The bad year, 1982, part one;
Thinking about my Mom today, I was thinking of the year 1982, what a tough year that was for us.
My real dad didn't pay childsupport, he said so himself. At that time he had married his 2nd out of four wives who had four kids of her own.
Bobby and my Mom had to take on Bobbys two children due to his x being sick with cancer. They had beds at our house as they came to visit with us couple times a month. But when they moved in it meant more mouths to feed. Mom and Bobby always planted more than enough to last the year, but adding two people to the family in late July was tough.
It must have been Feb. 1982 when veggies ran short, I remember the last jar of tomatoes being opened. We always had the basics, meat, eggs, potatoes, bread and milk. There is a whole menu of good eats right there. It was the lack of money coming in and money being spent on much needed items like a new coal furnace to warm the house and upstairs.
We had the wood cook stove in the kitchen, but you couldn't really bank it off, and mom wouldn't allow coal to be used in it because she baked in it, and the burners on top leaked a little. The upstairs was heated by gravity vents, whats that? Its a square hole cut in the floor from the second story and a vent placed over top of it. If you happen to be in your skibbys and walked acrossed the grate, people down below you could see your stuff. LOL...
Than the grain truck needed repairs, overhaul I believe, and Mad Jack started to break down sows. They retired him as a breeder boar, kept him till he started knocking brick walls over when he needed to scratch. He stood 54" at the front shoulder, we couldn't afford to keep feeding him or repair the damage he was causing. To old and tough to eat as normally you would harvest a hog, we ground him up into sausage and sold it to stores/markets/friends for 50 cents a pound.
Bobby believed strongly in bloodline breeding, because of the quality of meat the hogs would have. Not having any boars that we could use for breed stock from Mad Jack, we had to buy a seasoned boar. Of course meanwhile all of kids were growing like crazy and needed clothes every few months.
Grandpa came down in early May to visit us, mom was pretty nervous because if he saw the root cellar bare like it was, he would get on her like a father scolding a child. My mom was pretty tough, but I never heard her disrespect Gramdpa.
He and my mom always fought about who was going to cook which meal when we were visiting each other. Mom cooked the first night, she had already started dinner. It was egg custard pie for desert.
It was still dark out, the new coal furnace was doing its job, and I was wakened by my granpas loud voice. I didn't dare go down stairs, my sister told us to be quit and not move around so mom/grandpa wouldn't know we were up. I couldn't hear clearly to what was being said, but I had to go to the restroom. That was right over the kitchen where they were.
It got all quit, and mom yelled upstairs and told everyone to get up and get chores done, she was no less than hot.
I saw on the table two jars of spiced crab apples, nobody cared for, but I knew that was all that was left in the root cellar. Grandpa, angry, was putting on his coat when I came down, I was last the morning scared I was going to get yelled at for using the bathroom. (brothers and sisters will be the first to sell you out if they think they might get in trouble)
Grandpa was leaving to go home, I was very hurt, grandpa was my bestes bud in the world. But no time to waste I wanted to get out of the way and get my chores done before breakfast.
Mom didn't speak much about it, Bobby, out of respect didn't say a word about grandpa and his rant all day. Living four hours away, it was dark out, and down the driveway two car lights could be seen. I am sure it was after 10pm, and we weren't supposed to be up.
Grandpa pulled up, a short conversation between adults took place outside. Mom came in yelled upstairs for us to get some clothes on and come down to help. I don't have to tell you that grandpa drove home, loaded a bunch of canned stuff of his own, drove all the way back. By this time, you might ask why not just go buy stuff and stay? Well let me tell you how much stuff he brought, tons.... ALong the way he had stopped and bought some fresh veggies to.
The following day, I remember mom and grandpa talking, he told her if she ever needed anything he was a phone call away. That evening grandpa took me and my sister aside and told us if we ever needed anything to give him a call when mom wasn't home.