Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chapter 2 - Karl Jansen

When we left Norway, Kansas we moved back to Scandia, Kansas, about six miles. The house that we rented had a concrete walkway to the graveled road, some five yard or so. One day our dog Bounce was laying on the walk and was pretty badly chewed up from fighting the neighborhood dogs. This little gal about fourteen or so ran over his legs and he jumped up and scratched her leg. She told her dad who owned the store, she was spreading flyers for, that Bounce had bit her. He called the Town Marshall and had Bounce shot. I didn't like her before and I remember the animosity I felt towards June Freed after that.
Still second grade for me.. Dad got some plans for building a kite out of newspapers and little sticks, lots of paste. It was a pretty elaborate affair about six feet long and four foot wings in the shape of an airplane. Fuselage about eight inches in diameter. All the neighborhood kids had watched the construction and were on hand for the maiden flight. Dad was understandably proud of his comic strip kite. Very pretty. Someone held the kite, Dad took the tether string and ran. The kite might have reached twenty feet altitude then nosed dived to destruction. I don't remember Dad ever flying a kite again.
On a happier note about the same time, Mom was not home and Dad cooked supper for us. A big kettle of chocolate pudding. Nothing else. What else do you need? We moved after a year or so to a bigger house just out of town.
We must have lived there for a couple of years. but pretty dull time, O.K. duller. We had a big garden. All I can think of in it was melons and peanuts. We roasted the peanuts in the oven. I don't know how we stored them. One day we were playing baseball with a few friends. The only ball we had was a golf ball. We had played three innings in a tie and then someone hit the ball and we couldn't find it. Game over. Life is pretty dull when you remember stuff like that.
We were having a clod fight with the neighbors one night and I got in a better than average throw and hit the Hugas girl in the eye. They called the doctor and he put a flax seed in her eye. The next morning it was free of dirt. I was low man on the popularity totem pole.
Then after that two year stint we moved to another house in the same town, but up on main street. The house was bigger than the last and we learned that it had once been like an inn type affair. The big front yard had a few concrete structures that had been miniature golf obstacles. The house was laid out the same upstairs as it was downstairs. Bedrooms on one end and kitchen on the other end with a large house wide room in the center. Jack and my bedroom was in the big room upstairs. The center room had a big potbellied wood stove and the stove pipe ran up through our room. Dad put a fifty gallon metal barrel on a framework and the chimney ran through it. When there was a fire downstairs we had heat in our room. I recall we had a few red spots from getting too close. Kansas winters were cold. Some mornings after a hard snow blowing wind had hit we would have a little snow drift across our bed. Windows not too tight. We had the bed close to the window for light to read by..I don't remember any other furniture in the room besides the bed and barrel. Closet for hanging stuff. There was an addition on the back of the house for a washroom and three little rooms along the hall that led out the back door. The rooms were for wood, cobs, and coal. Beyond the door was a path between the clothes line and the chicken pen to the outhouse. Just outside the washroom was a deep concrete cistern that all the eaves ran into. We used the water to wash clothes and our hair. To get the water out I had to turn a big crank to activate an endless cup chain. Three tubs of water on wash day. Yes I did.


Sondi said...

Love the stories. Keep 'em coming! Love, Sondra

Lisa Anne said...

Poor Bounce! What a mean little girl. Did you get another dog at any time after that?