Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday, time to catch up

     Shop was crazy busy yesterday.  I did not call mom yesterday as I heard from sisters that she was better.  I will call her today but I am a little scared.  She is down and feels like she was pushed into getting rid of the boys.  My daughter(the attorney) says, "Yes she was pushed, too bad, it was long over do.  When you don't do what is good for you and you complain eventually things are taken out of your hands, this has now been taken out of her hands."  My daughter is heartless I tell you, but I love it!  So I will call her later and get an update, but I have to be very careful not to crow with delight.

     I paid the rent at the studio yesterday and also the house payment.  I had to take $350.00 out of savings to do it.  So now I have to get that $350.00 back in, blah!  I have plenty of work in the shop so it will be okay.  I am a little tired today, sleepy actually, I am sure it is medication caused.  The one main side affect of Orencia is tiredness.  But I will take that side affect over intense pain any day.

     I still have checks coming in for tuition so I should be able to pay the little bills later this month.  Now I need to get sewing.

     I clearly remember dad bringing home a TV set.  It was blonde wood and it had a cabinet.  I remember the rabbit ears and the tinfoil.  But we really did not get reception out at the farm.  We had a big garden on the other side of the wind break. There was a path that led to the garden it forked and one fork went to the slough, which was a steep dump area where we threw garbage.  It was like a dump(can you imagine? People were so stupid with the world's resources.)  The other fork led to the garden. I did not like to be sent to the garden as it passed the slough and that was so smelly, it also was a little creepy to me.  This steep slope covered with old cans and waste. The garden went on forever, just black plowed field as far as the eye could see.  It was a fallow field that we were allowed to plant our garden in for the season.  I remember going out to the garden to get mom and onion and I saw a deer eating.  I was so excited I went in the house to tell mom.  Dad went right out with his rifle, but the deer was gone.  He saw tracks all over. 

     Sis not to be out done wanted to go to the garden the next time something was needed.  She came back in and told dad to get his gun the deer were in the garden but not to shoot Santa Claus that was with them.  Sis always had a great imagination.  What I really find ironic about this is that we were not 4 yet.  Our younger brother was born in February and we turned 4 in March.  So my mother was sending a 3 1/2 year old out to a garden for vegetables and we were able to do that.

     We often went over to a neighboring farm for coffee and to play with a little boy our age.  This was the Kragness farm.  I loved that farm.  We would put lil sis in an big old buggy and walk between long rows of corn across the fields.  It was like being in another world.  I asked dad what would happen if you got lost in the corn and he said, just stay in the row and eventually you will come out to a road.  I remember him walking along in the next row and we walked and walked forever.  I could see him through the tall green corn and eventually we hit a dirt road.  He was right, this was a comfort to me.  I would never get lost in the corn, of course he gave me no instructions on what to do if  and when I hit the road.

     The Kragness house was your typical two story white farm house with a back lean to porch and a front porch.  It was much more modern that ours. There were many barns and corals around the house.  Mr. Kragness had a beautiful smile.  His skin was tanned and weathered and his eyes had deep cut lines around them from squinting in the sun.  He had the bluest eyes I have ever seen.  My dad had dark blue eyes and sis and I have dads eyes, but Mr. Kragness was just so handsome.  He was soft spoken and slow of speech.  I worshiped him.  Mrs. Kragness was a short round woman with dark curly hair.  I never saw her without an apron.  We always came in the back door.   In the Dakotas one uses the back door.  Why do they have front doors I wonder?  There were such interesting things on the Kragness's back lean to.  Old machine parts, bum baby lambs, a baby calf, or maybe a sick chicken.  Old boots, and coats and an egg basket usually full of eggs to be cleaned.  The cream separator was always running.

