This is a continuing story that my mother wrote to our daughter
when she was little. For the previous entry, look here:
“Cows are rather dumb creatures. I mean stupid, of course they are
dumb (can’t talk). I never paid much attention to the cows we had except . . .
one little black and white one that was my very own since she was a baby.
Her name was Daisy.
After that night on the mountain we got a dog whom we trained to go for
the cows. We would just say, ‘go get the cows, Rex’ and off he’d go and
after awhile come back driving them slowly and safely to the barn. We
would hear his ‘Arf! Arf!’ bark and the dong-dong sound of the cow bell
in the quiet summer night.
How we got Rex is the next story but first I want to tell you of another
summer fun thing we used to do. On the hot, hot summer nights we would
all sit outside for a while. If there were a lot of mosquitoes my Father would
make a ‘smudge-fire’ of wood chips with grass sprinkled over it. This made
a light smoke that the mosquitoes did not like and would keep them away
from us. While the grown-ups talked or sang we children would catch
fire-flies in the grass and put them in a glass jar. We thought they gave a
lot of light.
There was a big war in Europe after a while and our country entered it. I
only remember a few things about it. I know we all rode in the two-seater
buggy one day to Glens Falls and saw a parade with a lot of soldiers in it.
It was fifty miles to Glens Falls so we went there on one day, stayed all night
at my uncle’s house and came home the next day.
Then I remember my brother Francis went to be in the war. He was only
seventeen and after he got all the way to Texas they found out he was not
eighteen and sent him home. He hitch-hiked most of the way but somewhere
he stopped and worked enough to buy a bicycle and came the rest of the way
I remember the flour and sugar we could buy then was quite dark, unrefined.
That was because most of the factories were busy making war goods.
And a lot of people caught influenza and were very sick–some died. I was
very sick in bed and one day my Father came bringing me home this tiny,
furry, black and white puppy and put it on my bed. That was Rex. He
became a wonderful dog. He was very intelligent and could even smile!
He became a very important member of the family and he knew it, too!”
to be continued . . .