Saturday, May 12, 2012

Aunt Eleanor's Journal, February 5, 1982

It looks like a may have missed one of my great aunt's entries in her journal.

Feb. 5, 1982 in the afternoon

Shall write a few more lines. Ron was here and had his lunch and I my breakfast. It is a new little plan we have that on Fridays he comes to keep me company on his lunch break. That is nice of him. Rather cold out To go on with my little tale, life must go on. I had four little ones to care for and in a way it was a blessing, it gave me something to strive for. The W.P.A. gave me a settlement and a monthly check. Not much but enough that I bought two acres from the church and had enough left over to get the material for the house. The neighbors pitched in and moved our little shack up on the land so I could be there and cook for them when they worked. They cleared off a space for the house and they dug for the basement, layed the foundation. Then there was a lull when they got their fall work done. The lumber for the house was all delivered so we had piles of lumber all around. It was such a beautiful fall and no one gave a thot to bad weather. The little shack didn’t even have a door in it just a screen door and I had a rug hanging over it to keep the night chill out. Came Nov. 10th and we had a cool misty day but it still wasn’t cold. Early in the morning of Nov. 11 I woke up and could feel it was getting mighty chilly. I looked out and it was snowing and blowing my rug was almost blown off the screen door, the wood pile was covered with snow and the fire was out in the heater. Cold! scary! what to do? First I got a hammer and nails and tacked the rung unto the screen door and then shoveled the snow out that had blown in to the kitchen part. Built a fire in the kitchen stove and heater, put an extra blanket on the door and prepared breakfast. Edward and Leola went out to bring in some more wood but the snow had covered our wood supply so thoroughly they couldn’t get it. I made myself some mittens our of a pr. of heavy wool socks and made another pr to put outside them form an old denim overall and went out in that blizzard and dug out wood and carried in into the shack till we had enough to keep the fires going. Then I had to get water and that was quite a task as I had to get it from the pump at my neighbors that was Raymond & Helen place across the highway I waded thru the snow drifts, making my own trail and each time I went it had blown in till there was no sign of my trail, I made abut six or seven trips and I was truly exhausted but by nightfall I had my brood snug and warm with water enough to extinguish a fire should it start. I will never forget that day. I breathed a prayer of thanksgiving for strength and ability to do what had to be done. It was two days before anyone could get up to see if we were O.K. And it was my brother-in-law Oscar Peterson who came. We had no phone so no one could call to see it we were all right. This was the never to be forgotten Armistis Day blizzard of 1940. Many people lost their lives in that storm.

Needless to say that put an end to all the building for that year. Oscar saw to it that a real door replace the blanket and rug covered screen door. We spent the winter in that little shack, snug and warm even tho the water pail would often have ice on it in the morning in that little kitchen.

On March 28 that spring we had another big blizzard but we were better prepared for that one.

The house building was at a standstill all the next summer till fall then the neighbors came and the building began. Oscar was very faithful and many of my other neighbors helped. Pastor Mastid put many hours of work on that house. They had it all closed in with the windows and all before winter set it but it wasn’t finished inside so rather than spending another winter in the shack we went down to Grandma Stoutenburgs and stayed till spring. We moved back to the shack around the 1st of April. Edward was confirmed that month. The day before his confirmation Max got sick and I had to stay at home with him. He had a high fever and couldn’t keep anything down that he would eat. The next day I got a terrific earache, it got bad that Raymond who lived right across the highway thot I’d better get into see the Dr. and he took us {Max and me} in to the Hosp. In Pine River and there we were put to bed. Max had pneumonia and I had a very bad ear infection in both ears. We spent two weeks in the hosp. Max was a very sick boy and I got so dizzy and unbalanced I couldn’t even walk straight. Emma and Grace came in and took turns taking care of Max. Pastor Mastid came to see us and prayed for Max so did many others and our prayers were answered, he did recover and when we left the hosp. we went to stay with Grace and Oscar so they could take care of us. Edward, Leola & Dianne stayed at Grandma’s. It took a couple of weeks before my ears got better and my dizziness left. Then we went back home. In that time Oscar and others had worked on the house so we could move in. It was far from finished be we were so happy to move into it. The second world war was being fought and defense plants were calling for people to come to work so that fall we moved to Mpls. and I got work in a defense plant. Bertan and Uncle Fuzz had moved down too and we rented a house. They lived downstairs and we lived upstairs. It was that winter that Dianne got the mumps and then she gave them to Edward and then I got them. We were a sick household. Leola didn’t move with us she stayed with Grandma Stoutenburg who was living in Pine River. She came down and spent Christmas with us. We stayed in Mpls till the next fall then all the children wanted to go back to Swanburg so we did. Edward and I put insolation in and layed the floor in upstairs and made the house more livable. Leola went back to stay with Grandma June and Joyce who had moved to Mpls. The next year Dianne went to stay with them, and Leola stayed at home.

