It was 1954 and 1955. Our little home in Indiana had a huge central furnace in the basement. We had to buy and put coal in it, hoping not to put too much or too little because that would change the temperature drastically. One night we got terribly hot. The wind had been blowing into the flue or something. We opened all the windows and tried to adjust all the entries into rooms. It was winter, but still hard to cool down enough to go to sleep.
I had a ringer washing machine, with the roller to get the soapy water out and into a tub of rinse water. After stirring, I used the roller to extract the rinse water and drop the clothes into a basket to be hung on a line. I had a terrible time trying to get all the soap out of diapers so the baby wouldn’t be irritated. We had a clothes line to hang up the laundry. In winter diapers would dry stiff as a board. We started hanging them on line we stretched through the basement. Later we bouht a wooden rack for a fast dry upstairs for some of the baby things. I remember each time I was ironing maternity clothes, I would wonder if this would be the last time I’d have to do that.
There was also a differerent problem with the basement. It seems they unknowingly built the house on a spring. So the basement floor was covered with flooding water to about 6 inches. So we each kept a pair of golashes on the second step up to put on every time we went down there. This all sounds terrible, but we were young and happy and just did what we needed to do. Automatic washers and dryers were new then so I’d never known any thing but old fashioned wringer washers.
Our home had a stand of beautiful purple Irises all along the driveway in front. There were the prettiest Redbud trees I’ve ever seen in Indiana. Iowa had them too but they weren’t as brilliantly beautiful. We also drove around and crossed covered bridges which are mostly extinct now. The state was picturesque and we loved it. Wabash college was a men’s college and we had a good friend who taught there. Two of our children were born in Crawfordsville.
Shannondale was a tiny town people would say if you blinked driving through you’d miss it. It was 25 miles east of Crawfordsville, and 25 miles west of Lebanon. There were approximately 25 homes there and the white frame church. We were told that only about 5 of the houses in town had indoor bathrooms. Thank goodness ours was one of them. Most of the congregation came from surrounding farms. The church had outhouses, his and hers.
We had a rule that we never pick up hitch hikers because of the danger. One day I was driving home from Crawfordsville when I recognized our friend from Wabash college, Dr. Cotton. He always hitch hiked. He was an older fellow so I gave him a ride as far as I was going. Then later when I told Jim I had picked up a hitch hiker, I didn’t tell him who at first. That was one of the few times in our 56 years of marriage that I was able to put a joke on him. It was usually the other way around.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you how we got a car, and what happened when the big storm came.