I kept very busy that fall, winter, and the next summer. We always had a large garden and patch of corn to care for, and I kept the Post Office as well. Carl had built a large lumber room on the east side of our home. I had been appointed Post Mistress for the town. The walls on the north and west sides of this room were stocked with groceries by Will Burk. This helped with our groceries as we got ours at cost. I kept this store and post office until we moved away later. It helped the people and the ranchers around, as now they could obtain many items that they otherwise would have had to go to Springerville to buy. As far as I can remember, this was the first store since Grandfather Brown ha one in the early days oh Nutrioso. This little store helped us also in many ways. It, in connection with the Post Office job was the only cash we had, mostly spent for tithing and taxes (which is as sure as death!). Occasionally I would send an order off for cloth to make clothes for tour children. Many (clothes) were made of others clothes that were given me. I sewed for the family, made everything they wore, except stockings and shoes. But I managed to keep them well dressed and clean. I did my washing on the board and did my ironing with the old "sad irons" (flat irons). I made all the bread we ate, mostly from home-ground wheat. How wholesome and sweet it was.
Across the street were the corrals. Sam and May Love's home (had) stood on this spot. ((The home had been torn down and the lot was unoccupied) There was a well on the place which had not been filled up and covered. Carl had always been intending to fill it up, but had not found time. He warned the children to stay away from it, and they had. One day at school Priscilla became ill and the teacher let her come home. I gave her some medicine and she went to sleep. All of a sudden Klea came rushing through the door into the living room. Her face was as white as snow. She said, "Mama, is Priscilla home?" I told her yes, and she broke into tears. She had been thinking of her coming home
alone, and thought she might go to the corrals and get around the well and fall in. I soon pacified her and told her Priscilla was alright and for her to go back to school. She was always worrying about her little brother and sisters. One night, not long after this, Carl got up and went to the corrals early, as usual, and found one of the horses missing. He looked all around for him and found that he had fallen into the well. No way of getting him out, he had to kill him. Then he took a team and scraper and soon had the well filled up and no danger to anyone. Thank Goodness!!
Nothing unusual happened for the next several months, only the ordinary things, daily chores and taking care of the family. Christmas came that year with the anticipation of the children looking forward to filled stockings, hung on the fireplace all in a row. Candy, nuts, and cookies, with a big red apple on top. Always a small present, dolls, ribbons for the hair, beads and other things for the girls; tops, marbles and gifts that little boys like, for Orland. Christmas carols were sung by the family, and a Christmas story told, for their enjoyment. Then to bed early so they could get up and see what Santa had brought them.
In the fall, while living there, Carl had rented some land and raised wheat on it. Will Burk was hauling wheat and putting it in the new granary Carl had built. One night he got in late and did not unload it. The next morning Will came and wanted me to come and steer the truck while he took a pole and pried it (the truck) loose. The roads were wet and muddy and during the night there had been a hard freeze. When Will came in the morning to unload the truck he had found he could not move it. He showed me how to start it, but not how to stop it. He soon had it started (pried loose from the frozen ground) and whizzing down through the 2 acre lot. I was sitting in the seat, holding the wheel and crying "woah! whoa! whoa!" Will ran by the side of the truck and put on the brakes. He had quite a laugh from this but to me it was not very laughable. I was much better scrubbing on the board than driving a Ford! That was my only attempt at driving any kind of vehicle. I left that to those who knew more about it.
Many of my memories of my Granny Hamblin involve my mother and I going to her home in Mesa to pick her up and take her somewhere. She truly never did learn how to drive. She did know how to handle a team of horses and tried to stop that truck the best way she knew how...Woah!
I like to iron (when the pile is not too large!) It is very soothing and satisfying to me to see the clothes all smooth and fresh when I am done. I would not have liked to iron with the irons below, though!
Sad irons, also called flat irons or smoothing irons, are shaped pieces of metal that are flat and polished on one side and have a handle attached to the other, created for the purpose of de-wrinkling fabric. “Sad” is an Old English word for “solid,” and the term “sad iron” is often used to distinguish the largest and heaviest of flat irons, usually 5 to 9 pounds.
The forebears to modern electric irons, these flat irons are often triangular or come to a point to make it easier to iron around buttons. The heft of a sad iron would help it hold heat, as well as to press the fabric flat. To protect fabric and surfaces from singeing, sad irons often came with metal trivets to rest on, and these are often-beautiful, intricate, and collectible examples of metalwork that were made in a myriad of designs.
Below is an example of a washboard ca. 1910, and an old galvanized wash tub. The wash board went into the tub, which was filled with very hot water. The clothes were dunked in the water, rubbed with a bar of homemade soap, scrubbed up and down on the washboard's ribbed surface, then rinsed in clear water, hung out to dry, then...the heavy sad iron! I can just imagine the sore red knuckles, dry cracked hands, and the tired back and neck when wash day was over.
I love my Maytag washer!
I also love that sweet story of my Aunt Klea, who ran all the way home from school because she was so worried about her sister falling into the well. I wonder if she stopped by the well first to peek in, or if she was too scared to do so, poor thing! I always loved it when Aunt Klea stopped by to visit with Mom. She was a very successful Avon Lady and sold Mom products at 40% off. Let me tell you, we had tons of those Avon figurine type bottles full of Wild Country cologne for men and all of the women's fragrances. She always made me feel so loved and special. She would bring tiny lipstick samples for my sister and me, and all of those pretty little scented soaps. I enjoyed visiting her at her house too, which was on N. Beverly St., just west of Westwood High School. After Dee and I were married, we lived in a tiny studio apartment in Flagstaff, AZ while Dee attended a semester at NAU. We had nowhere to put our boxes of wedding gifts from our reception in Mesa, so Aunt Klea gladly took them for us and kept them in her home in a spare bedroom. She was a very generous soul.
Next time we enter a new decade, the Roaring Twenties!