Along with fishing trips, and visits to relatives in "The Valley", the morning of the Fourth of July was very special. Our Grandparents and other relatives, came at this vacation time to fish and visit. They would bring us a box full of fire works. We each received a cap gun and a large box of fire works to share. I recall Hubert and I discovered that we could fill a tomato can full of water, up end a smaller can into it, and with a 5 cent fire cracker thrust through a hole in the top, blow it sky high. When we lit it, the blast would blow into the air so far it would be out of sight. About this time Uncle Wilson Blair, in Emmett, almost lost his arm with a rocket that miss fired, so we were very leery after that and very careful of our safety.
On one such visit the older cousins decided to hike to Stack Rock. I was considered to young to go with them. So ... after being left behind, highly insulted by their audacity, I took out by myself and met them up there. I'm sure if mother who was very busy, and in poor health a large portion of the time, had known half of what we did, she would have been gray headed years before she actually was.
As the sawmill makes sawdust, it has to be carried away from the site. A convenient means to do this was to have water carry it down and away from the mill, using a v shaped trough. Down the creek from the mill the saw dust had accumulated into a large hill. Where the water ran through the pile, the sawdust floated on the surface giving an illusion of safety. Underneath was a pit of wet sawdust and anyone not watching and stepping there immediately disappeared from sight, the sawdust working much like quick sand.
A favorite trail from the mill to the cabin skirted this sawdust pile and ended eventually at our cabin. Hubert had ventured in the wrong direction on one occasion , and walked up on the wet sawdust. He immediately sunk, and just as he disappeared, Aunt Dorothy, saw him. Thinking quickly as the mass closed over his head she was able to rescue him. He never did enjoy getting in the water, even to swim after that. I had a new pair of sandals when I was about four years old. I lost one down there in the sawdust. That is one of those unsolved mysteries of life. I never gave up hoping to find it.
Along the trail after leaving the sawdust pile, the creek meandered in an eddy. Grass had grown in a spot about 10 foot by 20 foot. This was a delightful place to rest and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the summer. We did not have grass around the cabins so it was a novel experience. One time, someone who had previously rested there, lost a little pocket knife ... probably cleaning fish. Now... that was a real find, cherished for many years in my treasure box. I had found a minuscule paddle Lock in much the same way that was it's companion in the box. I looked in vain for the key ... But alas it was never found.
I loved tiny memorabilia. Mom had a tiny blue Vicks nose drop bottle, about the size of my little finger. She gave it to me and it joined my treasures. I have a baby hair brush that was in that box for many years. The brush is the only thing to survive. We lost the comb down a crack in the cabin floor. I have always felt I left part of my life in that crack. Someone gave me a silver cross on a chain that had the Lords Prayer on it. I memorized the prayer at that time. It was secreted in the box also for many years.
The men who worked for dad were varied and interesting people. There was a preacher who came to work for us. He owned a beautiful four seated Model T car. He was determined that I should be going to Sunday School. So he persuaded Mom to let me go with him as he drove to Horseshoe Bend to the Church there. I don't really remember very much about the ride and being at church, but the thing I do remember is that not very long after he took me, he ran the car over the bank and wrecked it. The rusty carcass of the car remained there to remind us how lucky I was. For some reason I had not gone the time as he made the fateful trip.
If we needed to make a trip to the valley, there were two rustic dirt roads. When the weather got bad, it was a struggle to get through the mud, on the unimproved roads. Pavement did not come until many years later. One trip as we fought the "Adobe Mud", it had became necessary for the men to push the truck through the hub deep morass.
I had been sitting on Louis's lap and it was necessary for me to raise up so he could open and get out of the door. I placed my hand on the open door frame above his head and lifted up. My thumb was resting in the wrong place and when he slammed the door closed, it closed on my thumb. It was crushed badly and he felt so bad. Thank goodness I mended well and no damage was evident.
During the summers there were huge droves of "Emperor" butterflies that migrated through the camp site. They were really beautiful as they rose in a colorful cloud when disturbed. It was usual to see them clustered around puddles of water in the roads. As we were watching them one time Hubert complained that his sore foot was hurting. We stopped in the middle of the road to investigate and when we pressed around the wound, the infection broke out of the skin and squirted. It seemed like it shot clear across the road. After the pressure was relieved we went merrily on our way. It's a wonder we didn't die with blood poisoning from slivers, rusty nails and etc. Looking back in old records as I do research, I find a staggering amount of "Lock Jaw", blood poisoning we call Tetanus.
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