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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • ALBERTA ANDERS: When Daddy went off to harvest

  • The world was involved in a Second World War, my mother was not yet 30 years of age, connection with the rest of the world was limited.
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  • The world was involved in a Second World War, my mother was not yet 30 years of age, connection with the rest of the world was limited. No television, no telephone, without electricity (consequently only a battery radio, to be used sparingly) no inside plumbing, pregnant (not a word casually used in our vocabulary) with my sister, raising three young ones, all too young for school and we lived west of Anderson in what was known as the “Nash” place.
    Daddy was off to harvest, leaving mother with her garden, a cow to milk and the children. The house was a well-built two-story home that had good solid wood floors. Easy, when daddy was home, to invite the neighbors, move back the furniture and enjoy a Saturday night of music and dancing. Daddy with his guitar, there were fiddles and my uncle’s harmonica.  For this little family there were celebrations to anticipate — that was when Daddy was home. There was a peace in the home then, his snoring at night time, a security, his whistling as he cut firewood, taking for granted that in our world all was well. Mother could make those long days when Daddy was gone times to remember with fondness, these many decades later.
    Today, if anyone invited me to go for a walk with them and I knew it was going to be five miles to get there and five miles to get back I would know they were kidding.
    Grandma and Grandpa Spears lived down Stodgin Holler. My brothers dressed in sunsuits sewn by mother, probably barefoot part of the time, mother made our meandering  past Cedar Point, past what was then Lone Dove, down along the Buffallo River, the Klondike store…(with a purpose) one of an exciting outing. Bringing to our attention the flora and fauna along the road, the birds, Indigo budgies, scarlet Cardinals, fragrances of herbs, sage and dill,  the air,  cleaned by the white oak, sycamore, Chinkapin oak, pawpaw, persimmon, dogwood and redbud, the aromatic sumac and hawthorn, the sarviceberry, sampling elderberrys. Greeted with love, we usually had found along the way poke or some other greens to share with a delighted couple. The visit couldn’t have been too long: had to head back to be home before dark.
    It was a time of grace and peace in McDonald County, A day that was shared — probably there were troubles but whatever they were, not bad enough to be remembered. What is remembered is the peace, the love, and that is what I wish for all the children out there with parents who are trying to “get ahead” trying to keep bread on the table and this I would implore.
    Remember to make memories with your little ones, time flies and we are too soon past that opportunity to do so. The McDonald County Historical Museum is still open on Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be closing after the Christmas party so you will want to visit while you can. Check out our info@mcdonaldcohistory.org and www.mcdonaldcohistory.org for more information, or write to us at P.O. Box 572 Pineville, 64856. 
    Page 2 of 2 - Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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