Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I hope this day is special for all of you..-- fathers now or to be! We
sure do have some men in this family who are skilled fathers, and who are
striving to become more so as life goes on. Thanks to all of you who
have diligently taught our grandchildren! Taking care of their hearts
and souls is your quest, and I am so thankful.

Thanks, too, to those who have taken on the extra joys and challenges of
loving the children of others and caring for them as lovingly as any of
their other children! What a blessing you have been to us and to those


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adventures with Grandparents, 1944 and 1945

I know a lot of you, and maybe all of you, have heard my story about the runaway horse when I was 9. I don't believe that I have recorded it by written word, however, so thought I'd do that. Ryanne created a blog for Gpa and I, and Sarah has been putting all of our stories and letters in that blog. Since we don't seem to be doing so well at getting our life history down in story form, we have decided we can just use that blog, and keep adding stories.

June 1944
My folks took me to Udall, Kansas, where my Paternal grandparents lived, and I stayed there for two weeks by myself. I loved to be on the farm! I remember shucking corn, watching rabbits (wild ones) and walking what seemed like a far away area where the silo was, and right by the silo was the wheat "crib" that held the crop for that year. In the top room of the crib, Grandpa Clodfelter would let us cousins play in the stored wheat. What fun! In that hot Kansas sun, it felt so good to climb up into the cool wheat. The shade of the building with it's huge open sides to let any available breeze pass through so that the wheat could dry out - gave heavenly relief as we buried ourselves to the neck in the wheat kernels, wiggling our toes and trying to make "wheat angels"! (They didn't work, though!)

The silo itself was constructed of reddish, homemade bricks that my Grandfather made in 1914, when my Dad was 3 years old. I have pieces of that silo, along with a picture of it, in our entryway and I have attached a picture. My Grandparents rarely went anywhere in their car. They loved working on their farm and taking care of their animals. It was not convenient for them to go anywhere, anyway, as my Grandpa's right arm was severed about halfway up his forearm by a engine powered corn husker, when my Dad was 9 years old. He had a hook on his arm, and although he could drive just fine, I don't think he felt really comfortable in that operation! But their friends who lived a few miles away, had horses that they had invited me to ride while I was there, and so we got in the old Model A Ford and drove to pay them a visit.

I had never been on a horse before, but had always dreamed of riding. Of course, my in this dream, everything went perfectly smooth and I was in complete control. Reality presented me with a bit different picture! The owner of the farm brought out a young horse, one that he thought sure was gentle and calm, and I eagerly hopped right up into the saddle. They showed me how to hold the reins and how to get the horse to turn, etc., and off we went, down the long driveway to the West and then turned North on the dirt road. In just a few yards, we passed a place where the bushes were thin and I could see the barn by looking to my right, to the East. What I didn't realize was that Mr. Gentleness could also see that barn, which was his HOME where his MOMMY was!

Suddenly, he bolted to the right, crossed the deep ditch that ran between the road and the farm. He had decided to go back home! I hung on to the saddle horn with all my might, and was able to remain in the saddle as he continued toward the barn. I never saw the heavy wire clothesline ahead. A heavy winter quilt had been hanging on it for several days to air out for summer storage, stretching the wire into a sagging, choking danger. As I continued to glue my hands to the saddle horn, the wire caught me just under my chin! Everything went black, and I don't remember anything until I woke up on the ground several minutes later, with my sweet Grandpa bending over me, crying. When I looked up at him, I thought I was deaf because I couldn't hear his words. HE had thought I was dead; hence the tears. Later he told me that I had broken the wire with my neck (it was obviously the Lord that did that, not my neck!) He said I had stayed on the horse even when unconscious for about 10 yards, then my hands relaxed and I fell to the ground, and the horse continued on to the barn door. As I fell, his back leg kicked me in the forehead.

There were many signs that 1944 was not my time to leave this earth! If the wire had not broken in the center of the line, where it made contact with my neck, it would have broken at the end, in which case it would have whipped around my neck two or three times, probably decapitating me. The kick from the horse could have been fatal by itself! Also, it was a blessing that I had fallen off when I did, as the barn door that beckoned the pony to his home, had the top half closed. It would have struck a hard blow to my torso and face at the same time, knocking me off the rear
of the horse, if I had gone that far.

The ride to the "doctor" is clear in my memory, which means I was fully conscious as soon as I woke up. My grandparents couldn't afford the gas to ride to Wichita, where a licensed Dr. lived, so instead we went to the local midwife. She had no suturing materials, so she couldn't give me the stitches I needed. She simply filled my gaping neck wound with Iodine, the cure-all of the times. Iodine burns badly, especially when it is in an open wound! It was the most painful part of the whole ordeal! However, I do not even have a scar now, which is truly amazing!

On the way to the midwife's home, I pleaded with Grandpa and Grandma to NOT tell my parents, as I knew it would worry them! I guess I thought it would be all healed up and invisible by the end of my two week stay!

More than a year later, in 1945, I once again spent two weeks with my Grandparents. By now they had moved into town, Udall, Kansas, which was the nearest town to their farm.

