Tuesday, October 23, 2012

but most of all we had fun.

Hi Dee,
Here goes your grama again. This story is going to be about camping.
I worked eleven to seven at nite for about thirty years at the Watsonville hospital.  I had every other week end off --- Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those are the weekends we went camping and deer hunting. I would get off work, get the kids off to school and then I would pack up for the weekend -    food and clothes for all. I think the kids could tell you dad and I always had a fight about where we were going to park. But after a while things settled down and we got unpacked. 
We never just had our kids but at least three more friends of the kids. It's good we had a van and seat belts were not required.
We found this place called Bagby on the Merced River. It was a beautiful place to fish, swim and camp and we all loved it. We have a small aluminum boat that John and the boys would put on top of the van plus a small gold dredge. We would go down river to fish and dredge and John would have to make two trips to get us all  there.  I would make a big lunch to take and we would day camp all day. We did get a few pieces of gold and lots of fish but most of all we had fun.
Now it's time for deer hunting. Both of my boys are deer hunters plus there dad so we always had deer in our freezer. I don't like deer meat but John and the boys did. I liked where we used to hunt. Both Bagby and our hunting campsite were great. We camped on this little stream that we even fished on and caught trout. Both of our campsites were about three hours from home and this one is known as the scout camp.
Here I go again almost forgetting what this story is about.  It's about my Meg and DeeDee and when a lot of us went to Bagby.  We were down by the river and there were a few pools of water - warm and shallow. The girls were having so much fun in the water. I think they each had a small raft and Dee fell off. To this day she swears she was drowning and no one was helping her. We kept telling her to put your feet down and you can stand up. I think I know a little of how she felt--- she was drowning and no one was helping her. Sorry dee!

Enough from this crazy old lady.    

Love you.

Mom, grama, and great

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We sure multiply as time goes by.

Hi Dee, 
Well here's your old grama back again.  This story is going to be about funny books (comic books)--very expensive funny books. 
When I went funny book shopping as a ten or twelve year old they were ten cent apiece. About every two weeks my mom would walk me down to the corner of First and Main Street where 
Palmtags drug store was located. There were racks and racks of funny books to choose from. If I had been good all week and did all my chores my mom would give me ten dimes and that meant I could buy ten funny books. Yes they were only ten cents each! After they were read, then the trading started. I had quite a few friends in the neighborhood and they also had books. I would pick out three or four and the trading started. After a few weeks my mom again would walk me to Palmtags drug for more comics.
A long time ago the streets were changed---what used to be First Street and Bridge Street were changed to Riverside Drive, so no more Palmtag drugstore. 
As a young girl I went to school with a Palmtag and there is still more around town. She had three sons, grandkids and great ones. We sure multiply as time goes by.  
Till  next time.     
Mom, grama,and great

Friday, October 12, 2012

for the next generation.

Hi Dee,  
This story is going to be about my dad - Earl Degraffenreid. To his friends and relatives he was called Buster, later dad or grampa. He was a great man who died too young at fifty eight.
I told you I lived in San Jose for a short time and that was when I lost my dad. We got a telephone call telling us. John and I had two kids at the time - Terry and Gary. Our sweet neighbor who had two kids of her own offered to watch them for us. We left for Watsonville right away. My older sister was there with my mom when we got there. She was married at the time but was a big help with my mom and a young sister and two little brothers. They were right there when he died.  Now this old lady is just guessing on their ages but I think they were about eight, eleven, and thirteen. My mother was left with those little ones to raise.
My dad had a bad accident while working for resetar brothers. He was working with a drill of some kind that was too strong for him and it threw him against a big anvil.  It cut the back of his head real bad. He was in the hospital in San Jose for a long time and when he came home he came home with a bad headache that never went away and wasn't able to work again. My mom was working at the time and continued on. It was hard on her with a sick husband, kids, and a house to keep up. My dad got feeling a little better and felt so guilty about not being able to work so he took over at home. He did all the cooking, housecleaning, kid watching, washing clothes and even ironing. He loved my mom and knew she worked hard for her family.
 Shortly after my dad died John and I moved back home. We found a house close by my mom's so I could help with the kids. Here I go getting ahead of my story! We only lived in San Jose a short while and I was always close by to help with my siblings. 
My dad loved his two grandkids. It was getting close to Christmas and my dad walked uptown to this baby store and bought them each a new rocking chair. They were maple and colonial style.  He had no car so he had to carry them home and hid them in his little garage. He had a doll sitting on Terry's chair and big truck on Gary's. Santa was very good to them that year. When Terry and Gary grew up they had their chairs to pass down to their girls. Terry to Meghan and Gary to Heather. Along the way Heather's chair broke and Gary was going to throw it away. No way was grampa John going to let that happen! He brought that chair home and fixed it, but Gary did not want it back so guess what? Terry had another chair for her other daughter Erin and both my granddaughters still have the chairs today. It won't be long now that my great granddaughters - Sarah and Charlotte - will be putting those chairs away for the next generation.  
Till next story time,
Mom, grama and great

