Friday, December 23, 2016

The Nephews Visit .. Part One

My Nephews Visit.. Part One
It was close to wintertime in the North Country, but no snow had fallen yet. My nephew and his family wanted to drive up and visit and we said, "come on up." They had planned a two week stay including travel, and it ended up being a month.
The house was like that. It called to your spirit. The work was hard but it was honest. One of my friends today, said it was like the pioneers and it was in a way. Our mode of transportation was different, but many things were the same.

We did the laundry in the tub for many years. I hung it outside in the summer and often in the winter. They clothes would be as stiff as a board on the line and I would be up to my knees in snow, hanging it up and taking it down. We ground our own meat that Karl had hunted and put in the freezer. We canned from our vegetable garden every year. We made our own bread and butter some of the time. We used wood for heat and we froze to death every year. The ice was on the outside but it was also on the inside. The kids could not touch the walls upstairs or they might stick to it from the ice. This was the world that Greg and his family came to visit, and I watched him fall in love.
My nephew Greg and his wife and two kids arrived bearing gifts a couple of weeks later. They had the largest basket I had ever seen filled to the brim with goodies from home. My oldest sister sent me a quilt. Cathy, (Greg's Wife) made me a basket. Jar after Jar of jams, Jellies, homemade fudge and the best thing to me was the bundle of yellow pine. Cathy had also made me a wreath of leaves from Daddy's place, pine cones, some cotton bolls and cotton. I cried when they told me where the items had come from. It made me feel closer to my childhood home in Jay.

Greg was an outdoors-man and he wanted to hunt with his son. He is also a taxidermist and he wanted a Canada Goose, a big deer, and a snowshoe rabbit to stuff. He got them all and we got to enjoy the meat. It was hard work and a couple of weeks later it snowed, giving him and the kids a wonderful opportunity for a snowball fight. He was in his element and each day sought out the experiences of the 83 acres that we owned.

One day he left before light to hunt. I did not expect him back all day but in the afternoon he came running back to the house. He said, " I need you Aunt Gloria. There has been an accident with an Amish buggy rolling over and children are hurt." I grabbed my medical kit and we got into the car and drove down to the Yoder farm. I knew them a bit, but had never been in their home.
They invited me in and I assessed the children. The small girl had a goose egg on her head and my immediate thought was concussion, but she was responsive so I watched her as I assessed the boy. He was a worry because he had a deep gash on his forehead. I cleaned it and saw that it was deep. It really needed stitches but they usually don't go to the dr except for childbirth, sometimes. I told him that I would do the best that I could but it really needed stitches and it may not heal pretty. I also told him that he would have a scar and all of the girls were going to think he was tough and handsome. He shyly smiled at me with that big ole gash and never whimpered as I cleaned it until I had to pull it together to butterfly it. I was hoping if I could get the edges neat, that it would not heal too badly. A silent tear fell as I used the tape to get the edges nice and neat to heal. Then I wrapped his head.
The third child, another boy, was holding his wrist and it was starting to swell. I worried that it was broken but could not convince them to go for an x-ray. I talked to the Father and told him that If I splinted it and wrapped it, that he would have to take it easy with chores. The father asked, "how long?" When I said 6 weeks, he just looked at me. I was adamant about the boy resting the arm for fear of doing further damage. I said he can rest it now and let it heal or he can work and injure it further, and maybe lose the use of his arm. That got the Fathers attention and he acquiesced with my recommendations. I told them I would have to change the bandages on the gash everyday, and that the girl would have to be awakened every hour all night and if there were any changes to come for me, then I went home
For the next 10 days I was there every morning making sure that they were healing. The father wanted the boy to work, that had the broken wrist, but I stood my ground. At 3 weeks, I said he can help with dishes with his good arm but to keep the other one dry. They were all getting better and the family was so grateful. The children never forgot what I had done and came to visit me often. I would always give them a Pepsi and sometimes a candy bar, which they loved.
My nephew loved every thing about the Amish, because they were like him. They did not mind hard work and neither did he, but he did mind that I had not had a toilet to use for two years. We used a bucket because our entire iron pipe system had frozen and collapsed in the basement. ( I had come full circle in my life. An outhouse as a kid and a bucket and the outdoors as an adult)
My husband would not let me call anyone in to fix anything, because he said he was going to do it, but he never did. My children and I never let anyone know the conditions that we were living in. I had bailed the septic day after day before it finally froze and was gone and my nephew was going to fix this, if it was the last thing he did.
He extended his stay and proceeded to prod and browbeat my husband into doing something that he said he was going to do. I was so proud of him, for I did not have a voice at that time.
I was too tired for too long.
I suffered guilt for years for not being able to be stronger in deeds and just get a furnace, get the bathroom fixed, make life easier for all of us, but I did not. I was trying to survive, keep my children fed and a roof over our heads.
Greg made Karl dig a trench for the Leach field. He told him that no man would let his family live like this and he kept it up until we had a working toilet. We had a beautiful bathroom, it just wasn't hooked up. I had bought all new fixtures two years before but they had no water to them and could not be used for elimination.
Procrastination was Karl's mantra and mine was a hard life.
Greg bagged a large deer that year. I think that the Lord brought him a big one, so that we would have food for a while. He also got his Canada Goose and Snowshoe Rabbit. He was amazed at how thick the fur was versus a Florida deer. They needed the warmth up North so deer had adapted to survive.
Karl stayed primarily sober while Greg and his family were there because he wanted to put the best foot forward. He needed people to think he was wonderful and then when he had them convinced, he could go back to being who he really was.
To be continued tomorrow....... All my love, Kimmee
(the photographs are of Greg and his goose, deer, snow shoe rabbit, the large wreath that They brought me and the basket of goodies on the table Greg grinding deer sausage. Charity licking the cake bowl. It was Greg's birthday while they were up and I made him a Carrot cake which Cathy decorated.)

No comments:

Post a Comment