Sunday, April 30, 2006
Cold and rainy
Well the cat was dead this morning so I fed the orphans with a spoon. It is quite a job. Takes about half an hour to get them all filled up with the little salt spoon I have had since I was a little girl and never had any use for. They take warm milk greedily that way, but I can’t keep them clean and can’t teach them to.
(My assumption is that for the Smith's, the cat was around more as a mouser than as a pet. I can't tell from the diary what emotion Grandma has about the overall loss of the cat. She never mentions the cat's name, I assume it had one. I know that later when my mom was a little girl in the early 1930's, they had a cat named Kiki, and that's the name we gave our first cat when I was little.)
See Grandma's Pictures for a look at a sample page from her diary
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Too tired to iron today. Had some silk things and flannels to wash. Mama came over so I just mended Dale’s pants and rested. The mother cat was sick and didn’t go near the kittens so I warmed milk and fed them with a spoon. Great stuff. The old cat doesn’t seem to suffer. She purred when I stroked and talked to her but her legs seem stiff when she tried to walk.
(Oh my, it doesn't sound good for mama cat. I wonder what is wrong with her. Of course, there is no mention of taking the cat to a vet or doing anything like that.
Remember, Grandma has written before that she doesn't get anything done when her mother comes over for a visit. She wrote on Feb. 24th that whenever anyone comes over and does a lot of talking, she has to strain to hear because she doesn't hear well out of her right ear. She can't really concentrate on getting anything else done. Plus, I get the impression that her Mama likes to talk a lot when she visits.)
Friday, April 28, 2006
The old mother cat laid around and acted sick this AM and after noon the kittens cried and yelped but she never came to feed them. I washed and ironed some. Did a pretty big days work considering my condition. No doubt about it now. I am pregnant for I feel movements now. I am only slightly larger and feel very well in spite of my cleaning, etc.
(Finally, Grandma acknowledges she is pregnant! And, now she has a sick cat, who if you remember had 4 kittens on Easter, April 12th. So, how might this diary entry have been written if Grandma lived in 2006? Maybe something like this?
"The old mother cat laid around and acted sick this AM and didn't go to her kittens to feed them. I put them all in the car and took them to the vet. I hope the bill isn't too high. I washed and dried some clothes, and because most were permanent press, I didn't iron anything. I am starting to feel the movements of the baby and am scheduled for an ultrasound anyday now. I've known since practically conception that I was pregnant due to the at home pregnancy test. Plus, I've been taking pre-natal vitamins since the beginning. I haven't started to wear materity clothes yet and I still feel pretty good!"
Times certainly have changed!)
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Rain and cooler
Ned had a bad morning from yesterday’s walk I guess. Believe his head or his ear ached. Anyway, he cried till eleven o’clock and I couldn’t find any way to quiet him. It was cool and cloudy anyway so I didn’t get to wash. Had to make Albert a waist after noon so he could be clean for kindergarten tomorrow.
(Doesn't sound like a fun way to spend a morning, trying to comfort a two year old (Ned) who didn't seem to want to be comforted.
Remember "waists" are shirts. Can you imagine what your child would be wearing to school if you had to make many of their clothes as Grandma did?)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Was too tired to hurry around and get ready for Sunday school. Mable was here anyway for a while so Gilbert and two boys went and I did up the work and rested. After dinner we took the boys for a violet hunt up the river above Broad Ripple and stopped at the folks on the way home. Ned took to the woods like a duck to water and walked all the way. I was tired and got cold coming home.
(Mable is Grandma's sister-in-law, married to her brother Harry.
To go up past Broad Ripple from their house, they would have taken some public transportation, probably the street car, as it would be a far walk all the way around. The violet hunt sounds like a nice thing to do on a pretty spring afternoon!)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Finished my curtains, put them up, cleaned the beds and upstairs looked really pretty. Then I made a cake and two pies, put supper in the cooker, finished my ironing, what I had to have. Gilbert got home and helped with the house and I bathed boys so we got ready for the Gas company banquet at the Irvington Masonic hall. They had entertainers, dancing, a good feed and a fine time generally.
(What a great, productive day! Grandma sure got a lot of work done.
I had some questions, so I called Mom and asked:
"What is a cooker?" She thinks it was probably a big stew pot. Or Grandma might have a stove that had a well in it that you put the pot down into so it was heated all around, though Mom doesn't remember a stove like that, but she is the youngest and so they might have had a different stove later on.
