The water bed was so big and the room was so small we didn't think we'd ever get the bed in there. The old house was huge; this one was so small we didn't really know how we were going to get all our furniture to fit. The biggest room was the kitchen. The bathroom was small; only one person could use it at a time.
At the old house Della's Charlie's family had an old farm house and inside it was an old upright piano. Not unlike the one Orville's wife Betty had when we lived in Wallace. He said we could have it if we could get it out of their house and home without destroying it. We did, and Jenny started piano lessons in 1981.We took her to lessons every week on a Saturday. She had a piano recital and she was done. I started taking piano lessons from her, and then it wasn't long before I started taking them from a teacher at the music store in St Joseph. We had to sell or give away that old piano when we moved and bought a used piano that had 10 less keys than a full sized piano. It was missing just a few keys on both ends, keys I was assured I'd never use. It turned out they were right. We placed the new shorter version, a spinet, yellow piano in the living room with the pretty bay window. When the kids were in school I played the piano all day until they got home. With all the practice I got quite good and they were amazed when they would get off the school bus and hear me playing classical music that Jenny hadn't gotten to in her John Thompson beginner piano books. There were five books from first to fifth and the beginner elf book plus a primer. I had a recital too. Mary Ann and Floy Mae came along with Jenny, Chuck, and Charles. I believe Della came too. I didn't quit after my recital and continued my lessons with a teacher at Lanham Music co. Her name was Lois. I really liked Lois a lot. Charles didn't like anything I did including crochet. He’d get mad when the lesson ran long, which it often did because like me, Lois was a talker. Sometimes my lesson wouldn't start until it was supposed to be over and Charles was ready to go home. He’d shop at the new Wal-Mart store, the one that bought out Wool co, on Frederick Avenue and the Belt highway.(later it moved from that location and they built a super Wal-Mart store on north Belt highway on the way to Savannah.)He didn't have much money to spend and it got boring to just walk around for a half hour. He’d come to take me home and find out I hadn’t even started yet.
One day when he was growling about how we had to spend money on gasoline and 5.00 for the lesson, he backed out of the driveway and ran over a white kitten I had named Miracle. It was a kitten that Angel had had not too long after we moved there. She had had a few the night before and I had prayed that she would have one pure white one like her. The next day she had one more and sure enough it was exactly like her! I thought what a miracle! From that day on she was known as Miracle. I couldn't believe when we heard the sickening bump and looked out the window of the car little Miracle was lying in the road. It was like God loaned her to me for a little while just to take her back a few weeks later.
On Chuck's fourth birthday in October of 1983 I bought him a twenty inch bicycle with training wheels and it wasn't long before Charles took them off and Chucky was riding all over the yard. Jenny, at ten years old, learned to ride too. She had a 26 inch bike that Charles had put together from frame up. We used to go to the iron recycling place in St Joseph and buy bike parts, the frame, handle bars etc.
The house had a wall furnace and was worthless for heating that little house unless you stood right in front of it. Even then there was barely enough heat coming out of it to feel. Charles rigged up a wood stove and opened a window for the flu to go out. This caused a back up, as the draw wasn't that good and sometimes the house would fill with smoke. At least we were warm most of the time.
There was a huge barn on the property where we stored our "leftovers".I contacted a man in Highland who sold horses and bought a dun colored horse. I rode him and didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary, He was big and an orange color with a white stripe down his nose. We bought him for 500.00 or less and I rode him almost every day. He stayed in the back yard and in the barn at night. Charles fixed the barn to have a stall. I don't know why he stayed in the yard like a dog. I don't think we had him staked out. We had learned our lesson in Denton. We had tried to tie out other horses and they would fight the rope and get rope burns on their legs. These were terrible friction burns and slow to heal. When we let him eat along the roadside ditch I'd have to go with him and lead him around on a long lead connected to his halter. This would take a good part of the day.
I needed to go to Troy one day to get my driver's license renewed. Charles had to have the car to go to Highland to work so I saddled up Dandy and away I went. The only problem with Dandy was he had to be swatted with a stick to keep him going. That was the longest four miles of my life! He’d start then he'd stop. He wanted to stop and grab the leaves from the trees and eat the grass in the ditch alongside the road. I found out later that he had been owned by someone who had trained him with spurs so all the kicking and switching I did was like a fly pestering. I put him in the paper after that day. A lady said he looked like a horse she used to have a long time ago. She bought him and I complained to the man in Highland I had bought him from so he introduced me to Stony. Stony was a registered Quarter horse. He had been in shows and was blood red with a big long blaze down the front of his face. He was beautiful. He was sixteen years old but he was so shiny and frisky everyone thought he was much younger. Stony rode very well except when I pushed down on the stirrups and pulled back on the reins he would tuck his head under and come to a full stop. I don't know how many times I almost went over his head. I called a few people who would know about this behavior and several people said the same thing, that he had been a barrel racer. It didn't take too long to retrain him, that when I push down on the stirrups and pull back on the reins that just meant stop. I had learned to ride from the best, meaning Terre, who taught me everything. Terre and I learned from each other and what I didn't know she did. She could understand everything I said and did in the saddle. Stony was easy to ride and Jenny would go out and put the bit and bridle on and climb upon him bareback anytime she felt like riding. The people who owned him before was giving him a five gallon bucket full of oats every day and he was so greasy and fat it was hard to keep the saddle on tight enough.
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