Sunday, April 25, 2010

How the Cow Refused to be Ridden and Other Stories

We moved to Trenton Avenue in the 30s when I was in 3rd grade and it was kid's heaven. There were 4-5 houses on both sides of the street. Lining the street, tall maple trees wove their branches across the top forming a canopy and to a little kid, seemed like we had our own forest. There were about 19 kids all together.

Bergers lived next door and they had a semi-farm with horses named Diamond and Rumple, chickens and a cow called Daisey. There was always a litter of kittens or puppies. Daisey and the horses grazed in a field behind the houses. Charlie Berger and Billy Kuhlwind built a tree house out in this field. In the summertime, we tried to coax Daisey to give us a ride and she always ran away. However, we did get to ride the horses once in a while when given permission. As Daisey was a milk cow, Mr. B. would milk her in the garage/barn in the evenings and it was fascinating to watch. Of course, he would squirt us until Mrs. Berger hollered at him. Bergers were a big family of 6-8 kids. Catherine was in the middle of her family and around 16 when we moved in so took to organizing games after school and in summer. We would meet at her house, eat cookies that Mrs. B. provided and make plans. I can't remember any bullying or fighting. It was a wonderful childhood and I still remember the games.

At the end of the street, the water company had a large storage tower. It stood on a hill and in the wintertime, we would sled there. As we got older, we would walk to Laurel Lake that was a mile away. I can remember coming home freezing to death and warming my feet on the radiators in the kitchen.

One spring, it rained for 3 days and we had 2 ft of water in the cellar. Dad would put Jeannette in a bucket and give her a ride around the room. Jake Mick who lived in the next block came down the street paddling his canoe.

On Mischief Night (which was the night before Halloween), we would throw corn (from Stafford's farm) on the neighbor's porches and grease the door knobs. That was the extent of our mischief. The teenagers in town would collect anything that wasn't tied down and put it in front of the door of the Laurel Springs Bank. In the morning, you would find your rocking chairs, etc. there and all kinds of trash. My uncle told me that once they put a cow in the movie theater.

Jeannette and I were reminescing the other day of our times on Trenton Avenue so thought it should be written down.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feast or Famine

That's what retirement life is all about! This week, I'm feasting! Everyday, there's something to do. Monday, I met Patty and we took Aunt Gin's car to the shop. Tuesday, took Aunt Mary to the dentist. Her granddaughter works as a dental hygienist in an office over in Medford so she goes over there rather than closer to home. And, ate lunch at the Olive Garden. On leaving, we bought some of their chicken soup to take over to Aunt Gin who recently had hip replacement surgery. A week after coming home, she fell off her bed and the replacement became dislodged so she has to go back for more surgery. Wednesday, Aunt J. and I went to our Socrates Cafe meeting. We discussed Socialism and all aspects of it - of course, we got off on other tangents but is always interesting - then, of course, lunch on the way home. Today is our Red Hat Day/lunch and Maggie and I are hosting at the Village Cheese Shop in Haddon Heights. We bought "coasters" at the Dollar Store for gifts for all the Hatters. Tomorrow, Marilyn Lynch and I are visiting a friend who is now in an assisted living facility and as you may have guessed, we are taking her to lunch. This is why you see so many fat old ladies! On Saturday, along with Patty and the kids, we are going to the Annual Ham Supper, a fundraiser for the fire department. And Sunday, like God, I'll rest!