What did Gilbert do at the Gas company? He was an accountant. He seems to have worked a lot of Saturdays. She said that Grandma commented that during the Depression years, the Gas company didn't lay off anyone, so even though his job didn't pay well, Gilbert at least had a job.
Do you think they took the boys to the banquet? Probably not, the supper she cooked was probably for the boys to eat before they left them for the evening.
By the way, I did a Google search on "Irvington Masonic Hall" to see what tidbits I might find. I found two... it is lodge #666 and it is often included on a tour of haunted places in the Irvington area, "one of the most haunted areas in Indianapolis". Here is some information on this site.)
Monday, April 24, 2006
Decided to make my curtains first so as to be sure they were up before Mable came, but worked all day on them and didn’t get them done either. Never had any sewing seemed so tedious before. Hemming the ruffles seemed an endless job. Got them almost done and went to the hair dressers after supper for a marcel.
(More sewing, and what is a marcel? I looked it up. It is a hairstyle with deep, regular waves made by a heated curling iron. Sounds quite typical of hairstyles I've seen pictured from the "roaring 20's". I wonder if she has a special event to attend, that she'd go to that extent to have her hair fixed up?
FYI, the record high for April 24th was set in 1925. It was 90 degrees.)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Intended to iron but it was such a warm breezy day that I decided to wash bed clothes first. These nights are so warm we don’t need any covers so it was a dandy day for it. The old washer was going five hours - a bigger job than I expected. Cut the curtains for the front room upstairs today between washers full.
(I'm not sure what kind of washer Grandma had. I am pretty sure that my other Grandma, who lived on a farm, had a roller-type washer for a long time. She still had it in the basement when we visited as kids. She would have had to run clothes through the washer rollers by hand. I think this Grandma had a washer she could load up and let it run. If you want more info on what type of washer she might have had, check out this information from the History Channel.
They must be going through an unusual hot spell with the weather. Yesterday, it was too hot to walk barefoot on the sidewalk, and now they don't need covers on the beds. I'm sure after she washed the covers, she hung them outside to dry, which would take a while. I almost positive from her comments that she doesn't have a clothes dryer.
And her energy must be back. She's cutting out material for new curtains, and doing all that washing, and no comments about being tired, feeling bum, or anything like.
The record high for April 23 was set in 1925 -- 88 degrees.)
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Fair and hot
Cleaned the rooms upstairs, it was a hot job. The boys went barefoot after school. It was too hot so hurt them. Ned’s little feet are too tender though and he cried when he tried to walk. He watches Philip Miller so much when the other boys are gone and is learning some dirty tricks, spitting, and saying “no” to me, etc. when I tell him to come here.
(Philip Miller must be some nasty neighbor boy that all mothers fear will be the 'kid next door' who corrupts their own little darling, well-behaved, sweet little ones. I can assure all that Ned grew up to serve in WW II, marry, have two children and become a professor of geology, so Philip's impact on Ned's behavior was apparently not detrimental long term.
Have you noticed that Grandma's diary entries are less and less about her being tired, feeling poorly, and not getting anything done? We've speculated that perhaps the furnace didn't work properly and they were breathing in a lot of polluted indoor air, full of soot, etc., and that the poor air contributed to Grandma not feeling well (that and being in the early stages of pregnancy). The boys and Gilbert would maybe not have been affected as much since they were off to school and work a lot of the time, or in the boys' situation, running around outside playing, even in cold weather.) But now that it is spring, Grandma probably has the windows open and is getting outside more and breathing in better, cleaner air.)
Click "Grandma's Picture" on the right to see a few new pictures.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Cloudy and cool
I cleaned up the attics today and found lots of moths in some old carpets. There was plenty of coal soot, too, so it was a dirty job and the whole house seems dirty now. I guess I must have stirred it up more than I thought. Mac and Margaret came and brought their rug we are going to buy.
(I think the reason Grandma mentions "attics" plural is because there were several different rooms tucked under the eaves in the upstairs in her house. There were basically two bedrooms upstairs. One at the front of the house and one at the back of the house. The one at the back of the house had one room tucked under the eaves, but I always remember it is a relatively cleaned "fixed up" little room with a small cot and table in it. I think that on the table was a dried up scorpion, which we were fascinated with. In the front bedroom there was a small room under the eaves on one side, barely big enough to turn around in, but also finished. Mom said that was her little room for awhile. She had a cot in it that she had to step over to get into the room because it blocked the doorway On the other side was what I'd call a true attic that ran the length of the house under the eaves. It was unfinished and dark. We were always afraid of what might be in there and, it didn't help that the contents included a long coffin sized box!
