This week's prompt had me stuck until yesterday. Alan's photo reminded me of pioneer cabins, and just a little while back I had posted about Little Kitchens Over Time.
Then, I got an idea. Well, actually two ideas that will surely make my Saturday morning quite busy on the computer. Good thing that I got up at 5:45, because it looks as if I will be making two Sepia Saturday blog posts now.
I was recently contacted by a nice gentleman named Stanley Buck, now 78-years-old and still living in Oregon. Stan had read my Sepia Saturday blog post about McNeil School/Guntner and Panther Creek and had sent me stories to share about growing up in the Smith River, Oregon area. Stan was friends with some of my Traylor relatives also. Meeting new folks is a wonderful part of blogging, and I am so happy to have made a new friend in Stan. I know that you will enjoy his story and his mother's poem about their time living on the river.
This cabin was one of several places where we lived on Smith River. As crude as it was, built mostly from rough lumber, my mother loved this place; although she kept it clean, there was little housekeeping. The back porch was 50 feet from the river; and so was her fishing rod. At her pleasure, she grabbed her fishing rod and headed for the river regularly. There she and Lil Eight Ball stood on the river bank, about 50 feet from the house. Lil Eight Ball, our small black cat, hardly more than a kitten, was always ready to go fishing. He followed my mother to the river, and each time she caught a small fish he tried to snag it from the hook before she could finish landing it. If she wanted to keep the fish, she had to keep the cat from taking it first. But it was a game; the cat liked her and she liked the cat.
It was quiet living with no electricity, telephone, and even without radio most of the time.
After the war ended consumer goods were still scarce, so it took awhile for the supply to catch up with the demand. I wanted what most boys want, a bicycle and a BB gun. I earned 12 dollars and fifty cents picking sword fern. So, I found a used, but good, old Montgomery Ward "Hawthorne"; my first bicycle. I was overjoyed.
I always wondered why my parents would leave our new home in Portland, and go to Smith River. Well, it wasn't my father's idea like I had always thought. My mother hated Portland and longed to live in peace and quiet again without being a slave to possessions, noise and confusion, dirty air, nasty water, and congestion.
She was a clean, hardworking, Christian woman. She was well proportioned, and always at an ideal weight. She was classy and mannered; with a cool northern European beauty. She wore clothes nicely and looked as pretty as any movie star. Also, she never had an enemy in her whole life; everyone liked her. She took up little space on this planet, and she did a lot of good. About 50 years ago, or more she wrote this poem about that cabin. She lived to 88, and died in 1998.
|Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews|
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