Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Favorite Story

Sometime around 1910 my great grandparents, Nellie and Bert Martin, were living on a farm in southwestern Kansas. They had an 8 year old daughter, Jennie, and had just lost a baby boy. Times were very tough.

Nellie and Bert were living in the barn until a house could be built. It had a breezeway with stalls and storage on either side. Nellie did the cooking in the granary with an old quilt as a curtain. They slept in the loft.

Creeks tend to meander this way and that around there and Jennie had to cross one creek 8 or 9 times going each way to school. She'd stop with the neighbor kids and sometimes have dinner until her dad showed up on the horse to take her on home.

The time of this story Bert was away for a time so Nellie and Jennie were alone in that barn. They went to bed for the night but were awakened by a clicking sound down below; kind of like something being knocked against something else. While Jennie hid by the bed Nellie stood over that loft door, her white nightgown glowing in the moonlight from the little doors open on each end, and her pitchfork at the ready.

After a while they didn't hear the sound any more so they both went back to bed.

Just as they were dozing off the click, click came again. They listened a little closer and soon realized the breeze coming through the loft was lifting the lid on the chamber pot just enough for it to make a clink as it dropped back down. They had a good laugh, moved the chamber pot, and slept the rest of the night.

I can't tell you how many times Grandma Jennie told me this story and always ended up chuckling at the end. Today would be her 108th birthday. I have loved this photo of my Grandma ever since I was small.
I hope you enjoyed the story and the photo as much as I always have.