Friday, August 5, 2011

Aunt Eleanor's Journal, January 24, 1982

Aunt Eleanor's entry of January 24th is much longer than the previous entries. This is the first part. I will post the second part another day.

Jan. 24, 1982, Sunday afternoon.

We are just getting shoveled out after 2 days of blizzard. Ron {bless his heart} got his car out of the garage after much shoveling, and he and Pati and Jo Jo Nicholas and Katie came and picked me up and we all went to Sunday School and church. Now I’m back home and ready to write some more. We were cozy in our little house, but the depression was steadily getting worse. I remember that Christmas in 1929 I too, Edward’s Teddy bear and made a little clown suit for it out of some green and white material I had and then we got a little German Shepherd puppy and that was Edward’s Christmas gifts from us. Someone else gave him some blocks. The puppy was a cute fuzzy little thing and Edward called it Kiki. I guess he tried to say Kitty. But Kiki it was and that little puppy grew to be a great big dog and I do mean big, also useful. More about him later.

That next winter Edward played with his blocks and he got so he knew the alphabet even started to know little words. I had time to spend with him and he was a good little student. The winter passed but not without a tragedy striking twice. Both sister Leola and sister Bernice died that winter Leola in Jan. and Bernice, in April. I missed them but learned that life must go on. Edward was so attached to Leola when he was with her. He called her Aunt Poli. That was in 1930-31 and Edward had another outfit made for his Teddy bear and a harness for Kiki. We would hitch Kiki to the sled and he would pull Edward all over the place, he would also pull 8 gallons of water from the pump to the house for me. That came in handy on wash days. This was the winter we traded our electric radio for $10.00 worth of feed for the cattle. That didn’t last long so little by little Grandpa Stoutenburg had to sell or give away his sheep and cattle herd as there was nothing to feed them. He had about 12 cows left and no sheep but we struggle on, always had enough to each, tho the wardrobes were getting pretty skimpy. In the summer of 31 we found out a new little someone would be joining our family and that gave us something to look forward to. Besides we needed more room so we got some lumber, I don’t know from whence it came but we built a bedroom unto our little house and we opened an account with Sears and bought a bed, dresser, and bedspread, a yellow one. Mother made curtains for the windows and gave us rugs for the floor and there we were all fixed up. I can’t remember what that Christmas was like, but things were getting better the crops improved so there was plenty of hay for the cattle and Grandpa had got a contract to cut pulpwood. He had two young men hired Oscar and Billy Puttin {not sure of that last name}. So the men in the family were busy and there was a little money coming in.

On the 10th of March 1932 our expected some one turned out to be a golden haired little girl and we named her Leola Jean. Daddy called her his million dollar baby. Edward thot she was pretty special and so did the Mother. When she was 3 months old I started to make a dress for her out of some colored material. Up till that time babies were dressed in white. So this was supposed to be her first colored dress and it took me so long to finish it that when it was done Leola had out grown it. It ended up as a dolls dress. Things would have been pretty tough I’m afraid clothes wise if it hadn’t been for my sisters Grace and Em and my Mother. They were always there giving me a helping hand. In the summer after Leola was born Mother got arthritis in her hands it got so bad she couldn’t do any crocheting, sewing or even her work like washing and ironing. We had to help her. She never could lift or hold Leola. That lasted for about a year and then she was alright again. All this time there was something that was bothering me. I had been brought up knowing that parents were responsible for the Christian upbringing of their children. We believed in the baptizm of children and here I had Edward aged 5 years and Leola 1 years old who had never been baptized. It weighed on my conscience till I finally had to talk to Daddy about it tho I know he would not agree. He objected and I insisted till there was no harmony in the household, I went ahead and made arrangements to have it done at my sister Em’s house on a Sunday by a Methodist minister who was in Swanburg and was going to baptized the children of my cousin Mable Stevens’ family. Well Saturday came along and Daddy had not agreed, in fact he threatened to disrupt the whole service. I said “I can’t help it do whatever you want to, but Edward and Leola will be baptized. I can have no peace of mind until I have it done. Daddy was very angry and he left the house and went into the woods. This was in the morning and he never came back until evening. I kept on praying all day asking God to speak to his soul, to change his mind. When he came home he came and put his arms around me and said we will have them baptized and we both wept. The next day he went along and for the first time in his life he witnessed a baptizm. That was the start of a changed life, God worked in our hearts several more years. Prayer can change lives.

To be continued...

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