Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Journey! Our Christmas Miracle! 7


 “I heard the bells on Christmas Day
   Their old familiar carols play,
      And wild and sweet
      The words repeat
Of peace on earth good-will to Men!”
                            Longfellow

The pump house.
  M was two and a half and since we were terrified of the wood stove with the hole in the side, we would not put up a Christmas tree. We did not want to burn the house down.
  We would enjoy the holiday trimmings at both Grandparents house.
  The holidays did not change things much; there was lots to-do around here. There was still Mary the cow to milk, cows to let in for the night then feed, chickens to water and feed, pigs to water and feed, and gutters to clean. Always more water to pump and haul and now ice to chop with a heavy axe, at the pump house, so the cows could drink during the day.
 My Hero was off work for the next couple of weeks so that was a blessing, except for less pay, but chores went much faster with both of us doing them.
  M was too smart to keep in a playpen now so we had to watch her more closely. She would sit in the manger, while the cows with their big heads were munching away at the hay, her little body right beside them. She would be petting them and chatting away. They were very gentle with her.
 I loved being in the barn with My Hero, and M. It was warm with all the cows in there, warmer than the house. We would work together and talk about our hopes and dreams for the future. Those hopes would always revolve around a new house that would be warm and safe for M. It was a nice dream and far from our reality right now.
  Like everyone else we looked forward to Christmas. We would go to Oma and Opa’s on Christmas Eve with all the family, we would eat, play games, and open presents. This was so much fun. We still do this; our girls have only missed this once in their lives. After, we would come home and hope there was enough coals in the stove, so it would keep us warm through the night. It was always hard to leave the warm houses, and come home to this cold one.
  Christmas Day, we would go to Nanny and Grandpa’s house for Christmas dinner, and visit with the other side of the family.
  If anyone ever came to visit the cold, dark and not festive farmhouse they would leave as quickly as they got here. You had to be tough to stay here.

  I had made My Hero a quilt of old curtains, and a tattered blanket; M and I had been working on it for months. I would lay it on the cold floor after the chores were done, and we would work together.


I keep the old quilt to remind us where we had come from, and to appreciate where we are now. It is tattered and well worn.
  Money was very tight and I had made homemade presents for everyone. Stockings, made from old shirts, and potholders. It was not much but we did the best we could. M would be spoiled by her relatives so we would not worry about her. It was a wonderful Christmas with our families, and then our life would go back to our normal.
  My Hero would be going back to work soon; I would have to start doing the morning chores alone.

  Well like everything else on this farm expect the unexpected. We had gone to the barn to do the evening chores and we notice our big mother pig had a litter of seven little piglets. They were early, and lying in the corner almost frozen. She was ignoring them. This did not look good.
  We scooped them up and took them to the house. Hoping for the best.
  We laid these very tiny little pigs on a blanket in front of the old stove in our living room. M was fascinated. It was the first time she had seen baby pigs.
  We massaged them and wrapped them in towels and the blankets, all the time thinking this was not going to work.
   We dozed on the couch with M sleeping between us. We must have fallen asleep; we awoke to giggles and five little pigs running around our living room. M had put one in her wagon and was trying to catch the other ones to put them in too. It was so cute she was trying to mother them.
 Alas one of them did not survive, we put the rest in M’s old playpen and decided we would try to feed them with an old bottle of M's, hopefully that would work. We gave them cow’s milk that was all we had. We kept this up all night, and decided in the morning we would put them back with their mother.
  It was a very long night, M jumped out of bed in the morning to play with her new friends. We took the piglets back to their mother in a nursing pen, she could not step on them here and when she would lie down they could feed. It worked we were lucky.
  That was one of the memories of our Christmas miracle. I will never forget.
  As for the house it was still cold, we had no money, there was still snow on the bed some mornings, the pail of water still froze in the kitchen, and we were exhausted all the time. But M was happy.

 Happy holidays. I wish you peace, health, and happiness.

 Later.

5 comments:

  1. I really enjoy these stories of struggle and triumph on your homestead during the early years, thank you for sharing them with us. I love how you made that quilt and the materials you used.

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  2. Oh, boy.... some days we look back and wonder how the heck we survived .... I never had it quite that bad..but, I remember some pretty cold days in the upper bedrooms... frost so thick on the windows and no matter how I scrunched down into the few blankets..couldn't get warm. Luckily no snow on my bed...that might have been the end of it...I might have tried to cross the border heading south the next time I ran away.....

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  3. I too liked how you and M made the quilt together. Also, that you've kept it.

    What a delightful scene that must have been for both of you to wake up and see M running around playing with the piglets. A treat for your tired eyes :D

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  4. Whew...I'm exhausted just reading about all your work! Thank goodness the mamma pig accepted her babies back...too bad about the one little one though. Oh well..it could have been worse.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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