Celebrate the Holidays with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra
My cousin, Cecelia Pagan, a little older than we younger kids, lived about four miles from our home. She was the most entertaining person for grownups and children. She wrote to me each week while I was at boarding school. Her letters told all the happenings in the community with paper clippings and pictures that eased my lonesomeness.
One day she made stilts for us from size 2-1/2 cans tied with twine. We all walked with them and had races with Cecelia cheering us on to the finish line.
She served the most delicious lunches out on the open lawn. We never failed to hop into the buggy and get over to Uncle John’s home, as Cecelia would make
The most humiliating thing that happened was on a visit to Marie’s house the day the threshing machine was there. I went home with her after school. I had permission to go, but with command “Do not stay all night. Come home with your sister Martha and the men.” Marie persuaded me to go to the watermelon patch to get two melons. I hesitated, but she convinced me that it wouldn’t take long.
Time slipped by and when we got back my folks had gone home.
Fear had seized me! What would my mother say? I couldn’t eat supper and didn’t want a taste of the watermelon.
Mary’s older sister Loretta, Mary, and I slept in the same bed. I needed to go to the restroom, but I was afraid to go outside.
The next morning I discovered that I had wet the bed.
I had to go home and change clothes before I went
My mother didn’t scold me, I never was so ashamed as I couldn’t hold back the tears. She had my dinner pail packed, and wished me well as she sent me on my way. That day at school is one I will never forget.
One evening, washing the dishes was left to John and me. All the folks but Pa and us had gone to the neighbors. Pa leaned his chair against the wall as he watched us fill the dishpan with hot sudsy water to wash the supper dishes and the pots and pans.
We were singing and acting silly, as I picked up the pile of plates all at once and tried to get them in the dishpan. They slipped out of my wet hands and went bang on the floor. Pieces flew in all directions. Only four plates remained whole out of the twelve. My father’s chair dropped to the floor as he held me by the hand and gave me a lecture on doing a job right and getting some sense into my head.
In fear, we picked up the broken dishes and the pots and pans. We went to bed.
My mother’s penance lasted many days. We had little time for play or games. Such pranks as these drove her to say. “Some days you kids haven’t the sense that God gave geese!”