THE LADIES PAGE

COUNTRY ECHOES

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BRANDON , WISCONSIN, RR-2 53919

A New Year ahead should certainly insert some new stitches of living into the sampler of threads which make up our lives. My Mr. B. is in the process of building himself a new shed to accommodate his treasures from the past, and to be a working place for the present. October brought a new grandson, Matthew John. My only regret is that he is in New Jersey and Grandma is in Wisconsin. It isn't that I don't have enough interests. This morning I am wondering which task to do first.

What a day and age we live in! How can we imagine coming from walking plows and steam engines to computers and jet planes in one generation's remembering? Before little Matthew was born he flew two thousand miles in a few short hours. His parents were among our house guests this past interesting summer. In spite of my many faults, (and what human being doesn't have them) I have one thing in my favor this 'come and gone' season.

'Be given to hospitality,' the Bible tells us, and we surely went overboard in that area. From July 25 to Sep.23 our guest room was occupied for 23 nights and days, plus people spilling into sundry other parts of our house. That was almost 4/10 of the time.

Our guests came from 6 states, California, Oregon, Arizona, Kansas, New Jersey, and northern and southern Wisconsin. We entertained a nut farmer for 9 days. He has 8 acres of filbert trees in Oregon. The wife and two daughters of a real estate dealer came from California. Our eldest son, (the R. E. man) couldn't make it.

From Kansas came a contractor and builder of new homes in the Kansas City area. Arizona brought us a haberdashery salesman. From Jersey came a brakeman and conductor on the Pennsylvania R. R. New Jersey also brought us a retired man who was formerly a designer of Freuh off Trailers. He also, at one time, worked with stainless steel for guided missiles for the government.

Southern Wisconsin brought us a comptroller for a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee and a third grade school teacher in the Racine area. Added to all of these we had dinner guests one day who are the owners and operators of AQUALAND in Boulder Junction, Wis. and another branch in the Green Bay area. We are old friends.

One memorable evening we took a trip into the workings of a big city police department as our oldest daughter told of the nine months she spend working as 'The Girl Friday' for eight police detectives. There were some shocking and tragic stories, and a whopping lot of humor. One day, in a prankish mood, one of Ginni's bosses locked our son-in-law in an unoccupied cell and walked nonchalantly away, swinging his keys merrily. Ken's plaintive voice followed him down the echoing halls, 'Now just a cotton picking' minute,' he shouted,' 'Let me out of here.' Ken had only stopped in to get Ginni's signature on a legal paper. Scarcely could I believe that our little farm girl could be telling us of frisking women prisoners, and of getting in on jewel robberies. But this was hardly all of the excitement.

At the height of one of our visiting sessions two ominous black bats decided to add to the fun. All of a sudden they were zooming through our living room. They certainly weren't jailed. I was sitting on the couch between New Jersey and Wisconsin when suddenly I had two screaming female heads in my lap. I wondered where I was supposed to put my own. I grabbed a newspaper.

The R .R. conductor and Mr. B. came immediately to the rescue and the bats were soon safely trapped in a landing net, and back outside. The flies weren't so easily handled as we had 6 youngsters between 4 and 14. And we also had a case of puppy love between Arizona and California, a brother of an in-law, and a granddaughter. On my! What memories we are carrying into winter!

Everyone's helpfulness carried us through. Grandpa put the four boys, 4 to 14, to work one day moving some of his possessions. Frankly I think it was self defense. He gave them a real workout; They were quite docile for the rest of the day, and we all profited from their weariness. I think Mr. B. felt like muttering, 'Some of these kids nowadays ought to know what it is to follow a walking plow all day over rough ground.' I assume many of our readers remember how it was. Some boys were so occupied before they were 14. I can recall one who could hardly see over the wooden handles of his father's plow.

What is so amazing is that our world works at all. Somehow there seems to be a man or woman for every job, no matter how varied they are. 1973 has been a year of sadness and trauma for the American people. Sometimes one felt there was no end to what we had to endure mentally. Even in times such as this we can never forget our dependence on one another. Hence the following poem by your truly . . .

DEBIT IN DEPTH

by Mae Baber

One has stitched the seam
which forms my coat,
One has manned the ballot
which I vote . . .

One has written words
with driven pen
That he educate
his fellowmen.

One has carried cargo,
mined the coal,
One has preached true words
to purge my soul. ..

Therefore, let me pay
as best I can
This debt I am owing
every man.

I haven't given up on people, even politicians. And certainly I haven't given up on God. So let's take fresh hope for 1974. God gave His only begotten Son. What can we give?