Friday, March 8, 2013

OLIVE'S YOUNGER YEARS

 
My Father use to say: "You can't miss something you never had." I don't think that would fit into today, but it did back when I was a child.  I was born in 1936.  My Mother died of pneumonia a few months after I was born and my Father remarried a year or so later.  So my step-mother was the one I remember as my Mother and the one I will call Mother here.  She lived to be 98 and died  two years ago.  I was number 10 in the children my Father had.  When he married my step-mother-they had another five children -that lived.  They also had two that were still born. 
 
I was born between the Great Depression and World War II.  We lived on a farm in the country.  We had a wood burning stove.  The stove and fire place were the only heat in our house.  I can remember getting up on some cold mornings with my bare feet touching that cold floor.  It made you get dressed fast and downstairs.  We didn't have any indoor plumbing except for a pump for water in the kitchen sink-and it was cold water.  When we wanted hot water to do dishes or bathe, we heated it up on the stove.  We didn't have showers or bath tubs in those days, so we took our bath on Saturday evening in a large black tub in the middle of the kitchen floor.  The girls went first, and then the boys.  We didn't change the water between who used it.  When all of us children were done, the water was dumped and refilled for Mother, then Father.  If you got dirty before Saturday, you took a bar of soap and went out by the outside pump and washed up.  You took a bath with your clothes on-outside.
 
Washing was another job.  We didn't have washing machines back then so we used our big tub that we took a bath in to wash our clothes in.  Our clothes were washed using a scrub board like the one shown above.   In those days, you didn't change your clothes all the time, like today, if you had a spot on you wore it the next day.  Only on Sunday, did you dress with your Sunday go to meeting clothes.  Your best set of clothes.  At that time, we ladies all dressed in black, seven days a week.  I still wear black most of the time, because that was how I was brought up.  Today my grandchildren like Jean try to get me into a dress with flowers on the front, which I do at home, but when I am going some place outside of our home, I wear black including Sunday. We still all weat black on Sunday.
 
My parents were wonderful people especially when I look back at 15 children.  They treated us all alike.  If there were any favorites, we never knew.  Although we didn't have much money, we had love, food, meals,clothes, home and meetings (church).  We  didn't know we were poor in those days.
 
In my day, you walked to school.  There were no buses.  We went to the public school, but in our area, the school was a one room school house.  I think the big school buildings of today were coming in, but I never went to one.  School started in September, but even though school was going we took off the end of September and first part of October for harvest time..  Although school went until June, we left school the end of April for planting season.  Only went to school until age 14, then we left.  Back then we had to keep a report on what we learned working at home until we were age 16.  I believe, it's 18 now. 
 
At home , as soon as we were old enough, we learned to feed the animals and get the eggs.  Us girls had to also do chores around the house.  Bring laundry for washing, set the table, simple things.  The older we got the more important the job.  My Mother taught me to cook.  Back then, you never thought of teaching a man how to cook.  Also, we learned sewing, quilting, knitting, and more.  Mother made our clothes until we learned how to do it.  Back then, you never thought of going to a store to buy clothes.  Rich people did that and we were far from rich.  I also knew how to milk cows, work the horse drawn farm machines, planting garden, mow the lawn with a hand mower and whatever else needed to be done.  Both boys and girls knew how to do outside chores. 
 
Back in those days, there weren't as many doctors as today and you couldn't afford them anway.  We had the mumps, chicken box, measles, scarlet feaver, yellow feaver, pneumonia and in the late 1940's and 50's polio.  There were no shots back in those days and you went through them.  Mother would make all sorts of medicine with herbs and alike.  Some made it-some didn't.  We lost one of my brothers with scarlet feaver although all us kids got it.  Lice was another we got back then.  My mother, myself and Marilyn's mother used the same thing back then but DON'T use it today is gasoline.  If we or our children got lice, we washed their hair in gasoline, let it set and washed it out with soap.  I use to soap those heads four or five times after that gasoline.  Now days you can go to the drugstore or doctors office for lice.  If you went to the doctor back when I was a child, they would tell you to cut your hair off-which is against our religious beliefs.  Gasoline would kill the lice.  So that's what we used. 
 
