Election Day; or, Papa, What’s a poll tax?

Election Day was always a traumatic event around our house. Even though I was so little at the time, I knew that something important was going on. Never mind the fact that everyone we knew in our conservative, straight-laced little town voted a straight Republican ticket every year, there always seemed to be drama involved.
Usually it started at dinner (known as “lunch” in some parts of the country). Grandfather would announce that today was The Day. Then the same comments that would become a tradition would begin. Continue reading

Quick Potato Soup with Sickroom Mealtime Tips

#potato soup for sickrooms #recipes for sick people #sickroom recipes #potato soup recipe

Everyone has a sick person to take care of at some time – even if it’s themselves. This is a quick, digestible little recipe that only takes 15 or 20 minutes to prepare. It’s great for a sudden hunger pang or when you have less time to make a meal. Included are the recipe and tips for mealtimes for the sick folk in your care. Continue reading

Grandfather versus the banks, or, Not with my money you don’t!

United States #bank failures

My grandfather came of age when there were few banks in our rural area. He was gradually warming to them when the Great Depression hit and so many of them failed. It was an attitude that he never really overcame. “They’re out … Continue reading

Letter Home at the end of World War II

#U.S. Navy #Battleship Texas #Battleships #World War II

You are about to read a letter that was written seventy years ago. To me it is a priceless document and a piece of history, both of my family, of my country, and the entire world. V-J Day was August 14, 1945. After suffering the devastating effects of two horrendous atomic bombs, Japan surrendered. World War II was over. Until I read this letter that was sent to my mother and grandmother by their former neighbor, I had never really comprehended how servicemen felt when they received the news that they had lived through a seemingly endless war. Continue reading

Grandmother learns to smoke, or, Hollywood must smell awful

#woman smoking #cigarettes #tobacco #cigars #women smoking

My grandmother was a fan of sophisticated movie stars, and one day decided that she should learn to smoke. And she never did anything halfway. With a determined look on her face, she planted herself in the rocking chair in the middle of her bedroom and applied herself single-mindedly to becoming the world’s greatest smoker. None of us will ever forget it. Continue reading

Poor Johnny, or, The case against educational toys

#Christian Bortes #cat #redheads #girls #little girls# #Children #play with animals

Johnny’s problem was that he had too many toys. Educational toys. We would always be excited when a new one arrived and he would carry it across the street, breathless in anticipation of its many delights. Unfortunately, that was always the high point. The reality never met the expectation. I had never seen such things as Legos or Lincoln Logs. I had glue and twigs that could be snapped to any length and used to make realistic looking log cabins. Why would I want to fool with some silly thing that came in a box? Continue reading

Grandfathers can be pretty smart too, or, If you fall down, go to Grandpa

#chicks #chickens #farms

Last time we talked, I told you about how my grandmother outfoxed my ambitions to be a queen. Well, she wasn’t the only one who knew a thing or two about children.
The story is often told in our family of “Grandfather’s Miracle”. I am told that I crawled early, walked early, and got around with a single-minded speed that could be pretty unnerving. But apparently one day I simply woke up, went back to crawling, and would have nothing more to do with walking. Continue reading

Grandmothers and child psychology, or, How not to be Queen for a Day

Elderly couple with woman #parents #grandparents #elderly men #elderly women #family

There are certain things they don’t tell you about grandmothers: they can be cunning under all that silver hair and talcum powder. Gullible, unsuspecting little girls don’t stand a chance. I know. I learned the hard way. Here is my cautionary tale: Continue reading