Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Winter Day -- 1942

A re post:

It would have been a day like today, raw and cold, and the wind driving the cold straight to the bones. All but the necessary outside work, milking the cow, feeding and watering the chickens, was laid aside and we gathered close to the heating stove. The closed door shut out the unheated air from the north room and soon the little front room began to warm despite the wind squeezing in around the window, giving movement to the curtain.

Uncle Dewey, Aunt Leola, and Baby Dane came for dinner and then stayed to visit in the afternoon. Mama sent Daddy to the smoke house for a chunk of meat, cut off of the sugar cured ham hanging from the rafters, and then he went down into the cellar for potatoes. She also cooked dried peas, buttermilk biscuits and red eye gravy, and finished off the meal with more biscuits spread with sweet butter and blackberry jelly. While the women cleaned the kitchen, Daddy put more coal into the heating stove, and then he and Uncle Dewey took out their tobacco pouches and cigarette papers, rolled cigarettes and sat around the radio, listening for any news about the war that was raging across the ocean, a world away from this rural home.

Baby Dane, two months old, and Charlotte, twenty months old, were asleep now, so the adults pulled up their chairs around the little table and poured out pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. They could have played dominoes, checkers, or Chinese checkers. They talked and laughed with one another as they put the pieces into place; the picture grew, and the warmth of their friendship pushed the cold away, and before long the sun slid lower in the west, the shadows grew long and Wanda came home from school.

Now Daddy went to the barn to do the evening chores and carried a fresh bucket of water up from the well. Wanda gathered the eggs, Mama put Charlotte in the swing hanging from the door frame while she warmed up the leftovers, and then the family settled in for another cold night.


  1. This post, which is an exceptional piece, sends cold chills down my back, not only because of the cold, biting winds you so adeptly describe, but also because of thoughts of the war and of all the sons and fathers who were out there somewhere far away fighting in that terrible war.

  2. Except for the smoke-house your post is much reminiscent of my childhood too.
    The war we listened for news on the radio and the tv about was the VietNam war.
    We heated with wood heat and Mama always had a big pot of soup on the wood stove on days like that and a big old pile of corn pones on the table. Our family would play board games, put puzzles together and story-telling kept us entertained too.
    You have a welcoming way of writing that evokes sweet memories and a longing for the good ol' days. Thanks so much. :)

  3. Wonderful story through your words.........felt like I was there! Blessings,Kathleen

  4. Love your picture, Charlotte, of all the old games. And the story you told: spellbinding! I smiled when I read about one of the rooms being closed off for the winter; that's how it was in my childhood home too. My mom and I huddled around an oil burner many frigid days and nights. Wishing you a WARM Christmas, Charlotte!

  5. You have a gift for writing stories, Charlotte. I can feel the cold and smell the winter air. It reminds me a lot of my grandparents' time in Tennessee when I was a child. During the winter we rushed inside and warmed our backs by the fireplace in the front room.

  6. Charlotte, you're such a good writer, you make me feel like that is my memory...Do you remember the swing?...Please stop by my blog, I have something for you. {{hugs}}

  7. This brought back memories. Sounds like my grandparents home. Can relate so much to this.
    Thank you for letting me visit and making me smile...

  8. Beautifully written posts, Charlotte.

  9. that sounds like a nice winter day from the past. Love your reminiscences.