In the previous post, I shared with you a small portion of my mom's family history. I decided that I would share just a little bit more just for my kids's. As you could tell in my last post, life was rather hard in regards to my mom's family. The house that her and her siblings lived in was really small, a shack really... one that was torn down years ago. The elementary school that mom and her brothers's and sisters's attended has now become an assisted living home. (Rather ironic don't you think?) As kids, my mom and her siblings did not get a chance to play very much and listening to my mom and her sister Betty reminence about their childhood is a lot different than I would have ever imagined. My aunt Betty worked hard in the garden outside each day while my mom worked hard inside their home. Not only was my mom hired out to iron, but she was also hired out to clean house for a deacon at their church... on top of doing her regular chores. My uncle Hank, mom's oldest brother, worked at the grocery store nearby to help pay for the groceries that their large family consumed each day. As stated in my post below, everyone had a job to do... everyone that is, except for my two aunts, Sybil (who was my grandfather's favorite) and Peggy (who was always sickly and wisely took advantage of it).
My grandmother named my mom Mildred when she was born, a name that my grandfather hated from the beginning. In fact he never once called my mom Mildred... He called her June. My grandfather also did not like or trust medical doctors. If anyone ever needed help... medically speaking... the chiropractor was asked to come and take a look. It didn't matter if you needed stitches, (like my mom did when she had a huge gouge taken out out of the back of her upper leg) or if you had 'blocked bowels', (a type of intestinal obstruction like my Aunt Betty had... which could have killed her) or you were simply having a baby, no medical doctor's were ever allowed in my grandfather's home. The only exception came when my grandmother finally snuck my aunt Peggy out to see a medical doctor when she realized just how frail that my aunt had become. My aunt Peggy had always been a rather sickly child but when she became nothing more than skin and bones, my grandmother went against my grandfather's wishes and took her to a medical doctor. That act more than likely saved my aunt's life as she was found to have sugar diabetes and was put on insulin immediately. Overall there was an incredible lack of any real communication in my mom's home, and expressions of love were few and far between. There were never any, 'I love you's' said or hugs given.. no tender words spoken, in fact no anything at all. Quite sad.
My Uncle Roy was the one who talked my grandfather into moving out to Lakeside, California and purchasing an egg farm there. Their home in Drumright was paid for and they probably could have lived somewhat comfortably by living off of my grandfather's retirement and social security checks... however my Uncle Roy convinced my grandparents to make the move west and that he would be there to help them... which didn't end up happening at all. They did not get near enough from the sale of their home in Drumright to fully pay for the farm in Lakeside, but they thought that they would eventually make enough money to pay the offset of the purchase and then be able to live easily off the profits from the sale of the eggs. The farm had a small, two bedroom home, the girls once again in one bedroom but this time the boys had only an enclosed porch to sleep in. By now there was only the four girls left at home, along with two boys, Jack and David. Uncle David worked at the feed store to help pay for the feed that was needed to feed the hundreds of chickens that my grandfather had purchased for the farm. Unfortunately, all of the so called profit from the sale of the eggs barely made enough for the family to live on. Discouragement eventually took over the life of my grandfather and he became quite ill due to cancer. He decided that he did not want to pass away here in California and he definitely did not want to be buried here... so on his deathbed, he got up, left my grandmother, caught a bus to Jonesboro, Arkansas and died two weeks later at his oldest daughter's (Leah) home.
So what does this mean to you my dear children... no longer do I ever want to hear any of you complain about how tough you had it or how strict your dad and I were on you when you were growing up. Maybe we weren't strict enough?? After all... grams turned out pretty good! ;-) I love you guys, mom
Married for 46+ years & raising 7 great kids out in the country has been an adventure of a lifetime. Now that the darlings are all grown up, and most, raising little darlings of their own, I am able to get down to the business of sewing. Come join me and let's share together.