Saturday, August 6, 2011

Aunt Eleanor's Journal, January 24, 1982 Continued

This part of Aunt Eleanor's entry talks more about the Depression.

When Leola was 3 years 3 months old a little doll came to join our family and that was Dianne Bernice. She was such a good baby that Grandpa Stoutenburg used to say I abused her cause she never got any attention. Of course that wasn’t so, she got attention but she was a very contented baby who liked her thumb. Now in 1982 I have a great granddaughter who is very much like her. Thats Katie. Leola liked her sister and tried to hold her. One day I was in the kitchen and from the corner of my eye I saw Leola in the doorway going to the living room and thot that she was holding her doll instead she had Dianne. I quickly crossed the room and took her.

We had made another move too so Dianne was not born in the house that Leola was born in. My did we move around and each time we moved we had accumalated more things to move. This house that we lived in was about ¼ of a mile north of the highway. We had quite a big fenced in pasture so we kept the horses and the cattle there. Grandpa and Grandma moved from the farm they had lived on and build a home on land they had bought but didn’t have a barn for the cattle.

Mother used to take card of Dianne every time we went to a ball game so I could stand and yell my head off and razz the rival team. It sure was a help to me, not to have to sit in the car and hold Dianne. The fall after Dianne was born a man named John Dehaan came to Swanburg. He was a graduate of Northwestern Seminary and was up there to see if he could organize a Lutheran Church there. He went from house to house and got enough signatures to present to the Synod and went back to Mpls. and it was decided they would accept us into the Synod. We gave him a call and that was the beginning of Faith Lutheran Church in Swanburg. But before this all was settled we lost our dear Mother. On Nov. 1st 1935 right after she had gone to bed she took her last breath. No struggle, just peacefully passed into eternity. It was such a shock to all of us. She had been so active always ready to give us a helping hand when we need it. Oh! How we miss her. Paster Dehaan came back and we had service in the School house. He and his wife lived in a cottage on Trout Lake and that first winter he would walk up to the school house Sunday mornings, build a fire and have it warmed up by the time the little congregation arrive. The collections were very small but he never said a word about that. The people used to have food showers for them and they managed.

The summer of 1936 was a dry summer and there was a great danger of fires. One Sunday when we were at that little school house for the Service a man came to the door asking for volunteers a fire had started up north and they needed every man that was able. Pastor Dehaan closed the service and joined the men who went. The ladies and children went home. Here I was with 3 little ones and I could see smoke rolling up just north of where we lived. The horses were in that fenced in pasture and the wind was blowing from the north. I was pretty worried and I didn’t know what to do. Pretty soon a truckfull of men came down from the north and yelled “get out we can’t do anything with that fire up there and you are right in its path.” I was plenty scared but I prayed for guidance and stayed put. The ashes from that fire was falling right in our yard but I knew that Daddy was up there with others too so I waited and prayed and soon Daddy came he said stay right here we are going to stop that fire don’t be scared. He got some more men went back up to the fire line. They fought that fire all nite, and for several days the women cooked coffee, made sandwitches and took it up to the men. It took several days before they got it under control. That was a close call I’d say.

We lived at that place until the fall of 1937 then we got rid of all the cattle except a couple of cows and Grandpa took those down to his place and we moved into a house on the highway. Daddy was working on the W.P.A. work force and we were getting monthly paychecks it wasn’t much but we survived. By this time we knew another one would join our little family. It was just shortly before we moved that Dianne who had always been so good decided to be a run away I had to watch constantly or off she would go. We had a little dog named Sally who would follow Dianne around. One day I went out to check on her and she was no where in sight I called & called but no Dianne then I whistled for Sally and pretty soon she came out of the woods on the east side of the road but no Dianne I watched and pretty soon she dashed back into the woods I ran after her but she disappeared so I had to whistle again and she came back we did this three or four times till I found Dianne she was about ¼ of a mile into that woods. We sure treasured that Sally dog but when we moved to that other place something happened to Sally she got sick and couldn’t eat and one day she was gone and we never saw her again. We thot that she must have found some poison and eaten it. To be continued.
To be continued...

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