Friday, May 28, 2010

Preston Idaho Main Street

Ok, since I'll be driving through the town of Preston (population about 4900; ironically, elevation about the same) sometime this weekend, I decided to think back to the stores that existed up and down Main Street, or close to Main, years ago. If I waited until after the weekend drive, you might think I "peeked from under the blindfold" and we can't have that! Preston (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) is about 12 miles east of Clifton, and a trip there was considered "going to town." There are no doubt some businesses that are now gone, some that Ive forgotten, plus some new ones, but here goes:

OP Skaggs, the grocery store with a room in the back where people could rent freezer lockers (before people owned their own freezers) to store their harvested beef or ham, etc. It was a little eerie to enter through the big door and hear the definitive "CLANG" beind you. You always made sure to shadow Mother closely. Nobody was ever locked in there to my knowledge, but it always seemed a possibility. There was a specific smell that hit you upon entering, a good idea what it could have been and I've not smelled it since, but would recognize it in five seconds with my eyes closed even today. The temperature was such that when you went there in the summer, it was a fantastic respite from the heat, but when you went during the winter, you had to brace yourself first...sort of like visiting Canada during the winter months of September through June :o) (Sorry, Sherry, couldn't help that; it slipped right out of my fingertips.)

Other businesses were:
a good bakery, whose name I forget
Sprouse Reitz (a wonderful Kings-like store)
Polar King (homemade fries and the world's best non-homemade ice cream)
The animal auction just west of town; next to it, but never mentioned out loud, was the slaughterhouse.
Across the street from the auction is a bar that still exists, by the name of Tattlers, (or something like that).
Foss Drug (incredible malts so big you had to refill your glass to eat it all)
Famous Preston Night Rodeo & the Franklin County Fairgrounds, next to the ball fields
East Side High School, also of Napoleon Dynamite fame (bigger than West Side, but still rivals)
My Grandma Shaffer's place, with the ice cream parlor next door
The County Courthouse
Edwards Floral (I stopped in last summer and it still smelled like Heaven.)
Pop N Pin Lanes (self-explanatory)
two motels, one next to the Pop N Pin Lanes
a doctor’s clinic
the library
a pretty park
DI (Deseret Industries)
The Preston Hospital
Webb Mortuary, conveniently located next door to the hospital
The Preston Citizen
The Owl, a bar and cigar store
Isis theater
a dry cleaner
Preston Lumber
the bus station, inside a hotel
the barber shop with that turning pole
U&I furniture
Artic Circle
a car dealership
First Security Bank
Police Dept
Drive In Movie, south end of town and over the tracks
Owen’s cafĂ©
a photography shop
Montgomery Ward (nicknamed Monkey Ward for some reason), a catalog store
JC Penneys
possibly a shoe repair shop, not sure
a farm implement company

All stores closed by 5 or 6 p.m.and were never opened on Sundays; most still aren't.

The beautiful cemetery is located a few miles east of town, just north of the golf course and close to the radio station.

Around Christmas time, they have a winter celebration with a "bed race." One time I took my children to watch, and it was quite a fascinating experience. The teams take things very seriously and competition is stiff. It seems like the year we went, the Dean Abrams family won it for something like the third time. Frankly, I'm pretty sure if we lived in the area, my children and grandchildren would be giving the Abrams a literal run for their money.

It'll be nice to drive through town again and note which stores are still open. I'll bet Pauline could come up with at least ten of them I have forgotten.

Cute town, available on your GPS.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wildflowers 'n Things

Yesterday I noticed that there are rose buds everywhere in my yard that should be blooming very soon and after thinking of Spring on the farm yesterday, more things came to mind; namely, Flora and Fauna, Twins of Nature, that provided such sights and smells as:

Indian paint brush, fiery stocks of red, feather-like and about 9 inches tall lit the hillsides were their vibrancy. Then there were blue bells (no cockle shells)sometimes called larkspur and almost a shade of purple, a bell-like flower on a stalk, softer-looking but lovely. There were the ever-beautiful sego lilies, a simplistic elegant wildflower held almost in reverence by anyone of Pioneer heritage. I've heard it's illegal to harvest one from the wild, but I would love to have some legal ones in my back yard as a reminder. There are small cactus plants here and there that sometimes surprisingly develop bright and pretty flowers on their tops. There are beautiful "docks", sometimes mistaken for sunflowers. There is the lovely and rare columbine, almost too fancy to be a wildflower. There is always the fragrant sagebrush which really isn't a flower but smells good enough to qualify in a way. Up at the Loading Place there was a plant with little white beads that we called kisses because if you put them against your cheek and squeezed them, they would give you a wet little kiss. Sometimes you'd come across a wild huckleberry bush and somebody would make up some jam.

