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Soulvoice Snippets
Shafer Creek pg6

Hub and Me -Schafer Creek

Mother had a remedy for helping us breath better if we were congested. She placed a pan on the stove to provide moisture in the air and in that she placed very aromatic Benzene Chrysalis. Dad had very severe sinus problems, probably cause from breathing the sawdust as he stood behind the Saws as the Sawyer at the mill. Since we did not have electricity, it was hard to see in the night. One time the Doctor had given him some drops to help relieve the Sinus condition. In another bottle similar, mom had a tincture of Benzene. During the night they got the wrong bottle of drops and put the Benzene in his nose. It about took his head off, it hunt so bad, and they had to take him to the Doctor. Well it turned out that it was one of those "it will cure you, if it doesn't kill you" remedies. Luckily it cured his sinus problem. If we got a sore throat in those days, you got your throat rubbed with turpentine and lard and you had a sock wound around your neck and pinned in place (a dirty sock had some mystical healing power). If your tonsils were to bad, you got your throat swabbed with turpentine by using a feather. If you had the toothache you had a little piece of cotton, dampened and dipped in cloves, then inserted into the cavity. After Ben-gay came on the market mom relied on it for a replacement of the turpentine remedy. It was very effective as a rub. Not one of us ever had to go to the doctor with phenomena or other chest complications.
Granddad had a cure all for tooth ache. His father, Elsbury Eytchison, had fashioned some little tooth forceps at the blacksmith shop. It delighted Granddad to suggest he could pull the offending tooth, then watch us scurry for safety. You did not admit to tooth ache if at all possible. We knew he had pulled his own tooth. However his teeth were very strong until the end so he did not have to remove many. In fact I remember watching him in old age, crack English Walnuts with his teeth. I was not that fortunate. I was born with a congenital condition that did not allow the molars to seal across the top. They decayed very early. My tonsils were bad from a very early age also. I had to resort to the dentist early in life. I never cease to marvel, when I go to the dentist at the changes a few years have brought in dentistry.
Jack was born while we were at Schafer Creek. I recall mother hired help for the cook house and the hired lady watched Hubert and me. Jack was a very happy baby. He kicked lustily in his bassinet. In fact he kicked one night until the brace gave way and dumped him in the floor. There was no harm done. During this time we bought a new stove for the kitchen, probably to lighten Mom's chores, with a new baby in the house. It arrived in a huge packing crate made of very thin wood. It was just the right size for a child's play house. As l recall, Mom was in the valley so the cook was watching us, and of course I also needed a stove in my play house. l can remember just how I planned I could build a fire. I got a wash pan and filled it with pine needles and pine cones from beneath the giant pine in front of the house. I placed it in the corner of the play house and struck a match to it. I was in side. I had not anticipated the consequences and as the pine needles flared the crate caught fire. Thanks to a very watchful baby sitter, I was rescued without injury. However fire really alarms me to this day.
Dad had a visitor stop at the mill one day. He was on foot and ask for work. Dad put him to work. As they listened to the news that night, they learned there had been a prison break in Boise and the convict was hiding in the hills above Boise. When he washed up for supper they could see he wore stripped under ware. It was decided, for the sake of safety to play dumb. He he ate with the crew and sometime during the night he went his way. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
There is nothing like a mountain electric storm and until you experience one you have no idea of what it can bring. Mom was very respectful of them and took all the precautions she could when one arrived. There was one fire especially, that l recall vividly. Mother believed that if you went to bed on a feather tick, that the feathers would repel the lightening, consequently we had a lot of feather beds. On this particular occasion the lightening had set a forest fire. We could see it jumping from tree to tree on the ridge behind camp. All of the men and horses were battling to save our very lives.
I don't recall how my grandparents arrived on the scene. It is probable they saw it from the valley or heard about it on the radio. I remember they put us children in the car and started down the Schafer creek road. On the way down the canyon we saw a magnificent sight. One of the cougar, we had been used to hearing in the night, was bounding, ...floating if you will, ...fleeing along the creek bank. He bounded along, his tail rippling out behind. This was the first time I had seen one close and believe me ...he was huge. I have a vivid imagination and after that, I was a little spooked at being out in the areas where I figured they might live.
One of the mountain sounds we heard was the drumming of the grouse in the foot hills around us. We would see them crossing the roads as we traveled and along with Pheasants, Ducks and Geese were on our tables in hunting season. Deer and Elk were in abundance and we relished them in hunting season. Mother canned the meat to preserve it for the winter. She rolled it in flour, fried it in lard, seasoned it, then bottled it. It was very delicious done in this manner. She also corned it in brine, curing it with Morton's Salt.
One time the people from camp had been looking foreword, to the dance in Horseshoe Bend. These Saturday night "Barn" type dances brought the whole community together for western, square dancing and socializing in general. Somehow Dad was suffering from an injured back. They decided they could resurrect the situation and get him on his feet in time for the dance. They put a mustard plaster on his strain and put a corset around him, the staves to support the injury. He about passed out from the heat from the mustard plaster, under the corset. He did go to the dance.
The children were always taken to these gatherings and Hubert and l would play with the other children until time for bed, then we were put to sleep on the benches. Snuggled safely and deeply in a quilt we slept many a night away. I learned to dance very young and loved doing all of the old time dance steps. My dad Lester was a great dancer, knowing all the dance steps, ... we danced together.
Granddad's younger brother, Ross, his wife Felica and the two children Pat and Harold were working for Dad. Felica was something of a gymnast and could drop into a graceful full split. One time she really frightened every one when she fainted, and rolled under the little Whippet Car. I don't recall the details.
I loved Mom's kitchen and recall her sitting me on the counter by the sink to comb my natural curly ringlets into place. Each one was combed around her finger, she would then pull her finger out and the ringlet would cascade to its full length. My hair grew very fast so l wore it long when l was young.

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