that we seated 18 people around it once at a family dinner.  I Like you, my physical condition is not so good, but I still have my memory and  can enjoy these waning years.  My love to you and yours. Lillian Dodd


 I have walked many a mile on a dirt road and one that could turn to mud mighty quick too.  Oh how heavy those feet became as the mud built up and held tight to your overshoe until all of sudden it fell off and you almost lost your balance.  Then when dry, the dirt roads, for me, there were two miles of it to school and two miles home.

 That was dreaming time.  This little girl went many places and saw many things in my mind's eye as I traveled along the way. There's where I dreamed of having a loving husband and children and don't forget that white picket fence!  Yes, I knew how to day dream and still do! I always told my boys dream but know they are dreams and though they may come true they are never exactly like you dreamed them.  We find bumpy roads along the way but well worth the travel.  I have never regretted a step of those childhood miles. In fact, I feel they have had a positive affect on me for health purposes.  The only time I wanted fewer steps were sometimes in about the last half mile my thunder thighs rubbing together became gladded and then each step was miserable until I got home and mom put corn starch on them.  They were slick then!

 Then remember those rainy days, were days of no work in the fields. To me it meant find a good book and pull up a chair to the old cook stove and open the oven door and put your feet in the oven. Oh how I did enjoy many a good book that way.  Or days to pop some corn and play games. Remember the popcorn had to be shelled and then the little fuzzy things had to be blown out of them as you took two pie tins and stepped out on the porch and blew as you poured the corn from pan to pan over and over until they were all gone.  Oh so many good memories this brings back to this old lady..........I hope I have tickled your memory!......If not then click on the link below and I am sure Paul Harvey will!....... Addie here

Click here: Dirt Roads


Christmas Season is upon us and it is time to wish those we love and care about a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2009!  It also sets one’s mind back to other Christmases in our lives. . So I am fixing to bore you with some reminiscing:  Christmases when I was a little girl and 1939!

 My memories of Christmas time when I was a little girl are so precious.  I remember so well a little while before Christmas my daddy went to the timber to cut a Christmas tree for me.  It always seemed like there was lots of snow on the ground.  I can still see him going down the lane all bundled up with ear flaps down on his cap and mittens to keep the cold from chilling him with ax in hand  and coming back with the tree.   The little cedar tree was so fresh.  Oh how good it did smell! Remember those little blue buds that always dotted the limbs.  It was with excitement that only a little girl can experience that I watched as he made a stand and put it up in front of the dining room window facing the road. Now it was ready to decorate.  My daddy and I trimmed the tree with home made things.  First he would get some ears of popcorn and then he and I would sit down together and he would show me how to shell it.  Then we would take 2 pie pans and the popcorn out on the porch and poured it from pan to pan over and over again blowing out the "fuzzies."

After he made sure he had a good fire going in the cook stove, he got out the old iron pot; it was black and deep and fairly large with 4 little legs on the rounded bottom.  After taking a stove lid off and setting it aside, dad would place the pot down in the hole of that old Kalamazoo cook stove. After making sure the grease was hot he would drop a hand full or two of the kernels into the pot and put the lid on.  The lid had a metal ring on the top to pick it up with.  Once the corn started popping, dad would lift the lid and using a heavy long-handled spoon with holes in the spoon part to stir the popcorn as it popped.  I can see him yet as he stood at the stove stirring with one hand and the other hand hovering the lid over the pot shielding the popcorn from bouncing out.  I can hear it popping and smell that popcorn yet.

 After popping a dishpan full, he would get a needle and thread and dad and I would string popcorn on the thread with a needle.  He popped enough that we could have all we wanted to eat too and that we did as we made our strands. Then he helped me wind the long rope of popcorn around the tree. This was our decorations for the tree along with chains of ringlets made of different colored construction paper interlocked together with paste made of flour and water.

