Monday, March 7, 2011

Jesus, Loss, Death and a Goiter

More classic Sunday School songs from age 3-8:  Tell Me the Stories of Jesus   Zacchaeus

There was a woman in Liberty church with a huge goiter.  I stared at that a couple times, trying to figure out what was wrong with her neck.  "Don't stare at people, that's not nice," my Grandma Jonas would say.  That became a childhood rule since, "some people aren't as fortunate as we."

We had a parakeet and it flew away (I wasn't so good at closing doors) so we felt bad, getting our introduction to grief.  Then the neighbor man, Mr. (Tom) Atkins died and they had his viewing in his living room.  I remember walking down the street and into the Atkins home.  Suddenly, there he was lying in a casket, very still and peaceful.  Someone explained death to me once we got home (about 90 feet from Mr Atkins porch.)  I didn't understand the loss and grief part, yet.

I did understand the food part, though, at a young age.  "Wow, we're having pecan pie!" I would exclaim as I noticed a pecan pie (usually two) being made in our kitchen.  "No, it's not for us, it's for the so and so family, Mrs. so and so's mother  suddenly died last weekend."  We're making the food to take to the church after the funeral service is over so the women in the family don't have to cook.  When someone dies, there is a lot of food.   

We had a few hogs in a crumbling barn just behind our house, until the family had a big butchering session at Grandma Jonas house, next door.  I remember blood everywhere in Grandma's kitchen.  She had a favorite butcher knife that got a workout on those former hogs.  Whenever we had fried chicken, the killing of the chickens happened in Grandma and Grandpa Jonas' yard.  Someone like my Uncle Jerry (Hoffman) would tie the chickens on the clothes line, then quickly cut off their heads and get out of the way.  Mike and I would each get a chicken's foot to play around with.  It was interesting how you could pull on the tendons and see the claws move.  I have a vague memory of scaring girls by sitting the claws on their shoulder and pulling the tendon to make the claws contract.

The wishbone was the other prized item with butchering turkeys and chickens on special occasions.  Make a wish and pull.  It would come true, allegedly, for the person with the longest part of the bone.  One thing I prayed for with the wish bone and my birthday cake candles was for my Mom to get better.  She suddenly got polio and couldn't walk for a while.  She used to go to the hospital for therapy to get her legs strong again.  It worked.  (The prayer and the therapy).  I'll tell you later about Mike hitting me in the head with a baseball bat (accidentally) when Mom couldn't walk.

We'd learn about Jesus and sing about him and pray to his Father  in small town Liberty.  We felt safe.

We're working on some info about the Liberty town pump for another post on this site.  If you have stories about the town pump, get ready to comment, or send me a note about it.  Thanks.


  1. I have a distant memory of a frog being placed down the town pump. I recall that the pump was off limits for several days. This will come as quite a shock, but, I believe that Lew Thomson was involved. My brother could most likely provide more detail. Rex Hunn

  2. aPat, Thank you so much for the memories. As I read about the "chicken killing", Mary Jo and I were just talking about that recently, about Mike not eating chicken and Mary Jo, of course thought he wouldn't eat chicken, after seeing them being killed in the back yard and hanging on the clothes line, bleeding to death. I just never thought about that. Tell Mike you now understand his dislike for chicken. Love You, Aunt Crock