Mac and Margaret are the MacMillans, two very good friends.)
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Cloudy and cool
Managed to get up early this morning and get an early start on my washing. Then I scrubbed and ironed quite a bit. A pretty good day, work. The papers are full of Dr. Philputt. He was a big man. I feel as if no other will be the same to us as he had seen me grow up and had said Gilbert was an inspiration to him. To the next minister we will be just another family of Smiths.
(It sounds as though Grandma will miss the minister, Dr. Philputt, because even in the large church they attended, he knew who she and Gilbert were.)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Fair and warm
Dr. Philputt died this morning at 9:00. We were told as we went in to Sunday school. Services were conducted as usual but it was more like a funeral than Sunday meetings. The boys and I stayed for church. Dale’s first communion. Gilbert and the boys took a walk in the park after dinner but I didn’t get my work done till evening.
(Dr. Philputt was indeed a famous minister of the day. Here's some more info on him at this link.
We also learn from the article about him more about Central Christian Church. "The membership of the church is about seventeen hundred and the Sunday school is at present the largest in the city, having an average attendance of more than seven hundred." This was written in 1918.)
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Special thanks to our cousin David who scanned in all the old pictures and copied them to CD's for all of us to enjoy!
Fair and hot
The boys went bare footed a little while today before their baths. All but Dale. He played ball in the park most of the day. Dick got a new pair of shoes at Neffs so they are all shod once again. Summer ought to be better than winter as far as shoe bills are concerned as they go bare footed so much.
(Lots about shoes. FYI, the Indiana Historical Society lists Neff's shoes as a business started in 1885. I haven't heard of it, so I assume it is long gone. Stout's Shoes, which is still in business on Massachutsetts Ave., was established in 1886. It's the place to go for very narrow and very wide shoes!)
Monday, April 17, 2006
Fair and warm
Finally finished my ironing and made Gilbert a white shirt of the goods Mama gave him for Christmas. It is beautiful goods and I want him to keep it for nice and he ought to wear it a long while. I’m feeling fine these days except I tire out too easily. Not as much pep as I ought to have.
(I'm pretty sure not too many of us could whip up a shirt in an afternoon. Sewing seems so much a part of what Grandma does, either making clothes or mending clothes, almost on a daily basis. I sure hope Gilbert kept the shirt "for nice" and enjoyed it for a long time.
I wonder if at this point Grandma has caught on that she is pregnant, and that is why she is tired and lacks "pep".)
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Washed my hair, took a bath, ironed a little and got ready to go to the class party at Mrs. Clancy’s at 40th and Carleton. Mrs. Murphy took me and we left the little ones at Mama’s. Dale and Dick came out on the car after school and Gilbert came for supper. Mable was there and we played bridge and had a nice time. Got home pretty late for the boys but they stood it fine.
(The "car" means the street car. Grandma's parents lived on North College Avenue, and the street car ran right by their house. Dale and Dick were 7 and 6 when they rode the streetcar alone, and according to Mom, they would have had to transfer cars at College and Mass. Ave. to get there. Mable was Harry's first wife (Harry is Ruth's brother) and their daughter was Winifred. Mom says that Grandma said that Winifred was one of those people who started things but never finished them. She joined the WAC's at the beginning of WWII, met someone whose last name was also Campbell and got married right away. Her husband was killed in action before she had their twin boys, Brian and Bruce. Mom also said that they reason they knew Winifred actually was married to someone who had the same last name as she did was because there was an obituary in the paper when her husband died. Winifred never remarried, but moved around to wherever her father was, and he helped raise the twin boys.)
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Mama came today and I ironed some mostly but didn’t get quite done. Had flannels and a lot of extras to wash and that put me back. It seemed like I couldn’t get a thing done.
(Remember Grandma has commented before that when her mother came over, she never got much done. She noted that her mother talked a lot, and due to her own problems with hearing out of her right ear, Grandma had to strain to listen, which distracted her from her work.)
Friday, April 14, 2006
Had to empty my yesterday’s wash water and scrub the kitchen so didn’t get a start on my ironing till noon. Had a whopper of a washing any way on account of all those extra rompers the cat made her bed of so I didn’t get near done. It seems the week follows just like Monday and that day was a fizzle.
