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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

The pleasure of porches

Posted Monday, August 27, 2012, at 10:17 AM

By ELLIE BUTTERFIELD
Columnist

At times when I share memories with you it takes me back to my early girlhood days. From the time I was six or seven I have so many memories. It seems many of those memories recall days on back or front porches.

It was 1944. I was 10 years old and was at my Grandma and Grandpa's farm north of town. Being the only girl in the family, I was so loved by my grandparents.

Grandma had a day bed by the window in the dining room for me to sleep on when I stayed with them (every chance I got).

There was a chiming clock in the dining room that chimed away the quarter hour, half hour and hour.

Many nights it chimed me off to sleep.

I still have that clock and it's still chiming after 119 years and every time brings back memories of my childhood.

How I wish that clock could talk.

I would lay in bed after a long day of play at the farm, swinging on the garden gate, getting to ride with my Grandpa on his horse up the lane, helping Grandma snap beans. Just busy, happy days.

Grandpa always listened to the news.

Sitting in his big rocking chair (I still have that chair), I would hear Walter Winchell and the telegraph tap, tap, tap in the background, all the ships at sea and the news about the Nazi's invading Poland and the war.

I can remember looking out the window and imagining the Nazi's invading us. But my Grandpa was always there to save me and keep me safe.

At the farm there was a big platform porch with a water pump, a back porch with an ice box, a cabinet with a wash bowl and towels to wash up with before you went in the house -- a place to put your muddy boots and a peg to hang your hat and coat on.

Before those war years there were the Depression years.

Many times bums -- as they were called -- would stop by the farm and ask for food for work. Grandma never turned them away.

It may have only been a glass of buttermilk and cornbread but they were always so grateful and moved on their weary way.

As I grew older, my grandparents moved to Marshall. Living in my family homeplace, we had a big wrap-around front porch.

It was a big part of our home and the memories of my porch will always be a part of part of growing up years..

We had two big chairs, a couch filled with pillows and a swing.

Grandma always had baskets of flowers hanging that added so much beauty. Many happy, carefree days were spent on that porch.

As a little girl before I started school my grandpa, W.W. Hains, would sit me on his lap and read the Democrat-News to me and would have me read what he just read to me, pointing at the words and sounding them out.

He taught me to read on that front porch. I remember seeing the word "vegetable."

It was hard to pronounce. Grandpa told me, "VE GET ABLE." It was like a light going on in my head and from then on I could sound out and read every word.

When I was 8 years old, my girlfriends and I would play paper dolls on the porch.

Grandma would be sitting nearby snapping beans or peeling apples for an Apple Pie.

Many times our next door neighbor would join her, and it was fun to hear them visit about their day over a glass of lemonade or iced tea.

Some summer nights when it was hot in our upstairs bedrooms, Mother and I would take pillows and quilts and sleep on the porch.

If you slept on the south side, you could see the stars shining and the man in the moon.

As a teenager, my Mother, Nell, turned the front porch into a wonderland. She had an electrician put in a socket so we could plug in my record player.

Mother would string Christmas lights all about the porch and it they glowed in the night so my friends and I could dance to "Oh, What It Seemed To Be." It was just a neighborhood dance, that's all that it was, but, oh, what it seemed to be.

It was like a wedding in June, a trip to the moon.

Many years later my five year old grandson, Brett, and I would swing high on the front porch singing at the top of our voice, "Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, flying high into the sky ..."

Brett is now 21 years old, and we can still sit on the front porch and swing and sing.

Many happy, carefree days were spent on that porch.

To this day, I'm still sitting on the front porch in the same chairs my grandparents sat in and sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.

Come along with me, and recall your days on the front porch.

Sipping Sweet Tea

Fill pitcher half full of strong tea.
Pour cranberry-raspberry juice to fill.
Stir, pour over ice cubes, add a slice of lemon.
Serve with your favorite cookie for an afternoon Tea Party.


Share your recollections

Editor's note: The Recollections column we publish periodically is a place where any member of the community can share memories about life in Saline County.

These stories and remembered moments are important pieces of our history. They are the bits the history books tend not to include, but taken as a whole, they are part of the community's story.

If you have a recollection to share, send it to Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com, mail it to The Marshall Democrat-News, P.O. Box 100, Marshall, MO 65340, or drop it off at the newspaper office, 121 N. Lafayette Ave. in Marshall.

Thank you in advance.

Related commentary:
'Recollections,' a new place for old stories
www.marshallnews.com/story/1278807.html


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

What a beautiful story!!

-- Posted by captaingbb on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 3:58 PM

My E-mail Addee has changed.

It is now: Dale_Betty_Payne@Comcast.net

Dale Payne

-- Posted by DALE_BETTY_PAYNE@comcast.net on Mon, Aug 27, 2012, at 6:29 PM

Eric - MDN

My address change for E-mail was sent

to change the old E-mail on record at

the Democrat News. Really no real reason to change but who knows it might come in handy

sometime.

Would you please change that for me.

And thanks.

Dale Payne

-- Posted by DALE_BETTY_PAYNE@comcast.net on Tue, Aug 28, 2012, at 12:26 PM


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Various members of the community, current or past residents, occasionally submit essays recalling the people, places and events of the past. We'll post them here. Also, reminisces sometimes emerge in other web forums. This will be a place those conversations can continue.
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