Family Farm: Will You Tell a Story about your Grandma, Please?
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"Where was the bathroom, Grandma?"
"Well, Deedee, it was way down a path out in back. It was called the outhouse or 'privie.' Grandma did not have any flush toilets like we do today.
"Soon beds were prepared. The couch was opened and mattresses were flopped on the floor. Blankets and pillows came from somewhere. The rain fell gently when we went to bed. About 1 a.m. the wind started to blow. The thunder and lightning worsened, like it has tonight. The river nearby was rising rapidly and began to sound angry. Grandma, hearing the storm, got up to close her windows. This is when I had the scariest experience of my life. Grandma's house had no electric lights, so she lit a kerosene lamp. Just as she reached the kitchen doorway with her lamp a big thunder clap shook the house. I woke to the sound, and the lightning shone into my eyes. I opened them to see a person in a long white gown with long golden hair streaming down both sides of her shoulders, and she was holding a bright lamp. It was so bright I could not see beyond the lamplight to see her face. I believed that God had sent his angel to collect me and carry me back to heaven. I screamed and screamed. I was so scared. Grandma finally got me quieted after waking up the whole houseful of sleepers."
"Where were you sleeping, Grandma?" Deedee asked.
"I was on the big mattress on the floor with my mother, father, and sister. It scared me when I looked up and saw that bright light and what I thought was an angel.
"In the morning when we woke, the sun was warm and the sky held a few soft clouds drifting lazily along on their carpet of blue. Birds were singing and the flowers smelled sweet. It was a pretty day. After breakfast we took turns driving the old bodiless truck Gramps had in the backyard. We had to sit on a box on the chassis. No seats, no nothing, just four wheels and a box, but it was fun to speed down imaginary roads to see all the wonders of the world. After our turn with the truck we wandered off to play with the new little puppies and with Snowball, the big white cat. Grandpa took us to see Fibber and Molly, the new calves, and to scratch the big white pigs on their long pink snouts. Later we helped Grand-ma pick strawberries. At least we thought we were helping her, although we were more in the way then not.
"For lunch we had sandwiches and large glasses of fresh milk from Grandpa's Jersey cow. At the supper table, we ate in shifts. First, the kids sat down at the table. We would have pork chops, mashed potatoes and 'hillbilly' gravy, beans, and milk and cookies for dessert. When we finished we went into the yard and the men ate next. After they finished, they went back to the swing and their pipes. The women ate last. Then they did the dishes. They pumped large buckets of water, heated them on the old cookstove, then poured them into a big dishpan on one end of the table. As the dishes were washed they were put into another large dishpan. Hot water was poured over them, then they were dried and put away for another day.