More life in the 50s and beyond

Okay, so you know I have been around a while, and I would like to think that I amassed a little wisdom. The truth would probably prove that I still make more mistakes than brilliant decisions.  If you have more “Ah, Ha!” moments than Oh S#$% moments, I applaud you, and if you are plodding along in my wake, I am sorry!

Where were we on our last adventure in looking back or revisionist history on a small scale? Remember we moved from city living to country living! It was wonderful having my own place to run and hide and scream.  I told you we bought the farm, well not like that!  A 15-acre field that included a 100-year-old house. The house was connected to the barn by a two-story structure. The chicken house was not connected to anything but was close to the barn.  By the way, hidden on the top floor of the connecting structure was a trove of old magazines.  I had a “Poor Richard’s Almanac” authenticated; it was a copy but fairly valuable. The house burned and was replaced with a Mobil Home later after we children were grown up and gone.  We found a Surry with a Fringe on top in the barn,” unfortunately,  we did not own a horse.  All this wonderment was situated between three lakes or ponds, depending on your definition. They were just waiting for us to explore the woods; fish in summer and the winter. 

It wasn’t all work and no play!  When the haying, weeding, and harvesting were done, we had massive cook-outs in the summer.  Roasting corn on the corn in the fire, huge bowls of potato salad, big patties of home-grown beef on homemade buns.  We worked hard, but we ate well.

Our Little House on the Prairie was located 8 miles from Dexter, our former hometown, and 8 miles from our new hometown, Corinna. It was a one-mile trek to the main road where we caught the bus, taking us to Corinna Center to our own charming little two-room schoolhouse.  Each large room housing four classes. On my side were grades 5 through 8.  It is a wonder that we survived getting to school.  We walked down a hill to the flat area and up another hill to the main road. A couple of feet of water flooded the road every spring; we ferried across in a small rowboat or crossed the frozen lake. There were times when the ice had started to melt and did not reach the shores; we would put a plank across to the ice, walk across; carry the plank across to the other side, and use it for the return trip.  If Mom knew this, she would not be pleased with our resourcefulness!  Come to think of it, she did find out and put a stop to the plank business!

I am in the second row, 5th from the front.

I used to stop at the house at the end of the road for a cup of hot chocolate on cold days, and on hot days the lady had lemonade for me.  She loaned me books from her library, and we discussed them.  She was a former school teacher.  Books were my friend, most of the time, my only friends.

I didn’t have many friends coming to visit because of the distance between farms.  My Friend Frannie visited once in her Father’s Jeep.  We decided to target practice with an automatic 22 rifle I had borrowed from a neighbor.  My Dad had set up a target for us.  After proving that we were both sharp-shooters, Frannie had a miss-fire, so she jacked the shell out.  I took the rifle for my turn.  When I fired the gun, it exploded!  It looked just like in the movies; evidently, the slug went partway down the barrel and stuck until hit by the other slug. I was instantly deaf; fortunately, it wasn’t permanent! We were grateful that we didn’t get into trouble; it was deemed an accident. The story doesn’t end well because, on the way home, Frannie burned the emergency brake out of her Dad’s Jeep.  My Dad replaced the barrel of the gun and never said anything to me.  He did tell me that the person that replaced the barrel said that I was very lucky because it could have blown my head off! 

Across a neighbor’s field, through the woods to our favorite “Swimmin’ hole,” was our regular Saturday thing, and every night after a day of haying.  Many people do not know this, but most lakes in Maine have a delightful thing called Blood Suckers!  Just thinking of them gives me the shivers. My Dad spread bags of Rock Salt along the shore of the lake, discouraging them.  It worked most of the time! If one attached itself to you, it was hard to pull them off.

I have swum the width of that lake once.  My brothers used the boat as a safety net to swim across.  I watched them and figured I could do that too!  I started across as they got to the shore.  They told Mom what I was doing.  She sent them after me telling them to make me swim back. 

Had enough?  I have got more, but it will have to wait for the next installment.

Published by Time Traveler of Life

Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.

22 thoughts on “More life in the 50s and beyond

  1. You were a real Annie Oakley.. It must have made your family sad to know that the house burned down. You have accumulated so many fun childhood memories attached to it.

  2. Charming! Those memories from times before the equalising influences of modern technologies. I assume our generations are the last of having witnessed the joys of a simple, but experience rich existence. We had to be inventive on the spot, and we made sure to keep our mishaps secret. When looking around now there is very little spontaneous creativity to be observed among the young, unless it involves a kind of gadget.

  3. Ciao
    Seguo il tuo blog molto interessante.
    Ti seguo da poco tempo e con piacere.
    Anche se hai tanti followers…
    Spero che visiterai il mio e magari anche tu mi seguirai.
    Buona giornata


  4. I translated your comment and I will try to follow you too! Sometimes when on a non-English site it is harder to find the following button. I enjoy blogging and meeting new people. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Thanks, Natalia, The time to try to answer all of the likes and comments is sometimes overwhelming. I will have to talk to WP and try to get a translate button on my posts.

  6. I wish I had photos from that time, but the early years we did not have cameras, later they were cumbersome and expensive to have the film made into prints. Polaroid was fun by expensive.

  7. Sorry, for the delay, WP hasn’t been notifying of comments, they used to light up so I could see them. Maine was beautiful and as a kid I was happy. I can’t remember the flies and mosquitoes being so obnoxious. And being snowed in for weeks at a time was fun.

  8. Like you, I wish I had more photos of those early days of freedom. Your schoolroom picture brought back so many memories as I sat at a desk like that with a pot-bellied stove for heat in a one-room school here in Ohio. Yes, we are telling out age, but we have learned a lot of what is really important over the years. I could write a book!

  9. Hi Gypsy Bev, I did write a book. Actually, I have written 14 and I’m not done. You should write that book! Even if no one ever reads it, you are a success. Much of the fodder for my books came from my life experiences and thankfully there are more. I remember the pot-bellied stove. Bev, who cares how old we are, under the gray hair and a few extra pounds beat that young heart that trudged through a foot of snow to get to the freezing bus. Thanks for the comment.

  10. I have written a book based on a Civil War diary and have many short stories in books…some of them about the one room school, but not one entirely about it. Those were great days and when we have our reunions, people always said that the one thing we learned was respect for each other and our teachers. I only lived a mile from school so trudged through that snow all the way. No bus for me!
    We have to keep writing as thinking young.

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