Sunday, March 25, 2012

The old house

The house we lived in when we first moved to the farm on dry creek was just a shack, 4 room . A front room and a small room behind that was our kitchen. the porch opened into the kitchen. one small room no bigger than room for one bed was where I slept.
Hosea Leathers lived in that house until his wife died. I suppose he built the house. The other bed room was larger and was off the front room. This was mama and daddy bed room and I suppose Richard and Clayton must have slept in that room also.
The walls had been papered with newspapers and I would lay in bed and read the newspapers. most were dated in the 1920's.
We used coil oil lamps for light and mama cooked on a coil oil stove. She had two cook stoves while we lived there because the coil oil ran down a pipe to the burners , I think there were 3 burners and there was a oven anyway the reason mama got a new stove was she took a rag and tied it on a long stiff piece of wire and ran it down the pipe to get the suet out of the pipe and then the stove would work better. Mama lost the rag in the pipe and no amount of poking and prodding would get the rag out. Daddy had to buy a new stove.
We had a rickety front porch that was at least 6 feet off the ground and the summer after fleta was born my bed was moved out there because the back bed room was hot as hades. I have marveled over the years as to how I managed to keep Fleta and my self from rolling off the bed and down off the porch since the porch was just barely big enough for the bed.
The spring would go dry in hot dry weather and then we had to haul our water from a spring at the creek. That is how mama broke her ankle crossing the creek with two pails of water walking on the slick rocks.
When she fell she told Richard to go get Mr. Morris and he and Lizzy managed to get mama up the dirt bank to our car. Lizzy and Hugh took mama and Clayton to the house and we walked. Lois walked with us. It seems like we stayed with grandma and grandpa Powell for a few days and after a week Richard and I came back home. Clayton being the youngest had stayed with mama and daddy.
Mama had her ankle in a cast for a year, the ankle never healed right and the doctor re broke it twice. Daddy said mama would pass out when he broke the ankle and doctor wanted to do it a third time but daddy said enough is enough and that was that.
Mama did her house work by putting her knee in a kitchen chair and shoving it around to do her cooking and what work she had to do. I think it was 1947 when she broke her ankle. She would have been about 26 or 27 years old and she hopped on that leg for the rest of her days.
The old house was built out of boards and never seen paint or a finish of any sort. The truth is the barn was a better place to live that that house. Daddy built the house where Clayton live now in 1950 I think Betty was born in that house and fleta was born in the old house.
I guess it took everything daddy could rack and scrape to buy the windows and doors for the house. One day when mama went back to the old house to wash cloths Richard was teasing Clayton and Clayton was chasing Richard with a piece of 2 by 4 and he threw it at Richard in the back bed room . Richard dodged and the chunk went threw the new window. daddy whipped all 3 of us and I felt and still feel this was unfair because Richard caused the trouble by teasing Clayton and beside I felt Richard should not have dodged the chunk of wood.
The way I remember it most of the whippings I got was Richards fault.
In those years Richard and I fought all the time and I believe it was because daddy favored Richard because he was the SON. We never fought when we lived at Denver and I do think Daddy caused mine and Richards troubles.
I will say that I was not happy during the years from the time I was 11 year old until I was grown. I finally grew up and realized that Being a girl was OK and I finally stopped trying to find favor with daddy and stopped competing with Richard for daddy's attention.
I have often wondered how Clayton felt about daddy and Richard and if he felt short changed like I did. I also wonder now just how much this effected Richard's life.


Sister--Three said...

Thanks for the story. I love you. I was born after the move to the new house.

Donna said...

I love these little stories from your childhood.

The 4th Sister said...

Richard and Daddy fought like cats and dogs....He may have favored Richard but he was the hardest on Richard of all of us....That is why he left home when he was like "TWO" as Clayton would say....Clayton once told me Gilbert got married when he was like 'TWO" I laughed. I never really figured out Clayton and Daddy....Mama favored Clayton.That paid off cause he helped so much with her in her later years. I know that gave him a place to live but it helped Mom more than him.....and maybe Fleta most of all...LOL Talk aboutcats and dogs....Fleet and Mom...LOL