Mixsonian Waive

Waive Junior Remembering
Winter Time

            In the winter everything was white with snow and piled as high as the electric wires in Michigan. We would go to Allegan for supplies about every six weeks in the sleigh drawn by horses. Dad would put sleigh bells on the cutter and sing to us as we drove home. I don’t know if he could sing or not, but I thought it was great at the time.  We would get up early, put all the soap stones (these were large stones that they would put in the oven to get very hot and then wrap in paper or old rags) in the bottom of the cutter to keep us warm. When we got into town, Dad would take the horses to the livery stable for hay and water.  The women folk would do the grocery shopping and sometimes buy material, thread, buttons, and patterns.  Then we would go to the bakery for our favorite cream puffs.  We’d have lunch in a department store room that was fixed up for out—of—town people.  We wouldn’t get home until late in the evening. Sometimes we would have to put horse blankets on the horses going home because it would get so cold.  Dad would sit up in front with his big fur coat; he looked like a big bear!
            In those days every farm had their own woods or forest. To think how they would cut that beautiful hard oak maple.  We would only use the pine for starting the fires, or maybe corn cobs from the corn the hogs had eaten.  Grandma used to put the corn, wheat and oats in the oven for the chickens; sometimes she’s add hot red peppers.
            In February when the sap would start to run in the hard maple trees, it was time to make maple syrup.  The men would tap the trees, put in a little spicket, then hang a pail on it. They emptied the pails daily.  There was a shack in the woods where they cooked the sap -- here they emptied the sap into big shallow tin pans, boil it down until it was to the desired thickness, then skim it.  The women would make maple sugar by cooking it on the kitchen stove.  Many nights after a big snowfall we would get big dishes of snow and then cook the syrup until like taffy, pour over the clean snow, then roll it upon a fork to eat -- gee, it was good!

            When Hazel and I still believed in Santa Clause, Dad put on his fur coat one night near Christmas.  He said he was going to the barn to milk the cows like he did every other night.  All at once someone tapped on the window and there was Santa looking in at us. I was so scared I cried but Hazel gas going to fight him through the window!  We never did believe it was Dad, for we knew he was out milking, ha! 

            You have to realize that there were no snow plows in those so people who had model T Fords would take the tires off and put them in the barn from winter to spring.  I can remember the first new Ford we bought.  It was early spring and very muddy. I was standing by the back door very sad for I couldn’t go along with the man who was going to show Dad how to drive the car.  Dad told me not to cry for when he got back he would take me for the first ride but I don’t remember if he did or not. Dad always took me with him -- I always told on him so I don’t know why he did.