Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Is For Aunt Esther

Here's an old photo circa 1952/53.

The little girl with the long black hair is yours truly and the lady laughing is my sister-in-law Esther who was waitingfor Carl to finish Air Force duty so that she could marry him. That was back when we still had that beautiful collie dog. And before my father tore off the back porch and summer kitchen to build a family room and big garage addition to our Sears four square house. The summer kitchen is to the left. This is where we would dress butchered pigs in the winter and can food in the summer on the big black and chrome wood stove.You can see in the photo a reguler barn sliding door on this summer kitchen. That was to make it easy for delivery of all the firewood that big old wood stove used when it was in operation. There was a narrow curved staircase that led to a low ceiling attic in the the summer kitchen and that's where my mom stored all her canning jars and extra junk. I always was a little squeamish up in that attic because I had heard my father say that long ago a man had hanged himself up in that attic.

The porch connected the summer kitchen to the main house. It didn't have glass windows---just screens. It was very cold in the winter and but very nice in the summer. When a rain would cancel a day in the field my father liked sitting on an old walnut church pew on the porch. Below the porch was a cistern where we collected rain water for special uses since this part of Ohio has always had very very hard well water.

Now the well was just to the side of the old summer kitchen but you can't see it in the picture. We kept a tin cup by this well and everybody used the same tin cup to get a drink from the well. But nobody got sick from drinking from the same cup. Seems strange now. When we had well problems we called Joe Voisard to come out. Joe was the local plumber and the father of one of my classmates Steve Voisard. When Joe Voisard and my father were working on the well I stayed away because both would be fired up to solve the well problem.

The porch had a hand pump for pulling rainwater up from the cistern. We did lots of pumping with that green hand pump. Mom had a mirror on the wall next to the pump. I can remember my Mom combing her hair here and then putting on her hairnet. She always wore a hairnet! This is also where Dad and the boys would wash up before coming into the main house after being out in the fields harvesting hay and straw. When we had hay making and silage making days the hired hands (local boys around Russia) would also clean up here before coming in for a big lunch of fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and at least three vegetables plus homemade bread, pie and cake. And if the field work went on till early evening we had another big meal with the same type of food for dinner. Mashed potatoes and gravy twice a day at our house in those days. LOL! And we never had a dishwasher or an automatic clothes dryer. My father always had the latest farm machinery but the house was a different story. I washed and dried many a dish behind those three windows to the far right. The view from those windows was of our old tobacco barn that my father used to store grain, the nursing cows with calves and the last horses on the farm. But that's a story for another day.

Final note: Carl and Esther's oldest son Tom and his family now reside in this turn of the century farmhouse. If walls could talk, there would be lots of stories this house could tell. Like the time my brother Harold who was a sleepwalker climbed out of the boys room bedroom and was walking around the roof of that porch in his sleep. Good thing harold was asleep because he had a fear of heights.

1 comment:

clairz said...

This is a lovely memory and it really summons up the old days. Thank you for sharing it. I love the photo, too. I used to live in a four square house in Washington state.

Very evocative post!