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Kvam, Ingerid M. / The Skalet family : ancestors and descendants of Sever and Malla Skalet

Sever and Malla Skalet,   pp. 7-26 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 18

At one period of time I remember when Jorgen, Stephen and I were on a schedule for
washing dishes and baby sitting. This would be in the summer time. After breakfast,
Stephen and I would do the dishes and Jorgen cared for the baby. After the noon meal,
Jorgen and I would do the dishes and Stephen took care of the baby. After the evening meal,
Jorgen and Stephen would do the dishes and I would take care of the baby. Taking care of
the baby could involve wheeling the child in a go-cart, or rocking and putting the baby to
sleep for a nap. Sometimes we would walk back and forth with the baby in our arms, singing
songs to help the baby go to sleep. The songs were not always lullabies. Grant was old
enough at this time to help with the farm work.
At another period in our lives, I remember we had a "time limit" for doing dishes. We called
it "Beat the Clock". We allowed ourselves 5 minutes, or whatever time we thought would be
reasonable as to the amount of dishes that needed washing. The one who was washing
dishes would prepare the water in the dish pans for washing and rinsing. The others would
put away the food. When we were ready to start washing, then the time limit began. It was
judged after all the dishes were wiped and put away. At that point Ma would be holding the
baby and probably would be nursing the child and be preparing for bed. She sat there
laughing at us racing the clock. The baby was put into bed where the parents slept. We
never had a crib.
On Saturday nights, Pa always drove to town to shop as the Farmer Store was open until 9:00
in the evening. We could go along, caring for the younger children while Pa and Ma got
some groceries. We were not allowed to get out of the car. We remained in the car and
watched other people walk back and forth on the sidewalks and crossing the streets.
Sometimes we would enjoy a 5 cent ice cream cone to eat on the way home. Sometimes Ma
did not go along, which gave her some time at home by herself.
The younger children didn't have much chance to baby sit until after Grant and I were
married. Then Marguerite and Nitzy got in some baby sitting and companionship with Gil,
Maurice, Dorothy Mae, Philip, and Phyllis. I know I enjoyed their help when in 1938 my
husband died and the ones mentioned were of great help to me, as we spent many weekends
on the farm. And especially when Dorothy Mae and Phyllis lived with me in Black Earth
while they attended High School (and Dorothy Mae worked for Dr. Turk) and I was teaching
at Union Valley and the Black Earth Grade School, a period of seven years after which Nitzy
and I moved to Madison, but we still came out to the farm to help with house work, teach
Sunday School, and for Nitzy's piano lesson.
Thora wrote a small story about the "Bu" (Summer Kitchen) on the Skalet Farm when she
was in College, and it was chosen to be read over the radio. I will include the entire story
since it is a very important part of the Skalet Family History.
Page - 18

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