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Senior Moments

Category: General / Topics: History Memories

I Remember When

by Dan Seagren

Posted: July 22, 2018

I got a nickel a week allowance…and other things found only in memories…

I remember going from Michigan to Minnesota with my Aunt (Dad's younger sister) and was informed on the same day that Dad was getting married. My mother died when I was three years old. Secretism was important back then. My Aunt Edna came for the funeral but stayed four years.

I remember going to the old homestead alone in Minnesota when I was about twelve. My Grandmother and another Uncle moved to Illinois and Uncle Reuben had just married. I offered to help milk the 15 cows but they said a city slicker couldn't do it. Before long, we each were milking five cows. One evening we were all in church together when someone came in and my Uncle went out. My Aunt and I drove home only to see the old farm house in flames with cars all along the long driveway. I watched in horror as my upstairs bedroom crashed down with my bed still intact.

One of my favorite games as a kid was throwing a ball over the house only to be caught and tossed back. Coming home from grade school, I would put my glasses on a rock to play sand lot football. I'd pick 'em up the next morning on the way to school.

I got a nickel a week allowance until I peddled magazines in the surrounding neighborhoods (plural). When I was lucky to collect up my fifteen cents, I'd stop for a triple dip ice cream cone, sometimes three flavors, for a nickel. One day some older guys (teens) challenged me to drink three metal containers full of malted milk. I did and got a dime for doing so. No longer!

I remember when the milkman left bottles of milk at our back door and the freezing weather pushed the frozen cream up an inch or two. The huckster and the ice trucks drawn by a horse came by followed by the colonial man with those sweet goodies. More interesting perhaps than groceries delivered today by drones because we could suck on chunks of ice and sometimes eat a stale do-nut and go for a ride as well.

My last year on the farm as a teenager (13) I did everything: milked cows, fed the hogs, cultivated via tractor, hauled hay. One day as I set out to mow hay, the younger horse jumped off faster than ol' Barney and the mower sliced its leg badly. I thought my Uncle would really chew me out but nope, he didn't. My penalty was to help Barney heal. Three times a day I would spray a solution into the open wound and the horse would kick ferociously. Meanwhile, I would find Barney food liked and put it into the trough and sit there with him while he ate. We became close buddies. Barney healed in time and we went back to work.

Ah yes, memories. A wonderful attribute to be cherished as long as possible.

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: July 22, 2018

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