Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Stand Corrected

I stand corrected by my 97 year old mother.  Mother called today to tell me she enjoyed reading my blog post from yesterday.  In case you have not read my post entitled, Throwback Thursday: Memories of My Youth In Leadville, Colorado, you can read it by clicking on the title.  After complementing me on my blog post, she said she had a few corrections.  Since my mother was my first editor, she always read my high school papers and corrected them, and since her memory at 97 is much sharper than mine, I listened to what she had to say and told her I would set the record straight.  

Before I do make the corrections to my blog post, I will tell you that my mother uses a desktop IMac that my husband helped her pick out a few years ago.  She uses the computer to keep up with her family on facebook, to email her friends, and to research on things she wants to learn.  In this photo, she was a youngster of 96.  In May, she will be 98.  She is an amazing woman.

Here are the corrections that my mother made:
  • She said she never emptied the ashes from the Stokermatic.  That was my father's job.  She then added that the coal was delivered by the railroad and dumped near the coal shed.  Then, my father would have to shovel the coal into the shed.  She also recalled how hard it was to keep house with that old coal furnace.  She reminded me that sometimes the thing would sputter and spit ashes into the house.  That I remember.  Of course, the ashes would go everywhere.
  • She said the back part of the house, the kitchen and bath area, were not heated with propane.  They were heated with some sort of heating oil.  The kitchen cook stove used propane.  I guess I had forgotten those facts.  
  • She said she didn't know about us taking the toboggan off of the side of the house during our sled riding escapade.  Of course she didn't.  We sneaked it off.  Now, fifty years later, she knows.
  • She reminded me that not only did the window in the back bedroom that we shut off from the rest of house in the winter have ice on the window, it also had a layer of ice on the north wall. Brrr.
  • She said they would cover the entry way to this room with thick plastic.  I do remember that now.
  • She reminded me that the switch engine would bring the boxcars that needed transferring for unloading or reloading up from Malta to town to rail yard that was behind our house.  In the photo of me in the backyard of the house, you can see how close the tracks were to the house.  (Remember this house once was the baggage building many years before we lived in it.)  She reminded me how the switch engine would run its engine all night long.  I had forgotten that.  I think the sound lulled me to sleep.  It kept my mother awake.  (Here is the photo that shows how close the tracks were to the house.)

Other family members shared a few more memories:
  • My sister remember that in Leadville on a cold morning, as soon as she would walk out the door on her way to school the nose hairs inside her nose would freeze.  True.  Mine did too.  
  • My sister also reminded me that in those days, we could not wear pants to school.  She was right.  Our legs would freeze.  I think we sometimes wore tights and probably wore pants under our skirts to school and then took the pants off when we got there.  I do remember wearing a garter belt and nylon stockings to school when I was in high school.  (TMI!)  (Remember, panty hose had not yet been invented.  I remember seeing my first pair of panty hose in 1967.  I diverge from the topic at hand by telling you all of this.)
  • My youngest sister was only five when we first moved to Leadville.  She said she remembered standing up on top of that white fence that you can barely see in the photo and diving into the snow.  I wonder how we would find her after she dove in.  She was a tiny little thing then.
  • My mother remembers that my baby sister started school in Leadville.  She would walk to school.  My mother said she could just barely see the top of her little red hood peeking above the snow banks as she walked to school.  
  • My father would have the switch engine stop at the school and pick up my little sister from kindergarten when school was over on real cold days.  The tracks were right near the school.   She would come home in the caboose.  My sis said pictures of scantily clad ladies decorated the interior of the caboose.  
  • This photo below was taken a few years back when my sis and I visited Leadville.  Suzanne is recalling the days when she rode home from school on the caboose.  On this day, she looked inside the caboose and said the girly pictures were gone.  The memories remain.