Monday, March 25, 2013

This and That from Nebraska

A couple of weeks ago my sister commented on the "Nebraska" series.  She suggested some things she hoped I would tell.  This one, about the lamb, I posted among my Christmas stories in 2009.

  • The year I turned two, we lived in Nebraska and there was no such thing as money in our household, except, as Dad told it, the sole nickel he had in his pocket. Wanting desperately to buy me a present, he shopped the small town over and found there was nothing to be had within his means. But. On Christmas Eve before the stores closed, he took one last walk into the village, and behold there was a sign in the drugstore window which said "all toys and Christmas items, 1/2 price." And there was a stuffed lamb in the window with a ten cent price tag on it. He bought it with his last nickel, and presumably a happy Christmas was had by all.
Yet even more important than the retelling of this incident is that I say "happy birthday" to this sister, for Vee was born in the parsonage in this little Nebraska hamlet in which we lived exactly a certain number of years ago this very day!  

Happy Birthday, Vee, and may you have many more!

My memories of life in this village are limited by the shortness of the time we were there (four years), my own immaturity (we moved the day before my fifth birthday), and the length of the backward view through time (2013 - 193x, you do the math).  In addition to these few little stories over the past three weeks, I also recall several other things, most of which I think I have mentioned in the past on STSTT.  
  • Mrs. Anderson's great console radio.  How did those teeny tiny people get inside that thing?  Who fed them?
  • The interurban cars that ran perhaps a quarter mile behind our place.
  • The harvest crews cutting and thrashing wheat in the field behind our house.  Stationary steam threshing machine, horses pulling wagons through the field.
  • The baby diverting my parents' attention from the one who had been the center of their universe to another more cuddly, more lovable.  Well, even that turned out okay.


Shelly said...

Happy birthday to Vee! What a warm, terrific story of your dad buying you that present with his last nickel.

Love these memoirs~

Secondary Roads said...

I always enjoy your stories.

Happy Birthday to Vee.

Jim said...

Console radios and Interurbans! Those two things, intersected, triangulate the timeframe to within thirty years.

Lin said...

Happy Birthday to Vee!

vanilla said...

Shelly, thank you; pray you are blessed this beautiful day.

Chuck, thanks. Makes it worth doing.

Jim, leave it to a programmer to calculate the fine points.

Lin, I suspect she will catch your good wishes.

vanilla said...

I so wish I could correct the spelling error in the penultimate paragraph, but having no access to my own dashboard...

Don't think me ignorant, but rather a careless editor.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why would those folks want to beat the heck out of the wheat? LOL I didn't catch it till you mentioned it. And why did your story remind me of the song "Scarlet Ribbons"?


Vee said...

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!

I don't remember much about Nebraska, but learned a lot about it over the years from my parents and big bro. I think my brother really did like me - most of the time - and has forgiven me for the salt shaker I threw at him.

When I was eight-years-old, I had an emergency appendectomy and he made a card for Mom and Dad to bring to the hospital. (This was when a hospital stay for that surgery was 10 days and kids were not generally allowed to visit.) The card was made using a piece of typing paper folded to make a greeting card. It was decorated with Disney characters and read:

My life is sad.
My days are blue.
My dear little sister,
Oh, how I miss you.

I have always remembered that verse and what the card meant to me.

vanilla said...

Grace, oddly enough, at one time beating the heck out of the wheat was the preferred means of getting the grain from the heads. As in, They threshed the wheat by thrashing it on the threshing floor. :>) Thanks for including the link; I'm almost always up for some Willie Nelson.

Vee, what can I say. You remembered a paper greeting card all these years? What I remember about the appendectomy, besides your being gone, was how Dad paid for it.

Sharkbytes said...

Great memories! Steam thrasher! I know what they look like, but am apparently just enough younger that I don't remember one.

vanilla said...

Shark, yeah, no one is as old as I.
(But I don't feel that way all the time, for which I am grateful!)