Sometimes in the barrow pits, you would find asparagus, growing wild and rampant.

I loved hollyhocks, tall stalks with big blooming flowers full of circular seeds. The flowers were always a bright color; we used to pick them from my Grandmother Rice's yard and make dancing dresses for pretend dolls out of them. Under some of her trees were little violets that smelled so good you tried to breathe them against your nose til you had to breathe out. The theory was that the more you picked them, the more they grew, and I picked my share. Grandma had unique flowers you don't see much any more, like Lilies of the Valley. A year or two ago, I noticed that Lavene Cox had a bunch of them on the north side of her house and it made me happy to know they still grow there. Pansies were always a hit because they like cool weather and have the strength of a lion, along with their deep velvet-like texture and color. Mother grew some flowers called Johnny Jump Ups that looked like miniature pansies and were equally hardy. Grandma also had lilacs...white, blue and purple ones. The white ones smelled the MOST like lilacs.

In my family's front yard we used to have a bunch of rose bushes, the kind where there were bunches of small roses all over, bright golds and oranges, but they were in the way and got chopped down. On the front lawn there was a single white rose bush that had blossoms like perfume. I tried to get a start of that growing but it didn't work. Those white roses would take me away to Ferdinand Land.

The hills were filled with pines trees and cedars and quaken aspens. Everybody in town, at least one time or another, carved their names or initials into a "quakie." Years ago my Dad said somebody found a tree with his girl's initials on it; he probably still has it somewhere. You would carve your name in a tree and the bark would defend itself by swelling up, like lips full of collagen, so it became even more prominent. In retrospect, people probably shouldn't be carving their names into forest trees, but it's a good memory nonetheless.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Salt Licks and Baby Chicks

Now that it looks like Spring has possibly "Sprung"...

One of the...ok, THE most fun thing for a kid on the farm was driving over to Preston in the Spring with Mother and returning home in the back seat with a box or two of the cutest little creatures ever, baby chicks. The box had big holes in it and you could watch their tiny fuzzy bodies wiggling all over as they were chirping their little peeping noises. There must have been a hundred or more in a box, and what an exciting time that was! (This is when the children offer to take care of ALL the work involved, forever.) We would take them home and turn them loose in a section of the chicken coop under a big ceiling light that simulated Mother Chicken. They huddled together in a big mass and sounded like a Jr. Tabernacle Chick Choir; a literal visual of "How often I would have gathered you like a mother chicken under her wings..." There were little boxes with feed holes in them and the cutest metal upside-down-like cans with a little trough at the bottom where the water settled, refilling itself when needed. (I've seen little candy dishes out of that style.) The poor little ones didn't know how to drink water, so we got to hold them in our hands and dip their little beaks in water, then turn their heads back so a few drops went down their throats til they got the idea. Oh, they were so so cute I almost wanted to be a baby chicken! After a few weeks, their feathers turned from soft down into harder feathers, and they weren't so appealing. By the time they were a year or more, they seemed like a lot more work than fun. I never did like the chicken harvest and to this day don't have much taste for chicken. I wrote a poem about them literally running around without their heads, which they seriously do, but won't include it here.

Another spring thing was setting out salt licks for the cows. I thought that was weird, but knew it was important. It was amazing to see a salt lick half gone and wonder how many thousand swipes of the tongue that took. There were brown ones and it seems like some greyish or white ones, no clue why.

Springtime on the farm, not a bad time at all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For My Dear Mother, May 2009

So Good

My mother has always had an easy life. She weighed about four pounds when she was born and got to have her own bed…a shoebox on the oven door. She only had to walk four miles to school (while wearing a dress), sometimes even getting a horse and sleigh ride in the winter.

She got to gather all the dirty clothes in a blanket, like Santa delivering gifts, every Monday doing “the wash” in a wringer washer…got all that exercise and fresh air to boot by hanging clothes on the line out back. Sometimes on Tuesdays we even “helped” her with the ironing by doing handkerchiefs and pillowcases.

We let her darn our socks on a light bulb because she was so good at it. We let her stoke up the stove on cold winter mornings before we got up because she was so good at that, too. We let her off hauling one load of hay each day so she could go make a big dinner, and she was pretty good at having it all cleaned up before we went back out, as well.