We had activities back then, too.  I can remember sliding down the hill, ice skating, fishing, and even hunting.  Albert still calls me a tom boy.  I can handle a shot gun as good as any man or so he says.  We also went to taffy pulls, dinners, singings and more when I was young.  At home we played games, soft ball, and alike.  Our yard swing was a wooden board hung from our tree.   
 
Albert and I got married when I was 16 and he was 18.  My parents weren't really happy that I chose him.  Mother said years later that she and Father had made a mistake in not wanting me to marry Albert.  They had the wedding at our home, but weren't happy. Albert stuttered and back in those days they tought if you couldn't talk right, you couldn't learn.   I am glad times have changed. Over the years Albert got over the stutter, but still talks soft and a bit slower than most.   Albert didn't learn to read until he was in his 60's.  School just passed him over, but he did know farming and building.  He still figures how much lumber they need for Jean's house, how much nails, etc.  Because Jean asked, he will lead the building of her house.  He said hers would be the last that he leads, but he's said that before. 
 
Albert and I had 12 children-10 are still living.  We have 83 grandchildren, 111 great grandchildren with two on the way and five great great-grandchildren..  Before you ask, this includes Michel and Edward, Jean and David's son and almost son plus David Jr. and Susan.  All live close by except two of our sons and their children live out of state. We do have large family picnics.   
 
Well I guess I told you most of my life.  We've had a lot of great times and hard times, but the Lord has led us through.  Am I glad we have electric, indoor plumbing, gas tractors and more-I sure am.  But I never missed what we didn't have-until I got it.
 
Follow God.
Olive
 
 
  
 
 
 
 

33 comments:

Fionalina said...

Hello Olive I enjoyed this so much-
I am glad you had a loving happy home -even although it was a hard life-sorry to hear of all the loved ones that you you lost-I thought I came from quite a large family until I read how many are in yours
Reading this was like taking a step back in time I love history and wish I still had my own Grandparents not only because I dearly miss them but I feel I should have asked more of their younger days- I had lost them all by the time I was 16 and two died before I was born-its so important to have this information to pass down

Olive thank you so much for agreeing to do this post and sharing with us

Fionalina





New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Fionalina,

I will tell Olive what you said. I am sure she will appreciate it. I lost my grandparents before I was 16, too. My Mother's parents, died before I was born. Also, my parents are gone, too. In fact today would have been my Mother's Birthday.

Marilyn

Countryside Reflections said...

Thank you for telling your incredible story. To think of a father losing his wife and having 10 children to take care of. Then being fortunate enough to re-marry a woman that would agree to not only take care of those 10 children, but have 5 more. Wow!

It sounds like you had a very loving and full childhood which is so inspiring to read about. I would like to hear more about your childhood, and also about what your family picnics and gatherings are like now. With 209 in your immediate family, do you remember all of their names?

Thank you for telling us this story and I hope you'll post more of them in the future. ~Doreen

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Doreen,
I will let Olive know what you said and have started all the questions to her. I know she appreciates all the comments. This was going to be her last post, but with the questions coming, I think she will have to do more for us.

Marilyn

Chasity said...

What a fantastic story! It is so interesting to read about how things were when Olive was growing up!

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Chasity,
Know Olive will appreciate your comment, when I tell her.

Marilyn

Vickie said...

Loved reading everything about this post Olive. I showed my teenagers the numbers in your family and they were in absolute disbelief! haha

Countryside Reflections said...

I just thought of another question for Olive or Jean. Olive said that it was against their religious beliefs to cut their hair. I'm just wondering what the reason is, and do the women ever cut their hair during their life time, or did she mean that they don't cut it short but do sometimes trim it. They would have some incredibly long hair if they never cut it. ~Doreen

Vicki said...

I really hope that this is not Olive's last post. She left me wanting to hear about so much more of her life. She did a wonderful job explaining what it was like. Jean is so fortunate to have such a wonderful Grandma and Grandpa. Many blessings Olive. Vicki

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Vickie,
I will tell Olive what you said. Jean and I had a hard time talking her into doing a post arbout her younger days. Olive didn't think her life was the least bit interesting. Jean really appreciates having her grandparents. David's have both passed away.

Marilyn

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Doreen,
I have your questions written down for Olive. Am sure she will answer in a coming post after Jean and I talk her into it. LOL

Marilyn

daybreaking said...

Please tell Olive that this was very fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello daybreaking,
I will give Olive your message. I am sure she will appreciate them.

