Monday, June 1, 2015

Mondays With Mary

As I read other blogs, I find lots and lots of illiteration for daily prompts. Wordless Wednesday, Tombstone Thursday, Sibling Saturday are a few.

Thus, I am starting my own special feature called Mondays With Mary.  This will be my first entry, and I have not yet decided how I will differentiate them but I am sure something will come to me.

My mom, Mary, kept a journal...of sorts. She wrote on free calendars that showed one week at a time. These were given out by the local grocery story or feed supply company as customer appreciation gifts around Christmas time.  Because the calendar showed one week at a time, she had about 5 lines to write the most pertinent events of the day. For example:

Tuesday, October 29, 1968
     28* this morning
     beautiful day-washed
     picked 8 load of corn-corn
     in w field 24-25%-Mom went to see
     Aunt Carrie-Ada called about Marvin

Then in the margin she added:  Beaver for supper, Mom had an accident

( I will write more explanation on the above later. You might especially be curious about Beaver for supper. Also, I don't know where the degrees symbol is on my keyboard so I substituted *)

Mom kept these calendars from April 1966 - November 26, 2003. In her last entry she mentioned that she didn't feel well. She died a week later.

Since starting this blog, it occurred to me that these calendars might provide a source of family information.  Imagine 37 years at 365 days per year comes to about 12,505 entries such as;

Thursday, January 5, 1967
     washed-sorted hogs
     sold 31 butchers-2 sows
     moved calves to n. lot
     fat cattle to s. lot
     went to Carls for supper-SE wind and cold.

Yes, it could get a little boring unless you are really into the weather.  However, with closer observation and thought, I realized the daily existence of the great-grandparents of my grandchildren could be quite a treasure. They might never have known how their rural grandparents lived. I am going to experiment with these 12,000 plus entries of weather, farm work and family interactions for them. And to my cousins, don't be surprised if you turn up in her jottings.

Expanded Explanations on Episodes of Existence
(Sorry.... I just love illiteration)

As uninteresting as 28 degrees might be, it is actually kind of interesting when one looks at the days surrounding it. The temperatures were all over the place that week.  On Thursday, October 31, just two days later she says, "Up in the 80ties to-day". Fall temperatures are important due to that inevitable frost that would kill the living plants.

washed ... What could there be to say about this little word.  In 1968, my parents lived on a farm near Bagley, Iowa. My dad rented this farm for five years (1965-1969) before he bought his own farm. The washer was a wringer type machine that was used in an old cement basement.  It was old fashioned even then. Most people had regular automatic washing machines like we do today, but Mom claimed her wash was cleaner with the wringer machine. She was probably right. I just purchased a new efficient washing machine. It uses less water, less detergent and in my opinion gets the clothes less clean.

picked 8 load of corn ...This is what is done on the farm in the fall. Of course, by 1968 farmers had been using corn pickers for a long while. They did not pick corn by hand like my dad and grandfather did long ago.  Corn pickers are now a thing of the past as well. Today corn is taken from the field using a combine and is often shelled directly into a truck in the field. I assume the percentage figures are for the moisture content of the corn.  This is another important piece of information to the farmer.

Moved calves from north lot and fat cattle to south lot...They were always moving the cattle. I grew up helping move cattle. I hated moving cattle, but hated moving hogs even more.

Mom went to see Aunt Carrie...  Mom would be referring to her mother, Nina Grisso. Aunt Carrie is the wife of Eugene Vorhies, Stella Vorhies Smith's brother. (There will more on them in the future...collateral relatives)

Ada called about Marvin...   Hmmm? I don't know what this is about but I will try to find out.  Marvin was my mother's brother and Ada was his wife.

Beaver for supper...  Don't worry they didn't eat a semi-aquatic rodent. Beaver is the name of a small town near Ogden, Iowa that had a great steak house at the time.

Mom had an accident...This actually made me laugh when I read it. Grandma was NOT a good driver.  I assume she wasn't hurt.

So the above is my explanation of October 29, 1968. 

January 5, 1967 looks pretty self explanatory. If you have a question, please feel free to use the comment box below. In fact, I have actually wondered if it even works.  Hint. Hint.

And one more thing:

Happy Birthday to Mary's favorite grandson born June 1, 1971.


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