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Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103

Part I: Growing up in Perry,   pp. [2]-30 PDF (9.0 MB)

Page 4

After the addition was put on, Mary and her sister Rose
shared one of the upstairs bedrooms and her brothers shared the
other in which there were two beds along the wall. "There was
plenty of room. They were big enough rooms but we didn't each
have our own bed. Two in a bed..sometimes three. We had no
closets, so dad...took boards (about a foot wide) and put shelves
in. So we laid our clothes in there. We had hooks along the
wall. Then we'd usually put a curtain over keep the dust
out. We had some dressers then too. But that was just plain."
The bed frames were purchased. Mary recalls that such
things weren't expensive and for three or four dollars you could
buy a bed. "We had no mattresses, we just had boards across,
then we had a big bag and we filled that with straw, either straw
or corn husks. The last years we had corn husks.
"In the winter we used to have flannel blankets instead of
sheets. Then we got featherbeds to cover up. Everybody had
ducks--we pulled the feathers out and mother washed them. They
made pillows and featherbeds. It took quite a few feathers. I
know we had two of them. The boys had one at our place and the
girls. Featherbeds were warm.   That's all you'd need, you
didn't need half a dozen spreads or anything--soft, they weren't
Today down pillows are considered a luxury but years ago,
even poor families with geese in the yard rested their heads on
them. "We had geese and we took the fine feathers and the long
feathers and we pulled the down off. Oh it was lotta work."
Mary's father worked on the addition and remodeling, but
hi::ed most of it done. "Well he helped, but he had different
builders. He wasn't a carpenter, he was just a farmer at that
time... we didn't have the tools. My dad didn't have a workshop
but he had a barn and then there was a lean-to put on later and
that's where he had all his tools. He done a lot of things, what
he needed for fencing and all that stuff."
Time was a big factor too, since every farm chore had to be
done by hand or with horses. A farmer didn't have the luxury of
free time to work on a building project. By the same token, a
builder who learned the trade spent most of his time building
because that also took a lot longer. When they started
something, often they had to work quite awhile on it.

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