 My mother always made candy.  I can remember especially the chocolate fudge with nuts in it.  Boy was that good!   She also made marshmallows and various other kinds of candy.  It seems like she made some that she called divinity.  I remember how long she had to stir especially the marshmallow candy and then cut little squares with the scissors and roll them in confectionary sugar.  She always put the candy in the north-east bedroom window to cool. 

Every Christmas until I was old enough to read it myself, I would crawl up on my mother’s lap and she would read the Christmas Carol to me.  I remember the book had some red on it, a wide red border as I recall.  It was a little smaller than 8X10 note book paper.  She also read The Night Before Christmas to me. By the time I was very big, I had it memorized.  It became a tradition carried on in married life with my boys.

 There was only one thing each year that I really wanted Santa Claus to bring me and that was a doll.  I was an only child so had lots of time to snoop while my parents were out doors doing chores, etc.  And snoop I would.  I always put anything I found back just like it was though so no one would know.

 I was never disappointed, I always got a doll.  I had a thing for dolls. They were family, the family I dreamed of having with a loving husband when I grew up!  I even asked for one for my 8th grade graduation present and got it!  It was a Shirley Temple doll!  I played house a lot being an only child I had a good imagination!  That really was all I ever wanted to do was grow up and get married and have a lot of my very own "little real live dolls" to love!   I envied the Clements family a mile away that had nearly a dozen children!  Oh how I loved to go there to play and join in their family activities!  That is what I wanted when I grew up!

 The folks never knew when I stopped believing in Santa Claus.  I kept that a secret as I thought once they knew I wouldn’t find anymore presents under the tree on Christmas morning. I never remember anything ever being wrapped.

 Then there was Christmas Eve at our little country church, Buck’s Grove.  I can remember one time waiting on the steps amidst a sea of adults. It was like I was down in a dark hole with walls all around me. I looked up into the sky and the stars were so bright–was one of them the star that guided the shepherds to baby Jesus? Inside the church stood a Christmas tree so tall it touched the ceiling, candles glowing and presents in and under the tree. After the program there would be a loud noise outside and bells jingling and then a HO HO HO and here came Santa Claus down the aisle with a big bag thrown over his shoulder. He handed out the presents and he had a sack of candy for everyone. I especially remember the sack included a chocolate drop and the hard Christmas candy that was always so beautifully decorated.  I could hardly wait to eat my chocolate drop. One year was so special to me because Santa handed me a Bible.  It had a hard black cover and letters of gold on the front.  I kept it all these years even though the cover is a little loose and the gold lettering is no longer gold.  What a joy for a little girl to receive her very own Bible.  This is a Christmas Eve tradition carried on yet today.  What a joy it would be to attend again. It is to the back of this little church and to the northwest where Cliff sleeps and where I will join him.

 Christmas morning after rushing downstairs to see what Santa brought and having a little while to play, it was off to granddad’s who lived a half-mile south of us where the family gathered for Christmas. Dad would pull me in a little red wagon or sled to granddad's house. I was allowed to take one thing with me and that was always my new doll! I remember the smells coming from the kitchen and that big long table in the dining room in front of the north window covered with a white table cloth. The table was laden with all kinds of delicious and scrumptious food to be thankful for. A grandfather's clock chimed on the wall just to the west of the window and my granddad’s high backed chair sat at the east end of the table.  I waited with folded hands for my granddad to ask the blessing.  Not forgetting the traditional plum pudding with the white sauce.  That I could never forget, I can taste it now!

 1939 was the first Christmas Cliff and I spent together.  His gift to me was a hair brush, comb and mirror. They were pink with little blue flowers on them.  The mirror was one with a rather long handle and the only thing that survived these 68 years.

Well these are some of my Christmas remembrances. If you finish this you will learn that there is an old lady in Oskaloosa, Kansas who wishes you a blessing from our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ!

Addie, no longer at 642; E-Mail Address:

Monday, March 29, 2010


Seventy-one years ago my Mother threw a “sweet 16” birthday party for me. Two different columnists of the Holton Recorder wrote articles reporting on it.

