Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 4, 2008

We were sorry to hear of the passing of Carlene Reed and Eunice Schenk. They were both special women and we will certainly miss them.
I have broken something that I have never broken before. I broke the arms on my bale bed. I thought that I had really done it this time- but after talking to others this is a common occurrence. Come to find out that I could have broken them completely off. That would not have made me a ‘happy camper’. It was nice not to be the only one who was ever done this- It is a little embarrassing to go to get a broken item fixed then having to explain how it happened.
But sometimes don’t you think that there are things that are just made-to-sell? They are not the least concerned with the quality or if it will work the way it is supposed to. I have found that I can normally break most things and if I do not break them, I can melt them. In the kitchen, I have broken more plates, cups, and utensils than most people have ever owned. And who got the idea about making cooking utensils out of plastic? I have melted almost every piece of “Tupperware” and “Rubbermaid’ ever made. My family has learned is when they smell the familiar aroma of searing plastic, they know that once again the measuring cups are too close the stove. I know that you are thinking that I should just use metal cookware- Well, metal- rusts, bend, and can be crushed. If you have a bent up measuring cup, is it still the correct amount that it is suppose to be? And those cups may not melt but they can still burn marks into your counters, and tabletops. One of my favorite’s kitchen items is my beautiful wooden rolling pin that Larry Harvey made for me. It is almost too pretty to use- but I do. I have yet to burn it, dent it, or break off the handles. This makes me think that if you want something really good, you have to either make it yourself- or find someone who can do the job, who knows how to build something they can be proud of. Or at least that how it is with this country gal.
Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 11, 2008
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about communication. Well, maybe more accurately the lack of communication. There really is no excuse for not visiting or expressing our feelings, since we have so many different avenues to correspond. There are many more ways to communicate than our grandparents had. I am assuming that the caveman wrote on a rock and threw it. Maybe this was the first air-mail- I would guess that there would have been many ‘return to the sender’ rocks. The carrier pigeon was an interesting way to send messages - this worked ok- unless it was foggy out and pigeons can not find their way in the fog. Or unless, it was pigeon season and some hunter would shoot him out of the sky. And I am sure that almost everything eats a pigeon. So that was a flawed tactic.
The pony express was good- the horses would tire and the riders were far and few between. I always thought that being a pony express rider would be quite an adventure.
Then we had the telegraph. The telegraph was a way that those who had moved far from family could correspond with each other but was used mostly for the emergencies that had occurred. I think that is when the thinking that a telegram was a bad omen.
The telephone was something that astounded the public. When my granddad moved from his beloved State of Virginia he did not get to hear his mother’s voice until several years later when he took his family back for a visit. Now we have families who move across the ocean and they can not only talk, but they can send video back and forth.
Radio and television are remarkable to tell and find out all kinds of information. This does not even cover the CB’s- two- ways- and business band radios and now the fax machines, cell phones, internet along with e-mail, satellite radio and television. Can you imagine trying to explain the internet to our grandparents? They were thinking that the telephone was a fad. For me, this would be an impossible task as I have no earthly idea how or why it works. Just makes me wonder what is next?

Country Gal by Vanita Blundell March 18, 2008
We were so sad to hear that Elizabeth Adams passed away this week. I did not know Elizabeth well, but the times I had visited with her I found her witty and a wonderful sense of humor as well as an intelligent lady. I know her family will certainly miss her and there will be a hole in their hearts that never can be filled.
According to the calendar this week the long-awaited spring begins. I think this year everyone is ready to see the spring colors of the crocus, tulips and daffodils. There is a slight tinge of green in the pastures- the cattle are as anxious as we are to see the warmer weather begin.
The first day of spring reminds our family of dad’s birthday. I have been thinking a lot of dad accomplishments. Everyone thinks that their dad was extra special and I am no different. My dad worked so hard to get what little he had, so everything that he did acquire we want to keep. There is an eighty acre pasture that he bought and his dad told him that he would never live long enough to pay it off. Times got better and he paid it off. And later on the purchased the Alley land, his grandparents place. At the ‘Eighty’ dad’s parents, Neil and Elizabeth, lived their last days there. A few years after Grandma had died of cancer, granddad caught his house on fire and because of the location and not having the fire fighting equipment we have now - he died as a result of the fire. This pasture is in the middle of a section and it is difficult to get to. Getting there was always an adventure. There was a creek that we had to cross and we always got stuck- well-- not always -but it was not uncommon to get wet when getting to the pasture. Over thirty-five years ago we had to find another route, since the beavers have dammed the creek up, it is a huge swamp and impossible to cross. When I was a little girl, the ‘Eighty’ was the place where dad kept his horses. When we would finally get there dad would honk the pickup horn and the horses would appear. Oh, it would do your heart so much good to see those beautiful animals running out of the trees. We had all different colors- sorrels, bays, and one with a glass eye. Dad had a very small fruit orchard there for a while. In the summer he would bring Mom peaches to put up. My mother was a wonderful cook and homemaker, but she hated to can anything. And in moms defense, he would bring her some fruit that was not in the best conditions- buggy- wormy- and sometimes it was more seed than fruit. When he kept the horses there, they took care of the fruit trees. Now we love to go down to the ‘Eighty” and picnic and make memories with our kids. Dad had a pond built there- due to the help of our good neighbor John Deewall. We had run out of water and John helped Dad get the help he needed to get a pond dug for the cattle. So our kids have good memories of going down there to skate on the ice. They did not actually skate- but rather slide around on the ice. Then we would build a fire to warm up to and if we were not completely frozen we would cook some hot dogs. In the summer we could fish and picnic there, as well. Once on Mothers Day we had a picnic there, with Mom and Dad - we had an extra good time. It was really special day- Not knowing that the next day Dad would have had a heart attack. But it was a good memory and maybe sometime in the far away future we will be making memories with our grandkids. Mom has had several offers to sell this piece of ground, but there are things that money will never be able to buy.

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