Mom s cupboard held a large crock of sour dough starter from which she started all of her breads. Breakfast was usually prepared by dad in those days. His pancakes were started from the same starter. Near it stood a crock full of lard. She would fry sausage paddies, lay them in layers, and pour the melted lard over all. This was the natural pork fat rendered from the bacon rinds. This method preserved and sealed the meat and it could be taken out and re-heated like fresh, when it was needed.
Other crocks contained Sauerkraut, Pickles and Mincemeat. These were kept in the Cool Cellar. The beef was hung out there also. The neck of the Elk was always used to make the delicious mincemeat which filled pies for our enjoyment months later. The older folks also liked raisin pie. I never learned to relish them. A favorite cake was an apple cake made from fresh apples. We canned and preserved our fruit in half gallon jars. Every dinner was not complete until it was completed with a bowl of fruit.
Of course the "plumbing" was outside. Our "Biffy" stood some distance from the back of the cabin and apiece up the hill. I hated to go at night. About 100 yards up the hill was an old charred stump. In the daylight l would check and there it would stand, a black charred stump. But came twilight and my courage would fail me. There would stand the biggest, blackest, bear that my imagination could conjure up.
During one of our trips to Boise, Dad bought ice cream and had it packed to bring back to camp. We were to eat it when we got home. Ice Cream was a real treat and seldom come by. I strove valiantly and hopelessly to stay awake. When we arrived they ask me to wake up so we could eat the Ice Cream. I was supposed to have replied "I did not want any." The next morning l was fully awake and the ice cream was long gone. I have never forgiven them for that piece of folly.
When Jack was a baby he needed cows milk, So they decided to have whole milk delivered from a ranch down the creek (road). One day we arrived home in cold weather and there sat the milk on the step, protruding up through the neck of the jar where it had frozen. It's funny the things that one can remember so vividly.
In the front room we had a pot bellied heating stove. In the winter we depended on It for heat and It burned very hot. One morning while dressing, we children cuddled around it for warmth while dressing. I touched the back of my hand to the monster. It burned it deeply and they put my hand in a mitt with a new drug called Sulfa Drug Powder, ...sprinkling it on my hand. It was just beginning to heal well when we made a trip to the grandparents to a family dinner in Star. We had a big family meal and l had a piece of cake in my hand when I walked out side. Granddad's dog came bounding up and jumped at me. He scrapped the top off the burn with his claw. I still carry that scar although it is faded now. I recall Granddad helping Grandma with the dishes after a meal in the evening. He would pad back and forth from kitchen to dinning room, his slippers beating a curious tattoo on the carpet. He would whistle a tuneless whistle through his front teeth, placing each dried dish in its place in the dish side board. They had a dish cupboard and a library table that had been constructed from birdseye pine. The wood had been sawn in the sawmill that had been erected by his father Elsbury Eytchison on Cottonwood Creek. It had been logged, and pulled to the milll by oxen. It was such a nice piece of wood they had furniture made from it. It is the library table that I have now.
Jack was a whooping 10 pounds when he arrived. His birth broke Mom's pelvic bones and she had to lace herself into a boned corset every morning for years afterward. He was a very strong baby and you could hear him kicking In his basket at night. One night he kicked until the braces gave way and the basket dropped to the floor.
We had a bird dog (hunting dog) called Spot. Jack was one of her favorite people. Her favorite place was behind the kitchen stove and Jack would snuggle up with his head on her side to take his nap.
She would never move until he moved. Another tale about three year old Jack: "He loved animals. We had a kitten for a pet. One afternoon he brought her to mama crying, ...heart broken. He had discovered a new game. If he threw the kitten into the creek, she would swim out. Not realizing she might drowned he had thrown her in one to many times and she was dead by the time he retrieved her. He learned about water and drowning that afternoon. Many years later when he was about 13 we had a similar episode. This time the folks had instructed him to place some new born kittens in a burlap bag and drown them. We were over run with cats. He did as told. However, seemed like fate took a hand and try as he might he could not get them to expire. He was heart broke from the experience. When about 16 he rescued a white kitten from a drain ditch and she became a favorite family pet. He still has a pet cat. In fact I believe the current one he has in Alaska is about 16 years old.
The folks bought a cow for milk for us kids. She ran loose, following us around like the pet dog. It was the custom for herds of cattle and sheep to be driven up the canyon to feed in the meadows on the way to high country for summer pasture. One day she disappeared and we never found her. We thought she had followed the herds.
Hubert and I had two pet pigs. We were very attached to them. We played with them like puppies. It was a real blow when they got a Little bigger and the folks butchered them. They probably intended to all along, but it didn't cross our mind they were destined for bacon. Years later we inherited a piglet from uncle Oscar. She was born on the Lenaghen grandparents golden wedding day, one of 13 in a litter. Of course the 13th piglet will starve because a sow has only 12 teats. We called her "Goldie". Mom placed her in a box and took her with her in the car or truck. She was fed a formula and fed by hand. She grew to adult hood but had to be butchered after the boys in the neighborhood teased her relentlessly. They threw Jack in the pen one day and she mauled him. She was dangerous after that, so she too became bacon.
Hubert and l loved to catch Chipmunks. We always let them go again but we could sneak up on them and throw a shirt or towel over them. We could also catch them in a loop on the end of a fishing line. At the time we were catching fish, we caught one fish and put him in the covered spring house. He must have lived there for a number of years because he was still here when we returned the last time we visited the site as teenagers. The little house had a steppingstone just inside the door. An adult could lean in and dip water but we had to step over the ledge and standing on the stone fill our little buckets. It was at this spring that I discovered a wild mushroom bed. The snow had just melted back and the Mushrooms sprang to life as though over night. It was a huge bed. We filled several dish pan size pans. Mushrooms were a cherished delicacy for our family, so we were delighted. I had learned to recognize them by hunting the "Morells" along the Boise River with Granddad Eytchison.
Hubert had to go live with the Eytchison grandparents to start his second year of school. However his first year of school , he lived with Ethyl and George Pritchard. Ethyl was Dads younger sister. I remember as I was sleeping at there house one night, they had put me to bed on the couch and pushed a large chair against it to keep me from falling off. During the night l did just that and woke up to panic My arms were bound to my sides, it was pitch black and I couldn't move. I was in blind panic by the time I had the whole house up. They came in record time to my rescue.
About this same time l had another bad experience. We had visited the fair in Emmett and ate Bing Cherries. When we arrived at The Grandparents house they were picking raspberries so we ate those also. I broke out in the hives and swelled up so bad they couldn't dress me. They wrapped me in a quilt and made an emergency visit to the hospital in Emmett.
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