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

a nickel a game.

Hi Dee,  
I'm sure everyone knows by now, I send DeeDee (Erin) my stories and she puts it on my blog. A sweet granddaughter I would say. Love you Dee.
My story today is going to be about horseshoes. It starts out with my grampa the one that was left with his three sons to raise that I told you about in an earlier story.  Well anyway he ended up in Watsonville too living with one of my aunts. He was old by then. My one uncle became a horseshoe champion in Arizona and had all kinds of trophies and of course my grampa was good too.

When I was pregnant with my first one - Terry - I was living with my folks on First Street. John was in the Navy and my folks were both working. I ended up helping with the kids and the housework. My grampa came to our house almost everyday and guess what we did?  We played horseshoes. He would bet me a nickel a game. After a while I started to win a few and boy was it hard to get a nickel  from my tight grampa!
As I got bigger and bigger we slowed down a little.  I went to the hospital to have Terry and the next  day my grampa had a heart attack and died. I was happy with my baby girl but sad about my grampa. When I got home from the hospital sitting in the front room was this beautiful baby buggy and on this card it said it was from grampa. My how I cried knowing I would never see him again.
Mom, grama, and great grama

Monday, October 8, 2012

This has been a sad story maybe the next one will be happy.

 Today's blog is going to be about my mom and dad and a little about the life they lived. 
They came from Kansas and also lived in Missouri for awhile. My mom and her two sisters were living in a girls' home. Not because they did anything wrong - it was because of my Grama. She was a bad mother and couldn't handle all of her kids. The boys stayed with their dad. I think there were four of them. My Grama took off and left her kids. 
My dad went to the home to do some odd jobs and that was where he met my mom and later they married.  They had two boys that died shortly after.  They took off then and came to Watsonville.  My mom and dad were both hard workers. Dad found a job right away.  He had no schooling so he could not read or write but there was nothing he could not do! He built a house for two of his sisters, he was a good mechanic, made table and chairs for grandkids and I could keep going on and on! He was a very talented and smart man. When they moved to Watsonville they already had my sister Betty and three years later I came along. Ten years later my sister came along and then my two brothers. My dad was a good provider. My mom also worked part of the time.
When I got a little bigger my mom would take me downtown to buy school clothes. She pointed to a lady in the store and told me that was her mother. I couldn't understand because she wouldn't even talk to us! After we got home my mom tried to explain to me how her mom left her family years ago. She ended up  in Watsonville with three more children. To a little girl what kind of grama was that?
Now back to my mom and dad. They were good people and loved their kids and grandkids. Sorry but I still cry for my mom and the life she had before she got married and then when her mom moved so close by. But let me tell everyone she was the best mom ever.
I guess I need to tell a little about my dad. He worked in the mines.  When he was little his mom and dad had gone to town. When they got home my dad and his two brothers went out to help put the wagon away. It was storming and lightning.  My dad was holding the barn door open and his two brothers were coming in. About that time a bolt of lightning hit them. His brothers were both killed and my dad had burns across his chest. We were told that all the metal on there bodies was pulled off and the nails out of their shoes. My dad's father died of rabies - he was bit by a wild animal of some kind. There was no cure for rabies, and they had to tie him up in the yard to keep him from biting someone else. 
This has been a sad story maybe the next one will be happy. 
Enough from this tired old lady,   

Monday, October 1, 2012

did the black birds like John's red hair?