(I wonder what it took to empty the wash water and what made it worthy of comment in Grandma's diary? Did she empty it every day, or did she 're-use' the water until it was too dirty to be useful in cleaning? That's frugality if she kept it and used it multiple days. Mom says she might have kept the rinse water to use the next day as wash water. They had running water, and also a cistern buried in the back yard, which Mom said they got water from to wash their hair. It had a heavy iron lid on it, and they lowered a bucket on a rope "just right" to have it come up with water in it.
And more ironing to do. Every day, some ironing to do! I'd say if someone scrubbed their kitchen and at least made some progress on ironing and laundry, that day isn't exactly a fizzle!)
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I was tired as per usual but washed after a late start. Couldn’t hurry so didn’t get done till affer lunch. Then one of the kittens fell down the hole in the middle of the cement blocks in the cellar wall (I had moved them under the house). I didn’t want it to die there so spent half the PM getting it out. Then Mrs. Collins came and I didn’t get my work done at all till after supper.
(I don't quite understand how the kitten fell down into a hole like that, or what it took to get it out. But, I'm glad Grandma pulled it out. What a day! (FYI, Mrs. Collins is the neighbor across the street.))
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
An ideal Easter Sunday. Got up at 5:30 so the boys had time to enjoy their baskets and we got a good start to Sunday school. Jesse Bader conducted the services and 175 joined the church. Dale went in and was baptized this PM at a service held at 4. Gilbert took him and went back in the evening. Everything was lovely all day except the cat crawled in the cupboard while we ate dinner and had 4 black kittens on Ned’s rompers.
(It sounds like Easter was celebrated much the same as we do today. Easter baskets, church services, and a traditional day for baptisms and joining the church. I'm sure the boys even found the birth of the kittens to be a good thing, in spite of the cat's choice of where to have her kittens.)
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Fair and warm
No rest today. Cleaned up the house, iced my cakes for tomorrow, bathed the boys and took them down town to meet Daddy and get them shoes. Such a crowd down town we could hardly stir on Washington St., so Ned and I got a few things and came home to finish our shopping on 10th St. Fixed pretty Easter baskets full of goodies for the boys.
(Sounds like she had quite a busy day getting ready for Easter Sunday. If you would like to see a picture of Washington St. in 1925, click here to go to a website of the Indiana Historical Society.
FYI..."Daddy" is how she refers to her husband, Gilbert. When she writes about her father, she refers to him as Papa.
The answer to yesterday's question about what brand of chocoloate Easter eggs Grandma had for her grandchildren to hunt is... Brach's Creme Eggs! (At least that is what I remember.) Today's question... Grandma used to bake a special cake for Easter. Do you remember what it looked like?)
Monday, April 10, 2006
I expected to take Ned and go down town for a few Easter things for the boys, but it rained so I couldn’t. I felt so tired and blue and disappointed that I didn’t get much of anything done. I took a rest which is no doubt what I need. It takes an awful lot of rest for me these days. Toward evening made cookies and cakes. Cookies for the Sunday school class sale down town tomorrow.
(Sounds like Easter is just around the corner and that the boys got something for Easter each year. Does anyone remember what kind of candy Grandma had when we went to her house for the annual egg hunt? I do! Send a comment if you remember!)
Sunday, April 09, 2006
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Did quite a lot of mending in the morning but by noon was so sleepy. I lay down with Ned and slept two hours. Got up and made some pants for Ned, but I had hoped to get so much done. It was pretty dark to see to sew anyway. It is cooler and I am glad we have a fire yet.
(The fire is what fuels their coke furnance in the basement. They have to tend to it regularly to keep the house warm. Why so dark inside? They had electricity and lights, but I suppose they didn't have quite as many lamps and as bright a bulbs "back then", so they were more reliant on daylight coming in through the windows. By the way, saving energy by providing for more daylight later in the day is one of the reasons the government decided to have daylight savings time, but that didn't seem to make much difference on a rainy day. More mending and sewing and being tired. She'll figure out what is going on soon enough.)
Saturday, April 08, 2006
This was the Mothers’ meeting at the school. I went. The program was good but nothing extra. Talked to Dick’s teacher. He is in her best class and doing fine. She says Dale is an exceptional pupil and can’t expect Dick to quite come up to him. But for his age Dick does fine. Went to Centenary Church in the evening. Wasn’t very favorably impressed.
(Dick grew up to be a philosophy professor at the University of Louisville, by the way. Mom said he was almost inconsolable when he got a B sometime in his college career because he had never gotten a B in college so he did pretty well academically (all A's). Centernary Church was on Oxford St. It might have been closer than Central Christian where they normally went, so maybe she was just checking it out to see if she should switch. Who knows?)
