Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2nd try at Yellowstone Pictures

Big Springs

We are having a great time at our Condo in Island Park. These are some of the pictures we took on
The gang at Big Springs

Jared and the kids at Big Springs.

Hang in there Bradley!

Elk near Madison Junction

Old Faithful

Deanne and the girls at Kepler Cascades

Fire between West Thumb and Fishing Bridge

Bison north of Canyon Village

DeAnne and the girls at Mammoth

Bull Elk at Mammoth

Elk at Mamoth – Jared and Liz’s car in the forground.

Shortly after Jared, Liz, Madeline, Rylie and Bradley left us to return to Salt Lake, McKay and I found a couple of Moose. The Bull Moose was so accommodating. He agreed to put on a show and do some imitations of other animals.

This is Mr. Moose as a Moose.

This is Mr. Moose as an Anteater.

This is the Moose Office with their Cubicles.

This is Mr. Moose sucking up to his boss.

This is Mr. Moose imitating a coyote

This is Mr. Moose as an Elk.

Mr. Moose is imitating a Bison.

This is Mr. Moose imitating a Wolf.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marching the Fruit into the Storage Cellar

Marching the Fruit into the Storage Cellar
There was also a cellar under a portion of our kitchen. For many years the only way to get to it was through a trap door that had to be lifted up every time we needed to get into the cellar. The door to the cellar was on the floor, by the wall on the west side of the kitchen. The trap door was about three feet wide and six feet long. It had a strap so that you could grab it and lift up the door. You always had to be careful when you closed the door so the strap would be on top of the floor and stick out so you could grab the strap the next time you needed to get into the cellar. There was a set of wooden stairs that went down into the cellar where Mom stored the fruits and vegetables she had bottled from our garden. I remember “marching “the fruit and vegetable bottles down the wooden steps with Kyle.

Let me explain what I mean by “Marching” the fruit down to the cellar. After Mom had bottled the fruit or vegetables and they had cooled down so we could handle them. Kyle and I would be asked to take the fruit or veggies, down stairs to the cellar. This was great fun for us! We would get Mom to open the cellar door, then take three or four bottles over to the top stair and set them there. Then we would “March” those three of four bottles down to the second stair, get up, go over to the counter or table and get another three or four bottles and put them on the top stair. Now the fun would begin. We would go down to the fourth step, “March” the bottles that were on the second step, down to her third step, “March” the bottles that were on the first step down to the second step and then go to the counter and get the next three or four bottles and the process would continue. Can you see where this is going? By the time we got all 12 or so steps full, it was time to take the bottles off the bottom step and place them on the shelf in the cellar. This was when the fun really reached its’ climax. Then we would march all of the other bottles down one step at a time until we got to the top step and them go get the next three or four bottles. It was an all afternoon job! But we made it fun by “Marching” the bottles. It taught us patience, and tried the patience of Mother. Sometimes Mom would say, “No marching today. Just get it downstairs!" We hated it when that happened. That spoiled all of our fun! Looking back, I don’t know how she put up with it. Maybe she was glad just to keep us busy so she knew where we were.

It was quite a bit cooler down there in the cellar. I believe it had a dirt floor and even some of the walls were dirt. Later on, I remember Dad boarded up the trap door in the kitchen and built a cement stairway outside on the back of the house that went down to the cellar. It had a regular door with a regular door handle, but no lock.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Cardboard Wall Bedroom

The Cardboard Wall Bedroom

For a couple of winters we slept in a shanty that Dad had built on the back of the house. It had only one wooden screen door with a spring that would bang the door shut. At night we would put a blanket over the screen door to help keep it a little warmer inside. The bedroom was framed with 2X2 lumber, and the walls were made of cardboard. It had a dirt floor with straw covering the dirt. It was big enough that we could all sleep in it. We would sleep on the floor with a blanket under us and lots of blankets on top of us.

I remember when it got really cold in the winter Mom would put so many blankets on top of us that weight became so heavy we could not even roll over. I learned to get my head under the covers so my ears and nose wouldn’t freeze. I would snuggle down under the blankets and then form a small “blanket tunnel” from my mouth to the outside so I could breathe fresh air. Sometimes when we woke up in the morning there would be frost in that tunnel and on top of the blankets.

We would wake up in the mornings to sub-zero temperatures. Dad would almost always be the first to get up. He would go into the house and start a fire in the wood burning stove in the kitchen and then come to get us up. We would get up, jump out of bed, grab a blanket to throw over our shoulders, (it was so cold in there), put on our shoes, run for the screen door of the cardboard bedroom, open it to go outside, run up a step or two, (about 10 feet away) open the door to the house and run into the kitchen. We would sit on a chair next to the stove with a blanket over us until the house heated up enough to get us warm. We generally had a warm dish of oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast in the winter time. The cardboard bedroom stayed up until after the house was remodeled.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quote of the week!

