Archive for April, 2018

Winter is still here

Yesterday morning I went to work with about three inches of snow on the car and ground. I whisked off the back and front windows of the car and backed out.  Once I got to my building where I teach and after an hour, the temperatures were warm enough that there was no snow left on the top of the car. Being that it is April 13th, one would think that the winter snow would go away FOR GOOD!

One guy on social media showed a picture of his wearing a hat and down jacket, he wrote: “April 12 winter, I am wearing down.”  He let his readers know he made a play on words.  I wrote “I am weary too.”  When the weather is stuck on winter, you have to start getting creative and just laugh about it. Soon enough we will be mowing the lawns, but for right now, we are ALL tired of putting on our extra wraps and dealing with the snow.

Supt. living room pre 1900

The above picture is from the main dining room of the superintendent’s place at our campus. It shows the luxury of fine dining in the early 1900s.  It was anything but that for many of the early settlers.  Some of the things I have uncovered about early life on the prairie shows that the pioneers had to have a strong resolve to get through the long, tough winters.

The following is what I found out about early prairie living:  “I cannot remember that we ever had in our home the sacred precincts of a parlor—musty, dank, and revere, closed to everyone but the occasional guest—for we lived each day as best we could, using the entire house. We did not live in the kitchen as was usual with most pioneers.

“The kitchen was in the old part of the house and served as the dining room. Another room in this part was used as a shed or storeroom in winter and as a kitchen in summer. In one corner of the main kitchen stood a large iron cook stove at the back of which was a reservoir for heating water and for melting ice and snow. Wooden homemade cupboards stood against the walls, and in the center of the room was a walnut extension dining table covered with marbled, white oilcloth when not in use and with a red and white tablecloth, or, on occasions, a white one, at meal time. Heavy wooden chairs, painted brown with yellow stripes, were set around the edge of the room. The floor was made of wide, white pine boards, and it was kept scrupulously white and clean in spite of grease splashed from fried pork and dirt brought in by the men of the family on their shoepacks and overshoes. For lighting, we used kerosene lamps most of the time, but, had candles also. The majority of the farmers made much use of candles, employing kerosene only for lanterns.

“Many of the early settlers did not have the pretentious home, comparatively speaking, that we had. A large majority of the newcomers were young married couples with small children, so that a one-room shanty was all they required. A single room of small dimensions served as kitchen, bedroom and parlor all in one. All of the furniture, with the exception of the stove and a few chairs, was homemade. A pine table, benches, beds, a trunk or two, a couple of chairs, and a wooden cupboard comprised practically all the furniture. Sometimes a good-sized family lived in one of these small one-room shanties. Two beds, foot to foot, stood across one end of the room. Under the beds were stored during the day the bedding for two other beds to be made up on the floor, and in this way six, eight or ten persons slept in one small room. Sometimes there was a small attic, probably just high enough at the peak so that the average person could stand upright in it. A ladder led to the attic, where the boys and men slept. When I have visited some of the small homes occupied by large families, I have marveled how everyone was accommodated with sleeping quarters. At threshing time, the extra men slept in the straw pile barn, haystacks or granary.”

As my Grandma would often say, “We have so much to be thankful for.”  We do, even while we wait out these winter like days in April!

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Talented group of international students

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My husband and I witnessed many different cultures tonight at the international dinner we attended.  What was fun to see was the talent that many of my former students displayed in song and dance.

Fun to see Indian dance and another student doing his dance from Nigeria. Also, percussion players did a great job.  Little did I know that my former student from Korea was a part of the puppet show, she was an ox and her boyfriend was the monkey.  Didn’t take too much practice to explain the origin of the Chinese 12 animals designated for each year.

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The above picture shows the animals and the story explained why the cat was not included in the group of 12 animals. The following is from the percussion people.

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Finally, here is the last picture of a fun evening.  The best was left until last.

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