My future husband, Cliff, lived in the Cedar Hill Community a few miles east of our Bucks Grove Community and he saw the articles in the paper.  He told me later as he read them he was determined to meet that “Sweet 16 Birthday girl”.

It was a practice in those days for the young people to go to town on Saturday nights.  Over seventy years ago, boys with cars cruised Main Street while the girls watched with great anticipation!   There was one car in particular that I was watching; and it was the sporty little red Model A roadster one boy was driving.

Free “picture shows” were a Saturday night ritual in our small town of Soldier, Kansas.   In the summer time the “picture shows” were shown outdoors.  You sat on planks laid on top of blocks of wood.  There was a little square building behind the “benches” from which the “picture show” was projected on the side of the building in an area that had been painted white!   In the winter time they were shown inside “The Soldier Hall”.

In previous years, the picture shows were silent with jerky movements. Since they were silent, a banner of words floated across the black and white pictures to the tune of a noisy projector!   But by 1939 we were “uptown” and now we had black and white talkies!  Hey, now that’s Great Progress!

One Saturday night, shortly after my birthday, found my friend, Doris, and I sitting in our car in front of the “Soldier Hall” waiting for time to go into the hall to watch the “picture show”.  Suddenly Cliff appeared at the driver’s side where Doris was sitting.  He introduced himself and started talking.  Doris had an outgoing personality which kept her in a constant talkative mode!  I guess she was doing more than her share of the talking because he ask her to be quiet that he came to talk to me.  So for once she shut up!

The long and the short of it, he finally asked if he could take me home; and yes, he was the boy driving the cute Model A!  Since Doris was my guest, I asked her if she minded.  She said she didn’t so I accepted.  At that time there was a skating rink on the edge of town out by Soldier Lake and we went out there for a while.  And the first thing I knew, here my dad appeared at the car door on Cliff’s side and told me, in no uncertain terms, to get out of the car that I was going home with him.  Explicitly--I had a guest and that this was no way to treat her.  I tried to tell him that Doris said she didn’t mind but he would have none of that.  I was so embarrassed, I thought boy that was it; I would never see that handsome boy again.  But I did!

He wrote to me and asked if he could come to see me.  In the meantime, I had jumped off the porch and sprained my ankle badly.  I asked mom what I should do before accepting a date with him, as I didn’t know what to expect from dad.  Mom said she would take care of it and I guess she did because dad did not interfere even though I had to go on crutches.  And that started our dating.

From our south dinning room window I would watch for his little red ford roadster’s lights shining out in the darkness!  Our house sat on [what we called] a hill and I could see the headlights practically a mile away come over the first hill and dip down out of sight and up over the next; then my watchful thrill grew into pure ecstasy!

The thrill of seeing that handsome clean shaven young man with his hat cocked on the side of his head will live in my heart forever!  Always immaculately dressed with a starched white long sleeved shirt with the cuffs turned up just so.  In all of our married years I never remember a time when he was not clean shaven.  He taught me just how those shirts were to be starched and ironed too.

He was a farm boy and there were chores to do every day so it would be dark before he could come.  That was the routine every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday nights until we were married no matter what the weather or the country roads challenged!

The folks grew very fond of Cliff and there was never any in-law-problems period.  My folks always took Cliff’s side and his folks took my side!  The Soldier Hall was where our three wonderful sons chose to throw us an outstanding 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration.   And again five years later.  After fifty-five and one-half years of togetherness, three sons, and grandchildren too, my husband died September 18th, 1995.

Every time I go to the cemetery I tell him to get up out of there and take me home!  But of course, he sleeps awaiting the resurrection! 


If you have been so kind to stay with me and finished reading this, I want to thank you for listening.
May God Bless each of you and yours,  Addie here in Oskaloosa a block from where we were married in 1940!

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