There are so few photos of mom before polio – I love seeing them. I do have to ask, as a kid who regularly got in to massive amounts of trouble from both Mom and Grandma for climbing things and leaving for day long horse rides without saying where I was going – why did I get in so much trouble since clearly this is a generational issue? One I have passed down to the next girl in our generational line as well (ok, as the parent of that one I can see how sometimes it can be a bit worrisome).
About 1943, Percy built a big new garage and near it a nice new bunkhouse. The garage has an upstairs in it so it is quite high. When he was shingling the roof, Marshall as usual was right beside him trying to help. They heard a little voice and looked around and there was three year old Margi at the top of the long ladder climbing onto the roof too. Marshall was nearest her so Percy told him to grab her and hold her until he got there. As soon as Marshall did, he got an awful scape on his hands. Margi fought to come onto the roof too. Poor old Robert stood at the foot of the ladder wringing his hands and crying “Oh my God” over and over. They got her down safely. Another time I checked to see where she was and could get an answer quite close but couldn’t see her. She was only two and a half years old then but had climbed to the top of one of my very tall trees she had her arm around it, standing there looking down at me. Another time I found her on the roof of Annie’s two story house. As I said before, Margi was an extremely lively child. One night when she was about two years old, we had a very busy day branding. That evening she was watching the boys put iodine etc on all the wounds from wrestling calves etc. Percy and Clarence had to go out to do some more riding after supper and after I got the kids to bed and to sleep (I thought), I also hit the hay and went sound asleep. When Percy came in, there was Margi sitting in the kitchen all by herself dabbing iodine on herself here and there and she also had the little aspirin bottle beside her with the top off. Our medicine cabinet was in a place where I had to climb on a chair and reach over the ridge to get into it. How she ever climbed up to it I’ll never know and I certainly put in a bad night worrying about her, but she was fine, thank goodness.
We decided to turn our lean to eating area into a kitchen as it was three steps down from our tiny kitchen and the steps proved very awkward. Mr. Mervin Wallace, the carpenter, came out and he built that kitchen with loving care. I was so proud of it, it was beautiful and quite convenient but could have been larger. it was all white and blue with accents of red here and there. It had a long low window in the west and I made cottage style curtains out of white and blue polka dot material with a wide border of white eyelet embroidery. By now I had a gas-served refrigerator. Mr. Wallace also built me a sun porch for my houseplants. From 3:30 on in the afternoon, I used to just wear a hole in that window watching for the kids to come riding out from the bush at Nicoll’s field a mile or so west of us. I would always have a dish of dessert or a bowl of soup waiting for them and would listen to them unload all the problems of the day, then all was forgotten and the real enjoyment of the day would begin for them. Each one to his or her liking, such as curling up with a good book to read or outside to play. The school was now called Jumping Pound School and it had the misfortune of having a succession of teachers such as a new one every few weeks for a while. It was all very hard on the children. We live only five miles from Brushy Ridge School where Mrs. Callaway, an exceptionally talented teacher, was teaching.