Friday, October 29, 2010

The Journey! M is Home. 4

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy."


M was a happy baby, well let me rephrase that, M was a happy baby that never slept. Colic and living in a house full of big black house flies, and no light will take the smile off of your face.
 Since I had only three months maternity leave, I tried to make the most of my time with M. My brother E could do the barn chores, and I would take M outdoors, and tend the garden. We had a big old carriage, it looked a little out of place here on the farm, but I loved it. She could lie in the fresh air, always close to me and get some sun. She slept well outside. I always thought we were as close to sleeping outside as you can get, but the sun made all the difference.
 Franny on the other hand, either hated the carriage or was very jealous of M. I could not leave the carriage outside with M as Franny would always head butt it. Poor M, no wonder she was not a sleeper, she probably dreamed of this every night. 
 I would take her for long walks down the lane, and the road. She loved this. She also loved driving away from the farm, in the car. (I wonder why?)
 My three months went fast, back to work. My sister was to babysit. M was back in the little house with her cousins. She was happy, so was I, getting away from the farm, at that time, and was what I thought I wanted.
 It was now November, and I was rushing all the time. Get up in the morning, put wood in the stove, boil water to wash, and dress before work, dress M get everything in car, and drive eight miles to the sitter, then five more to work. I was exhausted before I even started. Thank goodness, my brother E took care of all the farm work at home.
 The weather was turning fast. The wood stove was going all the time but kept going out at night. It had a hole in the side we had stuck aluminum foil in. Not safe but it was all we had, times were tough. I slept with more clothes on at night then I wore all day. Then the winter hit with a vengeance, in the night it had turned very cold, M was in her bed at the foot of ours sleeping in her bunting bag, covered with blankets. Since we were always exhausted, we must have slept through, even with the howling wind, and snow; the stove had gone out.
 We wake up in the morning; our bed is covered in snow. Yes, I said snow, seems the wind had blown the snow through the windows, which were not very good. We jump up to check M, her little hand had come out of her bunting bag, and she had gotten frost bite. This was every parent’s nightmare; this house was hurting our child. We got dressed, and passed the floor mop frozen to the floor, and the bucket of water with ice on top in the kitchen, and took M to the hospital. Good news she will be fine. She was to sleep with us, every winter, till she was four years old.
 I loved going to work, it was warm there, and M was safe at my sisters. I tried to work as much as I could. E had moved out, (warmer place I am sure just like H had done), now I had to rush home from work and get the stove going, before I even took M out of the car. This working thing was not working out. I missed M terribly, and it was so much work to get to work, and even more to do when I got home. We needed the money I thought, but mostly I was was afraid of being stuck here, in this house.
 My Dad, my brothers, and my sisters told me they worried we would either burn in our beds, or be found frozen, some morning. No one ever came to visit, except the sunny, warm days. They could not wait to leave. I did not blame them.
 The winter was horrible, and by the spring I decided I would quit my job, and take on more of the farm work, and keep things going, for My Hero while he brought home the bacon, as they say.
 The winter taught me two things, long underwear was going to be a staple, and we would get a different house built, no matter what cost. We would work hard to achieve this goal. Our daughter deserved to sleep in a warm safe home.
 It was going to be a long road but we were very determined.



  1. Wow...gosh you are a strong pioneer woman. Your past life must have made you, who you are today.

    My hat is off to you. :)

  2. My jaw dropped when I read about M getting frost bite. What a thing to happen! Oh, yes, such a nightmare. You both must have felt just so badly - your poor little baby - you poor things. Having to explain at the hospital too.

    Your story is so personal - it's a privilege to be reading it. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. You are such a brave woman! I decided to start at the beginning. I am loving your story. Your story really should be a movie! I lived in a real old home for several years with little insulation and I just about froze! But I live in Texas and didn't have to worry about snow on my bed! Can't wait to read more!

  4. I can understand why M slept with you afterwards

  5. Thank goodness M was ok! I love your pioneer remind me of myself when I was young..ok younger. I can't imagine having to do all that while having to work out of the home as well. You have 'pluck'! :)


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