I remember Mama telling about when Ray had that abscess that Lloyd told about in his writings. She was afraid that Ray would not live. As I remember he would not eat hardly anything. So Mammy Woods put a chicken in a jar (for canning) without water and sealed it then put the jar in a large pot of water and cooked it. Then she fed Ray a few sips of the broth at a time. Mama felt that the nourishment from that chicken broth was important in Ray surviving.
One of the things that I remember enjoying on a cold day was eating pecans sitting next to the outside of the fireplace at our old house that was torn down after WW II. Our house faced
south and the fireplace was on the east side and because the
house was "L" shaped the north & west wind was blocked.
It was quite cozy up in that corner.
I am enjoying all this remembering so very much. I hope any and all of you
will share your memories with the rest of us.
have written Lloyd and thanked him for writing his memories.
is all so interesting.
I didn't know that Uncle Jim had a nickname for Daddy. I suppose that's what "Si" is or else your fingers hit the wrong key. If it's a nickname do you know how it got started or if anyone but Uncle Jim that used it. I don't recall ever hearing it before. But then I am so much younger than you. ha ha
response to my question about Daddy being called "Si" by Uncle Jim, Lloyd wrote:
ITS NO MISTAKE, DO NOT KNOW HOW IT GOT STARTED. NO ONEelse used it. I do
not know what it means. Now it’s too late to find out.
on writing as you can.
my love to Mildred
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Memories of April
Recently while reading
the Biography of Ruth Belle Graham I came across a statement she made about a painter who was at Warm
Springs, GA doing a portrait of FDR when he died on April 12, 1945.
That started the wheels
of my memory turning.
It was necessary for
Sis to have surgery that spring. She had all three of her boys and needed someone to take care of them
while she had her surgery. Of course Mama always took care of her daughters when there was a need. While she was at Sis's Bo and I were left by ourselves.
Since it was April
the garden had to be planted. I'm not sure where he got them but Bo got some tomato and I think some onion
plants. In the evening after school we planted the garden. I don't know what all we planted
but I am sure of the tomatoes and almost sure about the onions. It had been arranged, by some means that
I can't remember, that Mrs. Kelly would come on a certain day to help us with the plants. On that day
she came around the road instead of coming through the field. As she passed Charlie
and Blanche's they stopped her to tell her about FDR's death. It is one of those things that made such
an imprint that I will never forget it.
There was at least
one cow that had to be milked before school and after school. While I got us some kind of breakfast together
I believe Bo milked the cow. We were ready when the school bus came for us.
I remember Harold
Gene spending the night with Bo one night and then I think Bo spent a night with him. I stayed with Blanche
that night. She didn't think I should be by myself. In fact I don't think she thought Bo and I should be by ourselves. I was 16 years old and Bo was not quite 15 years old. But Mama trusted
us and we would not have disappointed her for
I don't know just
how long Mama was gone to Sis's but when she came home she brought Terry with her. He had his 1st birthday,
May 23, while he was with us. If I'm right Kenneth would have been 4 yrs old and Mike would have been 3 yrs. old. Sis could manage with Kenneth and Mike but could not pick up Terry so it
was necessary for Mama to bring him with her.
I've checked with
Rita about whether Ray was still in the Navy at that time. He was. Ray had some leave and he and Rita
came home while we had Terry. Terry began trying to walk and it was very funny to watch him. He would try to stand up out in the middle of the floor without holding onto anything, of course he
didn't always make it. Ray would get tickled watching him. He said it looked like Terry had a brick in
Most of you will not
know where Sis and Cleo lived at that time. They lived in the Houston
area. I believe it was in JacintoCity
which is on the northeast side of Houston. I don't know how
Mama got down there nor how she got home. But I do remember that Nell and I took Terry home on the Greyhound Bus. I asked Nell where she was at that time and she was working at Hughes Tool in Houston.
So, I guess she came home to visit and we took Terry back home.
Life is an adventure.
