PLAIN VIEW FARM, RURAL BRYANT, SD




GOD'S FIFTH LITTLE ACRE:

"MORE ABOUT THE FARM LIFE,"

BY ESTELLE STADEM RANGEN




THE CISTERN


If you were lucky to have such modern plumbing as a water pump in the house that emboweled water from a cistern near the house, you could consider yourself very fortunate, indeed. This luxury we had in later years. But first we drew up water by rope and bucket; then by a more modern way which was the turning of a wheel and up came water in many tiny buckets the size of cups that would empty into our large pail. Most families relied on the barrel that collected rain from the rain spouts for many household uses. After we had strained the larvae from the mosquitoes we would wash our hair. My, what soft water.


IRONING WAS A REAL TEST OF PATIENCE


Ironing with the "sad irons" was another ordeal. The irons were rightly named. We heated them on the range winter or summer, which sent us scurrying between the hot range and the ironing board (ours pulled out from the wall--what an invention!) and they cooled off as soon as they touched the damp garments.


BATHING WAS ANOTHER OF LIFE'S TRIALS


The Saturday bath, while the kitchen was warm, required bringing in a large wash tub, filling it with rain-barrel water that was heated on the range or taken out of the reservoir. The lack of privacy and draughts from the opening of the doors made it quite an ordeal. We first bathed the baby, then next in line of years. Hot water was added after each bather had finished to warm up the water for comfort and effect for the next to step in.


HAND-ME DOWNS-FOREVER!


Our clothing was purchased or made a size or two large with the idea that we would grow out of them. The result was that at no time did they really fit ---for by that time they were frayed, if useable at that time! Shoewear was acquired on the same principle, that more shoe was better than less shoe.


BUYING SHOES WAS A JOKING MATTER


Shoes were bought too large or if ordered through the catalog we ended up with them too short and too wide. No one, especially the sisters, wanted big feet back in those times, which these oversizes seemed to be designed to encourage. Shoes had a way of squeaking when they were new; the joke was that we had not paid for them.


MAMA'S NEEDLE MADE OUR NEW OUTFITS FIT


Heaven forbid! No one bought clothes on credit. We waited until we could pay when money allowed and Mama could spare the time to do often necessary sewing and altering to make things fit, and then we did sport new outfits, for the Christmas program. Oh! how proud we were!


PAPA WAS A COBBLER


During the Depression, Papa sat many an hour near the south window of our kitchen patching and half-shoeing the eleven pairs of shoes needed to keep the family's feet covered. Hand-me-downs were a delight, and we had a distant relative in Omaha, Nebraska, who sent boxes of these surprises.


WE WERE A SIGHT TO BEHOLD


In the winter we were a sight to behold; the long-johns had a way of stretching out of shape at the ankles. In order to accommodate the long stockings, we had to make an ugly fold in the underwear cuff and slide the stockings over them.


WE GIRLS PUT ON QUITE A

ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES SHOW

All the girls had barnacles on their ankles and we didn't mind when young, but when nearing the 7th or 8th grade, before arriving at the schoolhouse, we were found rolling the thick underwear up over the knees, and when we dared, cut them off. Top this production off with baggy black sateen bloomers with poor elastic and you can see why boys kept going to gradeschool until they were in their late teens; they wouldn't miss the show! With our gaudy garters and high laced shoes, we were quite a blast!


OUR BEDS WERE HOMEMADE


The springs on our beds were weak, so they became more like a hammock after much use. The upstairs south bedroom was blessed by having the homemade corn husk mattress. Our other warmth came from feathered filled comforters together with our homemade woolen crazy quilts filled with curded wool and tied together by the Queen of Knots, Mama. In later years, better mattresses took the place of the corn husks and feathers, and light- weight blankets and quilts did the trick.


MAMAS' OWN STORY

NOW FOR GOD'S SIXTH LITTLE ACRE:

BUYING, BARTERING, BUTCHERING, AND BANDS


THEN THE FINAL ACRE:

THE SPIRITUAL SIDE

THERE ARE MORE LINKS BELOW


Links to other sites on this Website

THE STADEM GENEALOGY BY BARBARA VORSETH BENSON

PAPAS OWN STORY, BY ALFRED JORGEN STADEM


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