All she had to do on the farm was that hay hauling…oh, and hay raking, and hay bale-turning, and the laundry and cooking; bathing us all in a galvanized tub and putting bobby pins in all our hair…and sewing doll clothes and flatfell-seamed flannel pajamas for us for Christmas, and helping us with school projects and volunteering for Clifton’s 24th of July potato-peeling, sorting potatoes, making bread and butter pickles with hand-peeled scallions, replacing the wallpaper every couple of years, making bread by hand, having her “club” once a month, being the ward Sunday School secretary for 60 years…little stuff like that because she was so good at it, you see.

We let her plant a huge garden and tend it mostly by herself because she was so very good at that too, you know.

She’s voted, done visit teaching and made fudge till she had forearms like Arnold Schwartzenegger. She still Mothers and Grandmothers us and we love her so much! She’s very good at that, too, real good!

Love, Kay
Mother’s Day 2009

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Old Mother's Day Story

When I was younger and more niave, I loaned out my only copy of a wonderful Mother's Day story to someone who lost it. Here is my best paraphrase; the original story was much better. (It's a story about two girls, their dad and mother.)

For Mother's Day this year, we decided to do something extra nice to honor our Mother. We thought and thought about it and decided to rent a limo and go on a day-drive. Since it would be good weather, and we were out driving anyway, we could stop by a lake and have a little picnic. Mother is so good at putting together a great picnic--fried chicken, potato salad, vegetables and maybe even one of her wonderful apple pies--that she'll be excited!

And since it's such a special occasion, it would be a good idea if we had new matching dresses, maybe with hats. Mother is so good at sewing she'll be proud to do that. Dad said that since we were out for a drive and by a lake anyway, what a waste not to do a bit of fishing--and he will just buy a new pole. Oh, how excited Mother will be about the whole day!

The celebrated day arrived. The girls were dressed up in their wonderful new matching dresses; Dad was smiling with new pole in hand; the picnic basket was chuck full of a wonderful variety of food. As they were getting read to leave, they noticed Mother looked a little tired. Then it came to them; they would let Mother stay home and rest, maybe do a little tidying up which she liked to do, while they were gone. As they left, they noticed tears in Mother's eyes and they were SO glad they had done all these wonderful things to show their mother how much they loved her.

************** What a great story, huh? Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kids-Part 4 (Kyle)

Mom to Kyle: “That was before your time.” Kyle: “Everything is before my time.”

After daylight savings change: “Mom, it’s 8:56; you’re late!” I said, “No, remember we turned the clocks back an hour?” Kyle: “Our watches too?” “Yes.” “How do they know??”

4-1-92 Kyle to his Grandma Rice: “We don’t have cows. We have bugs.”

4-8-92 First day of daylight savings time: “Come on, Kyle, get up
so we can go to Belle’s. (babysitter) Kyle: “I don’t know if I can make it.”

May 17, 1992 Me to Kyle, “Grandmas are nice, huh?” Kyle: “Yep, and Sherry’s not mean any more; she’s nice.”

Jan 26, 1993: Obviously we went someplace nice; Kyle: “Can I stay in this world?”

April 6, 1993 Me to Kyle: “Tell me if you find Jordan’s (his nephew’s) bottle.” Kyle: “If he drops it, I don’t know where it finds.”

Sep 20, 1993 at 7:15 a.m. getting Kyle up to go to the babysitter’s: “Morning is when it’s light. This is not morning.”

Dec 12, 1993 I got Kyle cereal in a metal bowl. He ate it and said “Look, Mom, I ate the whole bucket full.”

Dec 12, 1993 Kyle, regarding Nik: “Vince, could you please hold his hands so I can ticklish him?”

Dec 12, 1993, Kyle: “Mom, how many more sleeps ‘til Christmas?” I showed him on my fingers and he replied: “That’s too many. I can’t sleep that much.”

Dec 17, 1993 I was lying on the couch and Kyle was lying on my stomach. “Mom, how come your tummy is making noise.” Me: “Maybe it’s the food I just ate running around.” Kyle: “Maybe it’s just your heart playing basketball.”

Jan 12, 1994 Kyle “I want Jared to come play video games with me.” Mom: “He’ll probably come over tonight.” Kyle, big sigh, “Well, how many days is that?”

Jan 15, 1994 While battling stomach flu, “My stomach wiggles.”