Marilyn

Lorrie23 said...

Wow -- thanks for that wonderful remembrance of times past. We do appreciate the time savers of today, but I believe people were happier in olden days without all the electronic toys and instantaneous communications.

annie said...

Wow! I love her story! I can relate to only a bit. We had a kitchen sink, a big one, but only a cold water spigot. We heated our water on the cook stove with a water jack on the side, the littles bathed in the kitchen sink. We did have indoor bathroom, when I was little i climbed on top of the free standing sink and it crashed to the floor. Thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed it. I wish my Mom was still alive, she died 10 years ago. Her birthday is today. She would have loved hearing this and could relate to every bit of it, this is the way she lived to.

Anonymous said...
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Wendy said...

Hello

Please tell Olive that I really enjoy hearing about her growing up as it her me to relized what it was like growning up and the hardships they had back then

Blessings

Wendy

Wendy said...

Meant to say I enjoyed hearing about her growning up as it helps me to realized what it was like for my Mother and her Family when they were growning up

Blessings

Rosemary said...

Thank you, Olive for telling us your story. I have always loved to hear folks tell of how things were when they were growing up. Each person's story is special, but your story is one of my favorites now.
I hope you will post again here.
Kindest regards,
Rosemary

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Evening everyone,
Thank you for your oomments, I will pass the on to Olive. Still having trouble with my back, not as bad as it was. Was in the 40's here today. Suppose to be in the 50's tomorrow.

Marilyn

Veronica said...

Hello Marilyn I have been reading all week and have been so busy I have not had time to comment. I want to get a comment in so you, Jean, and Olive know how thankful I am for all that you are doing. My life is blessed to be able to read about every ones lives and I am always thinking and praying for all of you. Life has many seasons and we are in one where my parents need us alot so I have been very busy. I am however greatful that I can give back to them for all there years of doing for us. I hope your back is feeling better and that Pierres buddy Mable is also doing better.Thank you for all you do and may your life be more blessed because you are continuing to bless mine. Veronica

blackopals said...

Hi,
I was just wondering which state did Olive grow up when this happened? Surely there were major differences in standard of living between different areas of the country. Im sure people in NY state had the hgihest standard of living.

New York State Of Mind said...

Thank you, Veronica, for taking the time to read our posts and leave your comments. I will pass them on. We all appreciate your prayers. I know you are in mine and others, too.

Marilyn

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello blackopals,
I will ask Olive as I don't know what state she grew up in. I assume she grew up in one outside of New York, but I don't know. Thank you for asking.
Marilyn

kymber said...

Marilyn, i knew that this post would be awesome and it sure was. please tell Olive how much i enjoyed it! i think all of the commenters here really enjoyed it. i want to learn more about how Olive fell in love with her husband and wanted to marry him, despite his stutter, and against her parents. all that says to me is that she has incredible character and a very strong belief in Our Lord - she is such a strong, beautiful woman. also, please tell her that we would love to hear about every little detail of her life - she has so much to teach and a very rapt audience!

Marilyn - i hope that your back is better soon. i am sending hugs and prayers your way!

your friend,
kymber

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Kymber,
Glad you enjoyed the post. I have written down your questions for Olive. I will tell her what she said, I know she will appreciate it.

Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Hi Jean and Olive, Wonderful posts on how the church services are done, recipes, and insight into Olives' growing up years to the present. Jean, seems like you have a very wonderful set of grandparents. Thank you for taking the time to share with the rest of us. May Our Lord continue to richly bless all of you, Carol
PS. Marilyn, I hope your back is healed now. I have back trouble at times, too. Not fun at all! Blessings, Carol

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Carol,
I will pass on to Jean and Olive what you said. I am sure they will appreciate them.

The back is getting better slow, but sure. No, it's not fun at all.

Blessing to you and yours,
Marilyn

blackopals said...

Did you find out what state Olive grew up in then? Sorry to ask again.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi blackopals.
Yes, she was out of the state of Pennsylvania. I was going to wait until she put it in a post, but it doesn't matter. Don't be sorry to ask that.

Marilyn

blackopals said...

No wonder lol! I knew for a fact that rural Pennsylvanians were much poorer than rural New Yorkers. New Yorkers had the highest standard of living till the 1980s.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi blackopals,
We are still high in New Tork tax wise. We are better than some states.

Marilyn

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