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Little Creek

I’m writing this before church this Sunday morning. It’s a cloudy cool morning with forecasts of a warm-up this week before another chance for rain this next weekend. The remnants of the hurricane brought us a 1-1/2″ rainfall. For this we are thankful.

Yesterday was a thoroughly enjoyable day with many of the Degase family gathering in peace and harmony and love for one another. We had several coming who don’t often come, and almost all of Pone and Elsie Degase’s famly were present. Lige’s family was well represented. He was the oldest. Then next was Jim’s family. Jim was raised as a brother to Pone’s children after he lost his parents at an early age. Bill’s family are all in Michigan and seldom get to be with us. Dude’s family was well represented as was Iva’s and Orville’s. Those of our family gone on ahead to heaven were sorely missed. We were all happy to have Aunt Mary Degase Thompson’s daughter come from Kansas. She was with her nephew and family. She is Elizabeth and was originally from Oklahoma and also coming as she most always does was Lizzie Degase Flethcer’s granddaughter and husband, Jean and Roy Methvin. The music was really special for my son and grandson joined with Jean and Jim’s grandson, Tony and Brian and Christy’s son, Devon. Jamie helped Tony with a few songs and when my sister Jean sang everyone was very quiet and she sang beautifully as always with the song selection appropriate. I hope it caused some to heed the message.

Little MaKenna Coonts won the family sampler quilt. We all made blocks and signed them and so the quilt was special and beautiful. Makenna Lane Coonts also won the Bible.

I appreciated Nicole, Autum and Devon who met me at the car and helped me in with my stuff. They are all kind and beautiful. (Devon being handsome.) It was a crowd dominated with beautiful babies and young people.

I missed Mont this year since they moved out of state. He was the life of the party every year. I was glad Randall, Kevin and Kasey were off the trucks and able to be there.

We hope everyone will again make a 12-1/2 inch block for next year’s quilt and I pray we all make it through to another reunion.

We had 100 more or less in attendance.

This is Labor Day 2012. The weekend has been good starting with the family reunion, then church with my son bringing the message Sunday morning and my sister singing beautifully as she always does, and ending today with breakfast with Burr and Kasey and that was a country breakfast, made special because I was eating with company.

Those having dinner with me after church were Kevin and Joseph, Karen and Greg, Burr and Ruth, Kasey and Ruby Lee.

I talked with sister, Jo, Sunday. Randall had been with her but had to leave too soon to hit the road in that old semi. The road must seem long to the truck driver, especially one who has driven so long. I think I heard Randall say 13 years with the same company.

Maynard and Mary Ellen Lawson were visitors of Jo’s.

Autum Miller spent the weekend with Granny Jean and Pa Jim. She was at church and then she and Jamie rode their horses. Autum has handled her own horse for quite some time.

I have a couple requests for more to read of older times so if anyone wishes to send me their old time memories, I’ll include them. The youngsters think “good old days” is a misnomer. I’ve wondered about those who read my items (supposedly news) and how many read them who can relate to the “good ole’ days.” I am often stopped and told that someone enjoys Little Creek news and often they are young or middle aged. So I must conclude since so often the request is for the “olden times” stories, that many younger people like hearing of the ways their grandmother’s grew up. So I’ll keep writing from time to time of the good ole days as I knew them. One reason being that I enjoy going there and another is that maybe if I write and someone remembers it, the past will not be forgotten. And maybe someone can find contentment for a brief time in our fast paced world.

God bless my niece Jamie who takes time to tell me how much enjoyment she gets from news at various times and my niece, Katrice, who does the same when I see her. She collects my news items in a scrapbook and even has some my Mom collected way back when.

So I’ll conclude my news which is scarce with a trip back in time to a few days spent with Mom and Ma on or near Little Creek at Grandma’s house.

Even though every drop of water had to be drawn from the well via rope and pulley, Ma was fanatic about cleanliness. On a bench by the kitchen door stood a zinc wash pan, a bucket of water, and a dipper along with a cake of homemade lye soap. Barefoot kids had to thoroughly wash up before entering to eat, which was really the only time kids were inside, weather permitting.

You can guess that wash day was big event. In bad weather everything was done inside with the wood burning stove doing much of the work. In Ma’s eyes, clothes were not clean unless they were cooked, scrubbed on a washboard and hung in the fresh clean air to dry. Often they froze dry. Whenever possible, the laundry operation moved outside. The water was put to boil in a big, black kettle on tripods. I inherited Ma’s kettle and Karen got it to enhace her pretty yard. Mom and Ma collaberated to do both sets of dirty clothes and we all helped draw water becaue everything went through three or four kettles. Two or four hot soapy, one hot rinse, and if I’m not mistaken one tub was for cold water with blueing. Sometimes we had rain water caught in wooden barrels, but we always kept enough for washing hair because it was so soft.

The wash day work started at daylight. By noon, several lines of pasturized clothing were flapping in the breeze. A close eye was kept on the drying clothes. Anything that came to just the right stage of dampness was snatched from the line rolled into a ball and left in a wicker basket for ironing the next day. We younger kids could never understand why grown-ups complained about wash day.

Not even quilts were spared from Mom and Ma’s boiling water and lye soap. Once a year this magical day (as I remember it) rolled around and all the bed clothes were washed not at the house but down on the creek bank. The perfect day at the end of summer was carefully chosen so as to be no rainfall and we adjourned to Little Creek just below Ma’s house. Daddy transported the kettle and gathered wood for the fire, because these quilts had a year’s worth of germs to boil out. He also helped lift the quilts out of the boiling water bath and into the creek for a thorough rinse. It took two people to wring out a quilt because they were super heavy, being that the inner workings were often toe sacks or real heavy blankets. Then they were hung on the fences to dry. We had picnic food and played in the water all day. If I try I can still transport myself back in time to a day with loved ones together working and playing always on Little Creek.

You may not remember when washing and drying clothes was an all day chore or you younger readers may have no idea what I’ve been talking about, but as a member of the next generation you’ve yet to create your own memorable moments.

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