Sunday, January 12, 2014

This is Home, Part 33 - Learning to drive

This is part 33 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004.

Learning to drive

When I was sixteen, Uncle Doc wrote to Jefferson City and got a driver's license for me. I didn't learn to drive until I was eighteen or nineteen. Girls didn't have cars in those days. They borrowed the family car. So did boys until they could earn enough money to buy one.

Uncle Doc taught me how to drive. I remember one time he said, "Where are you looking, Maudie?" I told him I was looking right in front of the car. He said no, look ahead so you will know what the road is like and what is happening there. He told me to look straight down the middle of my side.

Of course, he also laughed when I was trying to drive up a steep hill in Huntsville. It had a stop sign part way up and after I stopped, I couldn't get the car to go forward. When I tried to go forward, it slid back. So I put one foot on the brake. Then when I pushed on the gas, the car just roared and didn't move. I still wouldn't be able to get that car up that hill.

The car had a clutch, a brake, a starter, and a gas pedal. The gear shift was on the steering wheel. I just feel like shuddering when I think of it. Uncle Doc had to drive up the hill, and he didn't have a problem.

Another time, when we drove by a telephone repairman climbing a pole, Uncle Doc laughed and said, "Look, Maudie, he saw you coming."

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This is Home, Part 32 - Jack Frost, autumn, setting up the stove

This is part 32 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004.

Jack Frost

Something I keep forgetting to mention. When the house was warm and moist inside like the kitchen was, and it was very cold outside, water condensed on the glass -- a lot of it -- and froze at night. Then in the morning, it looked like a picture of beautiful leafy trees and woodland paths and fences.

I have no idea how it was every time transformed into a picture. Uncle Doc used to tell me every morning to come and see what "old Jack Frost has painted." It was always amazing to me to find this picture.


Everything changes in the country, or did at that time, when the seasons change. When it becomes fall, the wild geese fly South. One hears the noise -- the honking noises -- and looks up to see a V formation of geese flying overhead. I looked them up and the book said they are in a club formation with a leader out front. There are geese inside what I think of as a V. The birds leave, too.

The nuts fall off the trees and Mom used to take us and we would all gather them. There was usually a squirrel there gathering nuts, too. We left him some. That tree had hickory nuts. I missed it when lightning struck it and it burned down except for a tall, blackened stump.

We had trees with walnuts, too.

Setting up the stove

Also, in the fall, the stove in the living room had to be brought back in and put up. The metal square was put on the rug. The stove was carried back in and placed on it. The yellowish plate with the flowers painted on it was removed from the wall where the stove pipe would go in. The pipe was joined with one end in the wall and one end in the stove. It was time to build the fire.

The door from the living room to the porch was closed and locked. The old fashioned door had a rectangular metal plate on each side, with a metal part extending above it on the inside that could be pushed forward to lock the door and backwards to unlock it. Of course, the knob was there, also, and a key hole. I don't remember if all of them had a key hole. The key hole was in the metal plate, not the knob.

The couch used to be moved back against the door, but after we got the Aladdin lamp it was put in a different place so Uncle Doc could get the lamp out.

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