My grandparents were Methodist, and lived just across the street from their church building. Grandpa was the janitor there, and on Wednesday nights, after prayer meeting, he could always be found putting the chairs away and cleaning the building for the weekend services. On August 14, 1945 was V-J day, the end of WWII. Grandpa and Grandma and I were sitting in their living room, reading scriptures as we did every evening, when we heard that news on the radio. Grandpa pulled on his shoes, told me to come along with him, and we quickly went into the church building and clear up the stairs to the tower! Grandpa started to pull the long rope that was connected to the bell in the tower, then he stopped, picked me up high and told me to pull the rope! I got to be the first one in Udall, Kansas, to ring the bell for the wonderful news that the war was over! I had no idea then, of course, what a momentous occasion that was! I just knew everyone was ecstatic!

I remember many things about my grandparents on both sides, but these two years were the most adventurous stories of my childhood!

Love, Mom/Gma

Monday, June 7, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Memorial Day

Dearest Families:

Hope you all enjoyed a great Memorial Day! Connie, I didn't get you called to tell you we couldn't be at your barbecue because we were going out of town, to Craig. Thanks so much for inviting us, though!

We had a good time with Lois and Gale for about 2 ½ days. Uncle Gale has a memory that absolutely amazed us! He doesn’t listen well to what Lois says (like most husbands!)……but then, he can’t HEAR well at all, so that’s not surprising! He told Army stories for about two hours to Dad, and they were very interesting, very detailed! He could remember every name of the full names of people he worked with and even was slightly acquainted with during his time in the Army. He had a fantastic scrapbook about 2 ½ inches thick and each one seemed to bring up a great story!

We stopped in GJ and took Aunt Maxine out to lunch because she couldn't make it up to Craig. It was good to see her and she seems really healthy and doing well. Ben couldn't be with us.

I have to tell you a Jackson story! Jack and Natalie brought Jackson over last week in the evening while Jack got a massage from Chuck. I wanted to hold him, and he readily came to me, then laid his little head on my chest/shoulder and just stayed still for the longest time! Jack was amazed! He said he NEVER does that with anyone! Soon there was a noise in the foyer, by the organ, that he needed to investigate, so he sat up and leaned toward the noise. I tried to help him by lifting him closer to the door where he could see better. He immediately threw himself back against my chest and melded into me again! Again, he didn’t move for a long time! Everytime he thought he was going to lose his place there, he melted into me again! It was so darling, and absolutely and completely won my heart, of course! He stayed on my lap most of the rest of the time they were here.

Now a Gabriel story. Ryanne had all six kids in the car and as they rode, two of them started arguing and not talking very nice to each other. She said “Hey, is that the way we talk to each other?” One of them said something like, “well, I guess it is!”

Ryanne immediately replied “Not MY kids!”

Gabe quickly blurted out “You have KIDS?" and then in a very disgusted voice.."Why, you two timer!!” His humor is just so very different! Of course, that ended all tension in the car and everyone laughed together!

Another time, when Ryanne was just finished doing her one-day-a-week literature class at the little Christian school where her kids go and Gabe was with her, a married couple came in the school to inspect things and see if they wanted to have their kids go there. As they opened the door and peeked in to be sure they weren’t interrupting anything, Ry said, “Come on in!” And Gabe assured them, “Yeah, it’s OK. She doesn’t have a gun!” Ry could have died, but it was funny, nevertheless! When we stopped by their one day we saw a barefooted Gabe at the top of their city lamp pole at the corner of their yard. It is a black, slick pole. When he got down, I said, “Gabe how do you get up there?” He said, “I just lick my hands and then wipe them on my feet so they will stick better!” I told Ryanne about what he said, and she assured me she could have gone the rest of her life with having that visualization! He’s such a character!

Congratulations to our Brennen John! A mission call to Dallas Texas! I told him he will absolutely love the people and of course, they will love him! They are so friendly, or at least they were when we were there. It's a good thing, because the weather is NOT so friendly!! Has anyone heard from CJ? I am writing him an email today, wrote to JJ last week. JJ wrote a really nice letter on emaill, too.

This coming Monday and Wednesday will find our Jack and Mary another year older. Happy Birthday, you two! Ronnie just had a birthday, and Nikki, Shane Ford, Alaina, Kemarie and Rebecca all follow closely. Of course, if we go into the GREAT grandchildren, I probably don't have them all listed on my b.d. calendar. I do know Audrey Hart and Hyrum Wheeler and Tyler Hart all have their special days this month. I'm sure there are others this month. Everyone have a great celebration!

Aunt Maxine will be 86 on the 1st of July, same as Glenn's birthday. I really have a hard time thinking of her as being that old! Aunt Lois will turn 85 in November. All of your Dad/Gpa's and my generation is right up there in the top 3/4 of the century mark! Incredible.

We hope you will all come to the breakfast at DATC on the 3rd of July (Sat.) and tell them you are with the Whickers, 'cause Gpa is paying for all of us. Thanks, Gramps!

Glenn, we are praying for you as you approach this operation. I surely do hope that this ends at least most of the pain for you.

Love, Mom/Gma

We love you all