Jan 20, 1994 I put vasoline in his bleeding nose at bedtime. Next day, “Mom, why did you put gasoline in my nose last night?”

3-2-94 “Mom, I know which foot to put my boot on.” “How do you know?” “I thinked it.”

3-10-94 Kyle: “I love you real big. Big is heart, huh?”

April 11, 1994 Teelay in her “dancing” dress had just been blessed. We told Kyle to be very careful when he held her. He said:” Why is she so expensive?” We finally figured out he meant special.

April 11, 1994 Kyle, while exiting the Church walking backwards, “Look, Mom. I’m walking upside down!”

April 12, 1994 We were super tired and I said “Kyle, you need to wake up now.” He dragged out and came to my room, “Mom, why did you say it fast? You’re supposed to say it SLOW.”

Kyle, after I was whining Sunday morning (Nov 14, 2004) about my too-short bangs: “Can we stay home from Church then?” (the Opportunist)

April 21, 1994: While playing at the park and waiting for Sherry at school, “Mom, come play on this thing. It takes two.” Me: “I’m real tired. I’ve been working all day.” Kyle: “But this isn’t working, Mom.”

April 29, 1994, calling me at work, knowing I have goodies in my desk there “What do you have for me at work?…Well, check every single door. Check in the one on the right.”

August 1994 Kyle “A triangle has 3 pokies and a square has 4 pokies.”

Oct 10, 1994, he got new light-up shoes, Kyle “See how jump I can go up!”

I gave him a waffle and sent him off to eat it. He came back to say:“Hey, Mom, we need some prayer!”

“I just have my feetsies.”

6-5-95, Kyle (age 7) “I would consider cleaning the whole house for $2.”

Kyle had his friend, Richard, sleeping over. Sometime in the night Kyle got bitten by a spider and when he woke up couldn’t open his eye. He said: “Richard, I can’t open my eye! What’s wrong?” Richard said: “Well, try to rub it or something.” That, of course, made it worse, so Kyle said: “I can’t see! I’m blind!” (We laugh about it now.)

Kyle, (age 18) after tonsils were removed, but while still obviously well under the influence of anesthesia: “piece a cake! it’s kick a**!”; he couldn’t even sit up, but said “let’s go.” I asked him, “Can you see anybody?” He said, “I can see everybody in twos! Do you have my bag? Let’s just get this on & go.” Nurse asking if he wanted jello: “What kind of flavors do you have?” Nurse: “Strawberry and raspberry.” Kyle: “I probably couldn’t taste it anyway. Why am I cross-eyed?” Me to Kyle: “Are there still 2 clocks?” Kyle: One and a half. This is so lame! I’m kinda disappointed they didn’t make me count. I wanted to see how far I could go. We should make a sign on the door--watch out for my breath!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kids #3 (Nik)

3-21-85 “Your shirt’s dirty, Nik.” “Yeah, I know. Maybe I’ll just rub it off…real fast!”

7-6-84 Nik: “Mom, one, two, three, six kittens is eatin!”

8-29-84 “What a bump! I got a headache on my yeg.”

8-30-84 “My kid’s goin at the school. Bye, kids, bye.”

Dec 31, 1985 “Oh, my muscles are ranned out by Dad’s power!”

7-17-85 Nik, how come you have such beautiful eyes? “Cuz I just had ‘em for a long time.”

7-7-85: Arriving home after our long trip to Canada: “Who lives here, Nik?” “Nobody, just we.”

10-14-85 “What’s that you put in the microwave, Mom?” “Meat.”
“Yuk. What do we always have to have food for supper?”

4-23-86: While walking with Nik, I told him how the white flowers on some strawberry plants turned into strawberries. He said: “Yep, MAGIC!”

6-20-85 (lightening) “I saw a blink. Maybe it’s gonna rain.”

Nik: “I know what skunks do. They skunk people.

8-16-85 Nik about the nurse, “She shotted two hurts on me!”

9-30-85 While we were pushing foreheads, I said, “You must have a head made of rock.” Nik replied, “No, I don’t. It’s made of body.” (duh)

Nik, waving the fly swatter around, “Come on flies. I’ll kill ya to deff!”

4-21-07 Mom to Nik: “You’re thinkey today”. Nik: “I’m always thinkey.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kids Sayings Part 2

2-27-74 (age 3)
Mom: “What did you do at Lisa’s house?” Jason, “I played at her.”

3-6-74 Dad: “There’s a bare toe sticking out there.” Jason, NO, that’s MY toe!”