As I look back I am so thankful for all the blessings that have been ours. God has blessed us in so many
ways. We had a home and food to eat. Of course there were hard times and I don't remember
the worst of those. Still we can be thankful for so many ways in which God blessed us. The journey isn't
Date: Saturday, July 19, 2003
Memories of 1946
I have enjoyed the
things Lloyd has written about the early years of our family. So, I decided to delve into the reservoir
of my murky memories.
Several years ago
on Tommy's birthday instead of sending him a birthday card I wrote and told him what I had to do when
he was born. His death brought it to my mind. I asked Nell if she minded me sharing it with the family. She said, "No". I thought I had saved it but can't find it now so I will try to remember
the way things were and rewrite it.
Nell was living in
the Houston area at the time of Tommy's birth. That was the
summer of 1946. Ray had torn down the old house and was building a new house. For the nieces and nephews
that "new" house is the one that most of you will remember. Mama went to Nell's to be with her after Tommy's birth and take care of that new grandson.
Let me set the stage:
With the house torn down we had to live in the smoke house, the barn, the chicken house, the potato house
and under the pecan tree. We didn't use the chicken house but one night because there were
mites in it and you do not stay anywhere there are mites. They cause absolute misery.
The stove was a three
burner coal oil stove and it was in the smoke house. The only light in the smoke house was through cracks
in the wall and the open door unless you lit an oil lamp. Needless to say it was hot in
there, after all it is hot in August. The dinner table was under the pecan tree as was a bed.
I cannot remember
where each one slept but I think Mama slept under the pecan tree. For the life of me, I can't remember
where I slept but I think Bo slept in the barn.
At the time Mama went
to be with Nell Rita was staying with Mrs Nannie Williams. She and Ray had a pretty little girl born in
July that only lived a few days. While she was recuperating after leaving the hospital she
stayed with Mrs Nannie.
So, guess what, I
had to cook for Ray and the men (and Bo) who were helping Ray to build the house. Now, this was
1946 and I was born in 1929 so I was just 17. I had helped Mama in the kitchen but I was not interested
in learning how to cook. I did what I was told to do and that was about it.
Ray had several men
that helped him. I probably won't remember them all. But I know Uncle Willis and Mr Lewis Brooks helped
and maybe Cousin Jess Brooks helped some. And Bo was the "go-fer". He did a little of a lot of things and probably a lot of some things.
I remember catching
Old John one morning and riding him about a mile to a pea patch that Ray had in a rented field on
the old Dunn place. I picked enough peas for dinner went
home shelled them and cooked them for dinner. I don't remember everything that I cooked but I do remember
that it had to be done and I didn't feel like I knew how to do it very well. I know I made
biscuits one day and had fried chicken and gravy. Uncle Willis was helping that day and he told me it
was good. Whether it was are not his compliment made me feel good. We ate under the pecan tree. I don't
remember that it rained during all that time. Mama was so happy with that house. The
floor plan was taken from a farm magazine. It served the family well.
And then there were
the dirty clothes. Our running water was what ran from the spring down through the pasture in the "branch".
To do the wash you took the clothes to the spring, built a fire under the washpot and filled
it with water. There were two washtubs that had to be filled also. To fill those tubs meant that you used
buckets to dip the water out of the spring and carry it to the washpot and tubs. That was just to get
everything ready for the real work. Doing the wash was a back breaking chore that
included scrubbing some of the clothes on a washboard, boiling some in the washpot and then all of them
had to be rinsed through at least two tubs of clean water. And of course they had to be hung on the clothesline and some were hung over the fence wire. And boy o boy, you sure had to watch out for
the grass burrs. They were bad between the washbench and the fence where we hung things. And they sure
did hurt when you stepped on them. Of course the dry clothes had to be brought to the "house",
the pecan tree, and then folded up and put away.
I certainly was glad
to see Mama when she came home. Even though I was faced with some challenges I have fond memories of that
summer. I'm sure Bo's memories are different from mine. But for what they are worth here they are.
Patsy Woods Byerly
I remember everything about the same as you. Seems I remember
we moved the stove out under the tree and cooked there when the weather was good. Cousin Jess Brooks helped on the house.
He built most all the window and door frames. I did sleep in the barn up in the hay loft. Bo