     The lean to went right into the kitchen.  Mrs. Kragness baked every day.  Her rolls and butter were so good.  I don't ever think I will ever forget the taste of her warm rolls with butter and peanut butter.  Mr. Kragness said you needed the butter to get the peanut butter to slide down.  Coffee was an important part of the Swedish/ Norwegian life.  People met for coffee almost everyday.  Mom would visit with Mrs. Kragness and we would play with Gordy.  Gordy was a boy and we loved him.  There was a pea patch down in the burrow next to the house.  Sweet peas grow better in a frost pocket.  When the peas would come on we would all three pick and eat peas.  We were supposed to be picking, but I think we did more eating. 

     There was an old derelict house down the road from the Kragness farm. It had a front porch that was sagging, the steps were broken and it only had screens for windows.  Mexicans lived there in the summer.  I was fascinated by how these children lived.  They did not seem to ever have to comb their hair or wash.  They got to go barefoot, something that was strictly forbidden by my parents.  I wanted so badly to talk to the girl who always had a naked baby on her hip.  I wanted to hold my baby sister like that but I was too small.  We were not allowed to play with them, but we would sneak up and watch them.  I thought they were so mysterious.  When we went home we always had fresh milk, eggs, rolls, butter and we would pick sweet corn and fill the buggy.  Mom would laugh and say, I hope the baby is under all that and we haven't left her.  Then sis and I would frantically look for the baby.  It was a game we played often.

     Although mom loved the farm, she was also pregnant with my brother.  We did have a phone but she had no car and my dad was not really good about coming home.  I remember one time dad came walking up the road into the yard and he asked me to go on the back porch and get his gun.  I did and he went out and shot a couple of rabbits.  He skinned them and cleaned up at the pump in the yard.  I just remember I was playing with sis.  We had swings and a teeter totter.  Dad asked me to go quietly up stairs and get his bowling shirt and I did.  He hung the rabbits on the back porch.  Then he walked down the road.  Mom came out and found the rabbits and asked how they got there. I told her dad had been home.  She said, " I have been waiting for him, I need to go to town to the doctor, where is he I did not hear the car come up the road?"  I remember feeling very funny, she was obviously upset. I then realized that dad had been trying to get to and from the house without mom knowing.  He needed his bowling shirt and he had left meat for dinner.  I had helped him.  I felt awful.  Before the age of four I would be a pawn in my father's ridiculous behavior.

     As winter approached and the roads turned to gumbo we were very isolated.  Mom was afraid that the baby would come and she would not be able to get help.  Even though she did not want to leave the farm we had to move into town.  She could not afford to have the piano moved and sold it to the woman who would be renting the farm house.  It was such a sad day.  She was big pregnant and she told the lady that she would rather give her what was in her belly than give up her piano.  She really did not mean it, but losing that piano was terribly hard.
      I remember moving day.  Mr Kragness came with a big farm truck to help dad move the heavy things.  Dad was in a bad mood.  The last two things loaded on the truck were mom's sewing machine in it's cabinet and the large mangler, mom used to press linens and things.  Dad hated moving the mangler, it was very heavy.  He was throwing one of his tantrums and I saw him kick the mangle with his foot, he shoved it very hard and put his back up against whatever else was in the truck and the mangle toppled off the back and broke into several pieces.  He then went to push the sewing machine off and he saw that I was watching him.  He stopped.  Thank goodness.  The mangler was very expensive, but the sewing machine was a necessity.  I never told my mother.


  I could not get blogger to work and publish this morning, so here is a late post.

I am off to bed!




  1. I can tell we are around the same age by what you write about. When I was maybe 5 my mom won our first TV. She used to enter contests all the time - write jingles for products etc and that's how we got the TV. It was the most exciting thing to happen in my young life. We had a TV antenna that we accessed by opening a living room window. One person would turn the antenna and another would watch the TV and yell when there was a picture. In the winter the living room would be freezing as the antenna person would have to pour a kettle of boiling water out the window to melt the ice at the base of the antenna so they could turn it!! Now I can stay in my chair and use a remote - what a luxury!

  2. We didn't get a TV until I was like 6! My friends never wanted to play at our house but we couldnt afford it so it wasnt a priority.

    Your daughter is right! Now make sure mom sticks to her guns