1974 Jason before blessing: “We’ll have to turn the radio off so we don’t wake the prayer up.”

7-3-74, Jason while swinging high: “My belly likes it.”

8-13-74 Jason: about breakfast: “I don’t want any ‘cuz I had a headache in my stomach last night.”

Jason, telling about Vicks “It makes you cry tears.”

“Jesus was baptized by emergency.” (immersion)

Jason: 2-7-74 Getting read for Romper Room pledge of allegiance, “Let’s put our hearts on.”

Jason..3-6-75 “I don’t want it to snow. I want to play on the grass green.”

Jason..9-3-74 playing organ and deciding to use a music book, “Now I’ve gotta stand the notes up.”

Jason..10-8-73 (age 2 ½) We bought him a little boat at mid-morning. He was all dressed but looked up sweetly and said, “Mommy, my knees are dirty. I need a baff.”

4-1-75 Mom: “Where’s the bird?” Jason, “I don’t know. They have a hidey house.”

2-20-76 Jason: “Hey, Grandma, what do bears do in Bear River?”

Jason.(Age 2): We were driving on a night with a full moon: “”Let me get the big ball!” “It’s too far away.” pause....then he said:’ “Let me get a chair.”

3-5-75: About pillowcase “My pillow says it doesn’t want its blanket on.”

10-13-73 While eating pizza: “It tastes like it’s got fire.”

6-28-75 “What do choke cherries do, make you choke?”

4-8-75 Jason washing dishes: “See how dishy wash I am.”

2-20-74 Jason to Jared: “Ok, Baby, let me get on my nerves!”

Vince: 1-3-91 Going out the door to his girlfriend’s party, he excitedly said to me, with a hug–“I love you lots and lots and a little bit hot.”

1-25-81 Vince ate a hot dog in a bun and told me, “I want another hot dog but not the band aid.”

2-1-81: Vince came upstairs in the middle of the night with a sore knee and said “My knee had a bad dream, but it’s ok now.”

Sherry: 3-13-85 “There’s two things I’m allergic to–mosquitos and the dark.”

Mom to Dad: "Don’t leave Nik alone, ok?” Sherry: “No, cause I’d get him, huh?”

Vince: “Nik isn’t even one yet.” Sherry: “No, he’s only two, huh?”

9-17-80 Mom: “Do you know I love you?” Sherry: “Yup, but I don’t love you. I love suckers at the barber shot.” (Shop)

12-18-81 While singing with Sherry:” As for me, Dear Santa Claus, when you come tonight... (I stopped, she didn’t) BRING ME PRESENTS!”

Sherry playing with her little brother, Nik (she obviously wanted a sister instead): “Mom, this is Heather; say hi Heather.”

Nik: 3-21-85 “Rusty don’t wear shoes. He just wears feet.” (dog)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kids really do say the darndest things. Part 1

Seeming as this is the week that turns into Mother's Day, thought I'd post some of the sayings from my kids over the years:

Jared, age 3, to his brother, as mom was saying “one...two...three” “Jason, mom’s counting you!”

Jared: age 3, reading a book: “That’s the wicked switch.”

Jared: age 3: must have been studying the Civil War: “That’s Paul
Root Beer”

Jared, age 3: “There’s tuna in my peanut butter sandwich!”

Jared: age 3: After hearing Dad’s made-up scarey story: “Read us another story, Dad.”

3-7-76 Jared, while feeling my newly-shaven leg, “What’s that? What’s that porcupine?”

Age 3: Reporting on sick neighbor friend: “Hal has the weasels.”

Age 3: Jared, putting toys on toy elevator: “See me put people on the alligator.”

Age 4: “It’s starting to stop raining, Daddy, so we can go fishin!”

What did you learn about in church today, Jared? “I learned about the grasshoppers and the ducks!” (locusts and seagulls)

Dec 1975: Jason assumed ownership of his dad’s cowboy hat. His dad had it and Jason said, “That’s my hat!.” Ferron said “I don’t see your name on it.” Jason took it and went in the bedroom a couple of minutes. He came out and showed us some scribbles on the hat that said “This is Jason’s hat.”

4-14-76 Jason: “I know who the first man and woman were.” Mom: “Who?” “Adam and Even”

Jason, about off-brand life savers, “They’re not fit for my mouth.”

I sent Jason to a neighbor with some casserole he didn’t like and told him to be sure not to fall in the road and get his face in the casserole and he said “I wouldn’t live through it.”