Friday, April 07, 2006
Ironed most of the day. Dale played ball with this team after school and Dick brought a little friend, Joseph, home with him. He is a German boy, just came over four years ago. Talks very broken. Albert is crazy about his kindergarten. He wouldn’t miss for anything. He loves his teacher and a little girl who walks home down Tenth St. with him.
("Ironed most of the day". Times and fabric have changed for the better in that regard. I can go a long time without having to iron something. Do I still own an iron? Just kidding, I do own an iron.)
Thursday, April 06, 2006
The grass is getting green and little leaves are coming out on bushes. It is a little cool, we still have a fire, but lovely spring weather. I washed, but didn’t get much else done. Haven’t very much pep, although a little better than a couple weeks ago. Dick was ok today so I guess his injury will not prove serious.
(Just a regular day, I guess. I assume the boys went back to school after spring break on this Monday.)
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
We had intended to all go to Sunday school but Dick was not able to put on his clothes on account of his injury last night. I made him a bed on the couch and applied hot clothes all morning and he felt so much better and the swelling was down so he got up and dressed at noon. In the evening Dale and I went to church and heard Jesse Bader. He is a very good preacher.
(A very good preacher, and somewhat famous, this Jesse Bader. Here is one of several web sites about him:
"He travelled constantly and extensively throughout the Christian Church (Disciples) family in the United States and Canada lifting up the evangelistic task of the churches. He also became the head of the major UCMS 'home missionary' program.")
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
The boys took a long hike up creek to the country today. They went before noon and didn’t get in till after 4. Starved to death. We raked yard till supper. Then Gilbert went down town on business and I took the boys to the stores for supplies. Then Dick got a bad fall against the curb and struck his penis and skinned and bruised it considerably. It made him sick. Bathed him right away.
(Let's remember again that "the boys" were approximately 7, 6 and 5 years old when they took their long hike. We can't tell from her diary if their father, Gilbert, went with them. I would guess not, since he had one leg that was shorter than the other, and wore corrective shoes, one with a much thicker sole, to compensate for that. Mom said this was caused by a childhood illness, but she isn't sure what the illness was. She remembers him walking with a cane at one time, so I guess a hike for this long would have been tough on him.
And, what business would take Gilbert downtown on a Saturday night? We'll never know!)
Monday, April 03, 2006
The boys went to the creek to catch crawdads this morning. While gone, I scrubbed and cleaned up and was just done when in walked Nell and Mike. They had a big laugh when the boys came in looking like tramps with their crawdads. I got a dinner and we had a nice visit till 3 o’clock. They are moving to a farm and the boys are enchanted with the prospect of visiting them.
(Nell is Gilbert's sister. (Bess was his other sister, see post several days ago about her). Nell and Mike had twin daughers, Martha and Louise. According to Mom, Mike farmed several different farms, until the ground was worn out, then they would move on to the next farm. Mom remembers going to visit them in Morgantown, so at one time they must have farmed down there.
Sounds like the boys had another fun day on spring vacation.)
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I cleaned out the front closet and darned all the old stockings on the place and patched and fixed up old things, cut out waists of old shirts, etc. all day long. It made a great difference in the appearance of the sewing room and closet. The boys have been awfully good to stay away from this older gang and play by themselves.
(Sounds like quite a productive day. How many of us consider cutting up an old shirt to make a new waist? (Waists are shirts). I'm trying to figure out where in her house was the sewing room? I called Mom and she said she kept her sewing machine in the dining room. However, there were a couple of little rooms tucked under the eaves upstairs, and perhaps at one time she kept one of those for sewing? The front closet was probably the closet in the bedroom on the 1st floor. There was also a closet in the kitchen, which had a lead pipe that ran up from the basement through to a closet on the 2nd floor. When Grandma wanted to wake everyone up, she could shake or tap on that pipe.
And what's this about a gang? I'm sure they weren't like gangs we have today. It was probably just a bunch of older boys that she didn't want her young ones to play with.)
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Dale was ok today and the three of them spent all day in the park. They must have had a fine time judging by their clothes when they got back. They looked like beggars and ate like them, too. They have colds though. We all have and can’t get rid of them.
(The park that Dale, Dick, and Albert spent the day in was probably Brookside Park. "Brookside Park (est. 1898) is 108 acres of rolling wooded greenspace located less than five minutes from downtown Indianapolis". Sounds like a great place for three boys to play (and stay out of their mother's hair for the day.)