Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Center Lisle, Part Two By Aunt CB

Ethel, Florence Baker, Kate and Adin, 1950

Continue on the Caldwell Hill Rd. a little bit and on the left is Aunt Florence's farm. She was a sister to Byron. She had married an older railroad conductor and lived a good many years in Scranton, PA. Returned to Center Lisle in 1920 and since early '30's, had been a widow. She milked her own cows, churned her own butter, and Adin hayed her fields for her as they were all on a hillside. In her front yard she had kids' playground toys (she never had any), a seated swing and a 'round a-bout' which we used to run around on. However, she was a crusty old gal and scared us so I visited her usually with Mom. She was the one who helped Mom paint her wedding dishes and did all the fancy roses on special pieces.

 A little further along, on the right side, you'll see a small woods, smaller now than it used to be! I was scared of these woods (shadows and ghosts lived here!) and always scampered past rapidly. One time, when Doris and I were walking up by these woods to Grandma's, I had to go to the bathroom, and Doris said 'Go in the woods'. Well, I 'd bust before I'd do that, so she told me to go in the middle of the road, she'd keep watch (when will I learn not to trust her?!). Just as I squatted, mid road, and mid pee, around the bend in the road came a car, and of course, it was Adin, back from Whitney Point with bags of feed. As he stopped and let us crawl up on them in back he said quietly, “Better not do that again.” From him, that was a big scolding, and I was crushed!

Further along up the hill you pass, on the right, Belle Barrow's farm. An old neighbor and friend of the Bakers, her daughter and son had attended school with Ethel. We used to stop and visit here, also, as we trekked up and down between Grandma's and the store. Her place was famous for the privy which was attached to the house by the woodshed. On your way out to it there were stacks of newspapers and one of the Sunday comics. We used to make a special trip to take them with us to read as we visited. We never missed the privy as it had three holes in a row, two adult size and one a step down, child size. We loved it!

Usually our vacations with Grandma were in the summertime and the number of times we walked the two mile road between our two main points of interest were legion. The road was gravel or crushed stone with a heavy layer of tar over it, and in the heat of the summer, blisters would form on the puddles of tar between stones. We'd hop all over the road, stepping on them, shoeless or shod, to hear the loud pop they made. This is where I learned to walk on the side facing traffic. Mom insisted! Just a bit past Barrows, before the top of the hill, was where I looked every year for the money tree.

One time, Uncle Elmer had given me a quarter and I had it clutched in my hand as I walked to Gram's. Just at this spot, a huge truck had hurtled down the road, making loud screeching noises. It scared me so that I dropped the quarter, and then couldn't find it. Doris was with me too, and she couldn't either. To quiet my tears, she told me that never mind, a money tree would grow there. I'm still watching that spot!


CB said...

I must leave a comment! YOu will note that in the beginning picture I am vigorously pointing out SOMETHING{?} Don't know what but it is an illustration of how bossy I am! Sylva and Leona were my beloved cousins and I guess I didn't want them to miss a thing!!

CB said...

another comment! It occured to me after I had commented, that at the time of that reunion, I could STILL see and so could Leona! What a happy chance the boys helped Joyce to set up for that!!

Susan Kinsella said...

I think you're pointing out just where that money tree was supposed to grow.

Kathryn said...

Sue, I am grieved to tell you that the money tree should have grown somewhere in the opposite direction. Having walked Caldwell Hill Road a lot of times, I figure that the quarter should have landed somewhere on the property that my nephew Matthew Heath lives on now. Maybe I should let his daughters know they should look for it?

CB, those woods that were so scary were home to some of the sweetest strawberries ever. At least in my memory. The first time I walked past them, I was with Chic coming down the hill. We missed the school bus because we needed lunch money. (Mom and Dad were slow in giving it to us.) He has us sit in the woods and wait for the bus to get down the Arnold Rd. hill so we could miss it again. Then we went to the store and had a breakfast and he arranged for us to miss the bus that went thru there too. We got lunch money from Grandma too. Then, he messed with Grandma's car so it quit just after the Lisle bridge and she had to call Tom Sessions to get it. I got to school late, but Chic skipped. What an adventure!

I always loved the walk between Center Lisle and the farm. Gail and I would walk it as much as we were allowed.

Thanks for another wonderful bunch of memories to be shared.

I love you all lots and lots!

Julie (Lochner) Riber said...

That picture is a treasure! I can just imagine following along with Aunt CB's memories and seeing everything she describes in such detail...including the ghosts in other creepy things in the deep, dark forest. Maybe that's what you were pointing at, Aunt CB. Now that you were surrounded by fellow adventurers, you were pointing out some scary thing so they'd know you weren't just making it up.