Scoundrels at Work
Back in Sandy Point, back in the day, they used some words that are not in common usage today. The old folks seldom used bad words and usually never in the presence of kids. One word that hangs in the back of my mind, though, is scoundrel. For my grandparents, on both sides, the word scoundrel had a special place.
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Life’s Hardest Jobs
Back in Sandy Point there were a lot of hard jobs. The options for doing them were small. Fire wood had to be cut, animals fed, land plowed, crops planted and cultivated. Peas picked and shelled and canned. Yards were swept (yes, swept-there was no lawn grass). Dishes were washed and dried by hand and floors scrubbed on your hands and knees. Repairs to home and equipment usually were done without hiring someone. Big jobs usually involved volunteers.
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March 22, 2017
Sears and Sandy Point
The news today was not good as it related to Sears. Bankruptcy and going out of business sales loom on the horizon. Hard to imagine just a few years ago that this could happen. Macy‘s and Nordstrom’s are close behind in the race to the bottom. Interestingly, both those companies just tried to make political statements while their ships settle to the red ink sea bottom.
In the Sandy Point days, the Sears catalog and the Sears stores were part of the fabric of America. The local five and dime, clothing stores, and hardware stores were important but for selection, durability, and quality the Sears and Roebuck Company set a standard. Mail order or brick and mortar. The Sears Catalog was to the folks in Sandy Point a coffee table book. Always out in view and with pages dog-eared for quick return when someone was seriously shopping.
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For many years my family attended a small country church down in Sandy Point. There is a family history from both sides of my family recorded in old concrete and marble slabs spread across the cemetery. Many obliterated almost by time.
Originally established there is 1830 when some land was donated for the church there is a long history there associated with the Methodist Church, later called the United (Brethren) Methodist Church. The church that stands there now is a replacement for the original which was destroyed by a tornado in the early 40’s.
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Coats and Ties
Coats and ties may be a thing of the past for some. But there are many that would disagree with that supposition. You might get a lot of opinions on that.
A day or so back I attended a memorial service for a young man that grew up in my neighborhood. About a month before that I had done the same thing for the son of my cousin. Two young men gone at 36 years old. These were occasions that I felt I should wear a coat and tie to although I have seldom worn either these last few years. Not everyone agrees about the importance of coats and ties anymore.
As I walked across the busy street from the parking lot to the service, along with several men who had gathered there, I could not help but overhear them talking and one guy reached in his coat pocket and pulled out what looked like a church bulletin.
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Christmas, Sears and Amazon
It’s Christmas! Boy, it rolls around faster and faster every year.
I won’t go into the religious aspect of Christmas as that is a subject for another day. But, I can’t help but think about the Christmases past in Sandy Point.
Kids, today, see Christmas through a different set of lenses and I am not sure if they have the same anticipation that kids once did for finding presents under the tree on Christmas morning.
It seems like its “Christmas” all the time for them.
Not having small children around any more, I am out of touch, no doubt from when our kids were small. And our grandchildren are now teenagers and I am even further behind the times, perhaps.
For the past several Christmases, due to my personal circumstances and my wife’s not being engaged in the process any more, I have resorted to gift cards. When I seek help in “what would the kids like for Christmas?” I get an “I’ll get back to you” response. I keep hearing no one wants gift cards. So I took matters in my own hands.
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When the Light Goes Out
If you Google the title of this piece, you will get a number of profound thoughts from people like Gerald Ford and others usually referring to the loss of a loved one, etc. or you may find an article about what to do in a power failure. This piece will be similar, maybe, but not the same and certainly not too profound.
I met her when I was staying with my grandparents and working on the farm down in Sandy Point. I hung around with some of the other teenagers over in the town where she lived and got invited to her birthday party. That’s where it all started.
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Sawmills and Slabs
One of my neighbors stopped in the street yesterday and we were discussing the abrupt change in the weather as the first cold snap of the winter was moving in. We started talking about fireplaces and wood and then we started talking about wood stoves. This particular neighbor is one of the few in the neighborhood that is actually older than me and has actually been around wood stoves: not those newfangled ones but the old Home Comfort ones that Grandmother used to cook those delicious biscuits and apple pies. And, there were sawmills and slabs involved. People today might recognize a sawmill if they saw one but if you type in wood slab in Google you won’t see what we got as slabs back in Sandy Point.
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First and Last Time
Saying: “There’s a first time for everything.” One of those those corny sayings that we heard as a child that often had little meaning or relevance at the moment we heard them. I remember hearing them from my grandparents from time to time and smile at the wisdom they were trying to impart in a simple saying or quote. They would probably be surprised that I remember the quote or that I even remember them or the lasting impact they had on my life. My mother’s mother had a little saying that she would utter from time to time and I have never heard it the way she said it any where else: “Nothing beats a can’t like a try.”
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Kids and adults in Sandy Point had certain outfits for certain occasions. There were school clothes which might consist of one, two or three pair of overalls. There were real overalls which have the bib and suspenders and they are still around today but probably would not be seen on a school campus and then there were blue jeans that were often referred to as overalls because of the denim construction. Some kids were lucky to have one pair of jeans with no holes in them. But most had at least two so you could wear one pair a day or two while the other pair was being washed and ironed. Yes, I said ironed! And, probably, starched. They might be hand me downs from an older brother or sister or cousin. A new pair or two from Sears or Penny’s at the start of school was an anticipated event.
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