We went down to Price this week to bless the newest grandchild. While there, DeAnne and I were talking to Carter. After running all over the church lawn for several minutes,he came running to our car DeAnne told Carter he was a really fast runner. Carter's reply was, "I like to run fast, but sometimes when I run fast it makes my tongue hurt!" Oh Carter, you are a funny boy and we love ya!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Attic Bedroom and the Trains

The Attic Bedroom and the Trains

There was an attic in our Rexburg house that could only be accessed by a ladder from outside the house. The door into the attic was only about three or four feet tall and two or three feet wide. The attic was usually filled with old relics and junk, but as we grew older it was cleared out enough to put a bed up in the attic so that at least Jay and I could sleep up there. We used it for sleeping only when the weather was cold or rainy and we were not able to sleep out under the stars. At night, we would put on our pajamas to get ready for bed, and then put on our shoes so we could go outside in the dirt and climb up the ladder to get to our bed. In the winter, we would also put on a coat to make the trip outside and up the ladder, because it was often well below zero in Rexburg.

I remember sleeping up in the attic one night with Jay in the fall. Jay woke me up at two or three in the morning. At any rate I know it was in the middle of the night and still dark. He had me come over to the attic door and look out. The railroad line ran on the back of our property about 500 feet or so to the west of our house. That night Jay woke me up to show me the first diesel powered train engine I had ever seen in my life. It was like one of the wonders of the world!
All the trains I had seen up to that time in my life, were those old steam engine type trains that made a lot more noise and filled air with smoke as they passed by our home. Our family was use to the rumbling and whistles of the trains at night, but any visitors at our house would be awakened by the rumbling of the trains. Many of our visitors would tell us the next morning that they were sure the train was going to come right through the middle of our house and kill us all. I thought, “How silly you people are, don’t you know trains have to stay on the tracks?”

Sleeping Out Under the Stars
We would sleep out under the stars for most of the summer. I loved looking up at the sky, filled with so many bright stars. The “Milky Way” was always visible, and it actually did look like milk. If I could just grab hold of the Big Dipper, I would be able to dip out a nice cold drink of fresh milk.

When there was no moon, the Milky Way was so wide it would fill almost a quarter of the sky. I also loved to fall asleep watching for falling or shooting stars. We were told if we saw a falling star, we could make a wish and the wish would come true. I remember wishing I had a hundred dollars to give to Mom and Dad so they wouldn’t have to work any more. Then we could spend all our time in the mountains and not just the weekends.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Rexburg Homestead - Part one

Our House

The first memories of life that I have are of the two-room log cabin we lived in. The outside walls of our house were made of actual logs with stucco inserted where the logs met to cover up the cracks. One room was the kitchen with a big wood burning stove and a sink with no running hot water. Dad had somehow hooked up the sink with a hand pump so that we could get cold water at the sink. The other room was the living room with a few pieces of furniture, which included the hide-a-way bed/couch. The bathroom was an “Outhouse” located about 150 feet in back of our house. We had no hot running water, just cold water that we could pump out into the sink. Mom had a teapot that she put on the stove to heat water for breakfast and other meals. All the cooking was done on the wood-burning stove. The woodpile was in the back yard by an old wooden shed. It was the boy’s job to go out and get wood from the woodpile and keep the wood box in the kitchen full of wood for Mom. I always felt quite comfortable and safe in our home.

Bath Nights

Saturday night was bath night. In the summer we would go swimming in the irrigation canal. The canal water was clear water that came from the Teton River. That served as out bath in the summertime. In the winter, we all had to have a bath once a week, whether we needed it or not…. Mom had a big metal, five-gallon milk bucket that she would fill with the cold water from the pump at the sink. She would then place it on the wood-burning stove and heat it up until it got close to boiling. Then she would dump it into the tub with a bucket or two of cold water so we could have our baths. We had a round, galvanized tub, about 3 feet in diameter and maybe 18 inches tall at most. Leesa was always first and then the three of us boys, one at a time, would take our turn in the same bath water. By the time the last boy took his bath, the water was pretty dirty and soapy, but at least it was still wet.

Latter on, I remember we got a big long galvanized tub. It must have been five or six feet long, about 18 inches wide and 2 feet deep. That was “Dads” tub and we were never allowed to use it because it took more time to heat the water and fill it up. We all had to be in bed before Dad took his bath. I never thought about it as a kid, but when did Mom take her bath? I’m sure it was “after” Dad….They would attach a garden hose to the bottom of the tub, and put the other end of the hose outside to drain the tub.