We had quite a struggle getting enough wood to keep the old barrel stove going. First Edward and I worked at it, we managed it for one winter than after he graduated from high school he went to Mpls. to work the next year it was Leola and I who tried it, we stuck at it till after Christmas then I decided it was a little too much and I got an oil burner. Life was easier then. It isn’t easy to go out in the woods find and old dead tree, cut it down saw it into lengths short enough that we could drag it to the house then saw it up into stove length pieces chop in half and carry it into the house and also plot it up for the cook stove. Whew! That was work.

It was about this time that I started to go deer hunting in the fall. That was really a fun time of the year. To walk in the woods in the fall all by yourself somehow draws you closer to your creator. He seems very close then. And all nature speaks of Him.

Days passed in to years. Edward went into the service. Leola graduated almost. But then decided to do otherwise. Caused me several uneasy nights and then she got married, after some time my first grandchild came to brighten our days, that was Jan. 13, 1951, that spring, Herb was drafted into the Army and in June that year I moved to Mpls. so I could take care of Carole so Leola could work. Dianne went to New York to spend the summer with Joyce and Pat. We rented an upstairs of a house and I moved some of my furniture down We got settled, when Dianne came back from New York she was very disappointed in the place and she also dreaded changing schools. But it wasn’t long till she made new friends at North high. Max was confirmed down here. I joined the choir at the church where he was confirmed. That I enjoyed. I always did belong to the choirs in the churches I attended. I loved to sing.

After Christmas that year Bertha’s daughters Maribelle and Patsy came and stayed with us and shortly after they came George {Maribelles husband} came. They stayed there with Dianne and Max. Leola, Carol and I went to New York City to visit Joyce and Pat. We stayed there five weeks. Edward was there too so we had quite a reunion.

When we came back home George, Maribelle and Patsy moved away.

On April 27, 1952 Terry Jean joined our gang. Edward also had returned so we were kind of bulging at the seams in that upstairs apt. But we went merrily along. Leola went back to work after Terry was born but had to quit because of her health. Dianne got a job and so did Edward. Summer passed, fall came and Dianne and Max went to school. Seems that Carol and Terry were sick a good part of that winter. I got a job working nites at a place on the North side I don’t even know what the name was. Any way time passed on and another spring came. Dianne Graduated and Herb came home from Japan where he had served while in the Army. They got a place in Coon Rapids. Edward and June were married and Max went to stay with June and Jerry. I moved in with Helen Church and got a job at Sears. Dianne went out to Montana. So the family scattered. I stayed with Helen until after Christmas then I got an apt. at 920 E. 19 St. and Max came to live with me. He was going to school at South High. This was 1953 and on Oct. 31 that year my first Grandson was born. Edward Barnum the 4th He was a premature baby and had to stay in the hosp. for quite some time. Such a little mite he was but he grew up to be a handsome man, so he did.

The next summer Dianne was married but that marriage didn’t work out and Dianne came home. Leola had moved back into Mpls. and on Oct. 30, 1954 they welcomed Steven Mark into their brood. And on Dec. 21, my Patti Wats was born. To Dianne How my family is growing.

This little story is drawing to a close. Not much more to report but I will leave the rest till another time

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