Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2003, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Years Gone By

    The year has made another turning and we hope everyone has a bright and happy new year.
    It is still a beautiful world, though there are many problems. However, if the ones who are in public office would call on a Higher Power for help, it would be easier to overcome obstacles.
    These winter days bring many memories of the past and our life on the farm. We didn't seem to mind the cold and snow in those days.
    We had a fireplace and a heating stove to keep us warm. Wood did not cost anything, only our labor.
    We had to buy kerosene for our lamps and pay one dollar a month for our telephone. It was battery operated and we had to crank it. We called through an exchange and were on a party line. I still remember our ring was three longs.
    We always butchered hogs in the fall. We raised our potatoes and turnips and Mama always canned lots of fruits, so we did not have to go to the grocery store very often. We only had to buy sugar, coffee, soda, and salt.
    We always had chickens, so we had plenty of eggs, both to eat and to sell. The ones we sold brought enough money to buy the little necessities and often a small luxury.
    Papa raised corn and wheat for our bread. Those days could be called good ... and they were. Nevertheless, I like living in the present time, too. I enjoy our modern conveniences. I suppose back then, we didn't miss what we'd never had; now I would miss many things if I had to give them up.
    Still the way of life in those days was a happy time. Our main activities consisted of going to school, church, and our parties and spelling bees at school. Once a month we had a program at school and gave readings and our families were welcome to attend.
    Our school days will never be forgotten. We were taught the Golden Rule and how to live with people. The impressions we received then have been enduring and have helped shape our lives. The Christian training given us has been a blessing all our days.
    As someone said, "We live in the present, dream of the future, learn eternal truths from the past."

Mellie Smith
January 9, 1975

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