Hi Dee,
Well here goes another early morning and I think I'll tell you about my schools I went to.  We didn't have buses to ride, they were only for the kids who lived out of town. As a little girl school was a long way off but that was ok because along the way you would pick up your friends and that always made school closer. When you got there early you always had time to play for a while before the bell would ring. My favorite thing was the bars and here I go bragging again but I was good on those bars. They were so much fun! 
We also had this row of trees in our play yard and under those trees were our swings and if you didn't get to school early you never got a turn. I think playing for a while got your day started. The school I'm talking about was Radcliffe School and I was there from first grade to fifth grade. I had some great teachers and I really liked school. My next school was E.A. Hall from sixth grade to eighth grade and it was a long way off - at least a mile. 
I used to be teased a lot about John.  He always walked behind me going to school.  We had to go through the park on Main Street and did the black birds like john's red hair? They sure did! They didn't bother anyone else, only him. He had to go through the park with his books on his head. It was really funny at the time the way the birds dived bombed John and his red hair.
My next school was high school and a little closer to home. When John turned seventeen he dropped out of school and joined the Navy. I also quit school about three months from graduating and started working full time.  All through high school I worked after school and all day on Saturdays at
Woolworths - the money helped out at home. My mom and dad had three other children so now there were five of us. My youngest sister and I were ten years apart and then my two brothers - Arlene, Jimmy and Dannie.

I'm sure you will be hearing more about my family as long as I can keep blogging, but you know this old lady is old and tired. So enough for now.

Till next time, mom, grama, and great grama

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I think this tells you I love my family.

Hello to anyone reading, 
My mind is blank right now but my girls say, "write more stories grama."
I guess I will start with my family. My first is Terry Lynn, my second is Gary Wayne, and my third I lost at birth - Sheri Ann. I guess I will start with Sheri. 
They say mothers can tell if something is wrong and I sure did.  I did not gain the weight like I did with the other two and she was a couple of weeks early, but I did feel good my whole pregnancy. Sheri was born deformed and only lived for a few hours. It was very hard at the time because I had two little ones at home waiting for mom to bring home a new baby. I tried to explain to them but they were too young. I told them Sheri was sick and was in heaven now.  My family and friends had given me a baby shower so Terry and Gary helped me fold up all her clothes and along the way were given to someone in need. 
When I became pregnant with my next one I was scared the whole time. Mark Robert was born with the cord wrapped around his neck. His color wasn't so good but after awhile he pinked right up and did well.  Then my fourth and last one came along, another little girl we named Lori Elaine who was a joy to us all.  All my kids were a joy it was hard along the way at times money wise but we managed. They were clean, well fed,  and much loved.
Now I will tell you about a few places we have lived in. We lived in two different places on Locust Street and then we moved to San Jose for a few years where John's work was. That didn't seem to work out because our family and friends were in Watsonville and we were there every weekend. John and I talked it over and decided to move back home. We found this old house on Roach Road - the rent was cheap but we had a lot of fixing up and painting to do. It was small but we made it do.  
After a few years we decided to look around for a place to buy and we found one.  It was an old school house* and again it needed work done.  I was pregnant with Lori at that time so for the next ten, twenty, thirty or even fourty years we were busy with the house. The kids learned a lot along the way. We put in windows, doors, a fireplace - all rock that we found at clear creek over by Holister and all hand picked by the Keith family. I'm sure the kids got tired of our house always under construction but you know what? They still had there friends over to spend the night and time to go hunting and camping! 
This is a pretty long blog but like I said before when I talk about my kids I could go on and on! I think this tells you I love my family.
Enough for now,    
Mom, Grama, and Great

* I thought maybe you would be interested in what we paid for our old school house about fifty years ago. We paid thirteen thousand nine hundred and back then that was a lot of money. We felt proud because John's folks or mine were never able to buy a house.