Saturday, January 30, 2010


Wouldn't it be good, if we found some old diaries or letters? If there are any, I don't remember hearing about it. How much money would it take to make that kind of move, with that many people and all their animals? Maybe they had to hang on with their toe nails until they got some crops planted, harvested, and sold. It wasn't until 1906 that they built the house. I don't know if they did it all at once, or in segments.

They must have pretty soon dug up the stones from the old dugout and built the stone building that sets there now. When we got there, the barn was down the hill south of the house. I remember it seemed pretty complex (to a boy of three). Under the stanchions and mangers I found a goose nest. It was full of feathers. The deeper I dug, the more eggs I discovered. I don't remember a flock of geese, but I know there was a flock. Maybe family members took them away, more likely the coyotes dined on them. There was one old gander who lasted a long time. He was a character we'll talk about later.

Thanks to Pallie! She has news from the past. Daddy told her that he and Mother, "were to move there and take over the duties of Grandpa, January 1, but Grandpa died prematurely on Christmas Eve." Pallie thought "prematurely" was a strange word to use for a man who was already 92 years old. I tend to agree. January 1, 1941, makes sense to me, because I always thought Donnie was not sitting alone -- the reason I needed to hold her as we drove. She would have been about 3 months, three weeks old.

When we moved in, Grand Ma's old black cast iron wood burning cook stove set at the east end of the long room in the main house. We had a four burner kerosene cook stove. They were all in a row. At the right end of those burners was the oven. I think Mother cooked on the wood burner for a while after we were there. Probably for heat in the room. But the first remodel job as spring came was to move the cast iron stove out and to cut a window opening directly behind where that stove has set. I remember how dark it was in that part of the room. The south wall of that room had two doors onto the porch with a window between them. So the window of the east door was the only light for that end of the room and there was a roof out over the porch to cut off some of the light.

The next project was to tear the porch off the two-roomer that set east of the cistern. Then that two room section was jacked up and sets of truck wheels were rolled under the building. The rooms were lowered onto beams attached to the frame work holding the wheels in place. The rooms were pulled a little distance to the southeast. There they were set down on foundation posts and stones, to become the feed bins for a new barn that would be built on in the near future.

It didn't occur to me at the time, but as an adult I finally realized that Daddy never did have just one job. He was a farmer with dairy cows. He had a four man shearing crew. They were gone about 4 weeks every spring shearing flocks of sheep on ranches through the Texas panhandle, the northeast corner of New Mexico, the southeast corner of Colorado, the southwest corner of Kansas, down across the panhandle of Oklahoma and home again. Then we had Papa's flock of 200 ewes to shear, the fleeces to tie and tamp into bags and ship to market. On the farm we had a feed binder and hay baler. In addition to our own work, we did custom work with those for neighbors and family. Daddy was also the finest of carpenters and cabinet maker. There were always outside work of that type calling him. And the constantly expanding projects of building improvements on the farm. And the bee hive inside the kitchen.


  1. I remember hearing one time when in the feed bin part of the barn that it was one time Grandma's "old" house. Do you think they first built and lived in those two rooms before adding on to it?

  2. This weekend I was reading in one of the Family Chronicles, Volumes 8-9, Feb. 1997, page 80.
    Mother wrote, Our Life Story, Part 1.
    Papa, Gordon,Lawton Easley and Dillon Shumaker had formed the Shumaker Easley Company. (She didn't say what year), but in 1936 Daddy, Gordon and Lawton were batching and taking care of the 650 head of sheep at a camp about a mile of so
    from where Granddaddy and MotherShumaker lived. They lived in an old abandoned house. Lawton took care of the sheep the day Mother and Daddy got married, Dec. 19, 1936 and a few days afterward until the new Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Easley arranged to go the the sheep camp. The sheep went to market in April, 1937.
    The big blizzard came April 8, 1938
    The next time she told about being in the tent at the sheep camp was January and February of 1940 they had bought 900 head of sheep and had them on pasture near Duke, Ok. So Daddy, Carlton and I lived in the tent and camp to care for them. It was cold, cold those days, but nice and warm in the tent. We had snow during that time and lost several head of sheep. I should ask Carlton how much of those days he remembers.
    January 31,1941 we moved out of the little two-room house to the Easley farm on Red River. How pleased we were to have a large three-room house with a side room.
    Our Life Story, Part 2 is on page 113
    How interesting your memories are. Maybe some of these dates will help with the timeline of some of the stories.