Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Letter

Perhaps this will explain why I asked the question about when we were born. The following is a letter that was shared by Patsy Sorensen which was written on Uncle Norman and Aunt Cindy's 50th wedding anniversary. I loved what he wrote and as I read it I could hear him telling the story in his own unique way. I guess I longed for a little insight into life when I was born, as he had shared here. I also realize it was another time and another place when we came along, but here is what he wrote. It is delightful to read and adds another bit of insight into the lives of our Wasden family.

(Note from Patsy to me/Ann - Brooks letter to Lucinda. This is not dated, but it was with the 50th anniversary stuff, so I am going to assume that it was sent about that time.)

AUGUST 20, 1913
Let's keep that date in mind --for some reason or other--

In the beginning, things were different!
Now, since that hurdle is passed, may we settle down to good--yes good constructive thinking? Whew! This wears me O-U-T.

The above day started about the same as any other August day. There were calves to feed, hogs to prime their grunts, horse barns were always reserved for my kind attention for sanitary purposes, by which time Father (or Papa; NEVER Dad), and David had the cows milked! Time out for breakfast. We had rolled oats; oatmeal hadn't been invented yet. Cream and sugar--"now don't try to heap up your spoon-full". There would be Mother's baked bread; trowel on a smear of butter, or honey, preserves, or eggs with home-grown bacon or ham, and fried potatoes? Lets see--what else? "Brooks you take the cows down across the river-bridge to pasture."

On my way home I will detour from the established trail to find a little gulley that has been washed out at about where the corner of our
LOT used to be. The irrigation lateral had departed its true course and allowed the stream of water to wander whither it wilt. This little gulley was born from this laxity; it was not very deep not very long but it had two banks which provided the necessary challenge for my skills to build little roads, dugways, tressels, tunnels, bridges, for the conveyance of my wagon!

My wagon? Yes, it really was a caster--an off-cast from a bed-stead. But, my, how nice it worked to make tracks on the soft dirt! Not the scratchy kind when you drug a stick, but a nice, flat-pressed, beauty. I carried this little jewel in my pocket for any opportunity to apply its pretty initials anywhere. But this gulley was a real hang-out. Usually I could just get interested when the alarm was sounded throughout the realm and my presence was urgently needed to turn the washing machine, pull weeds, get in hay and get going. Consequently, I had learned to not bobble my head too much above the limits and quietly attend to my important business.

But--this morning wasn't working out as usual. David, my big brother, had visited my project and completely erased all past construction. This saved me the agony of having to do the same thing because the joy of doing and building is more a pleasure and invites new ways of doing.

But--besides this--I wasn't being interrupted! Sofe would usually be dispatched to bear glad tidings that I must be doing other things of no consequence to me but better to pay attention! But this day, she would come and ask "Was I alright?" Had I heard anything? Well, don't worry." and she would be gone! However, I did see Sister Jones come.

And she left. Years later Edward Jones will teach me to ride his bike.
Then came Sister Shumway. She was our neighbor to the west.
Then, she left.
Came next, Sister Carroll. She was Irish. So was her husband. He had an awful loud temper. He would yell at his horses like thunder coming out of a tunnel. Some said you could hear him clear to Byron, eight miles away. I don't know about that, but he could sure wake up the chickens early in the Penrose mornings.

By and by, Sister Carroll left. She walked straight and determined. She once had rescued me from a gang of big boys who had tied a diaper around my head and arms and would hoist me over their heads and play toss the baby. Of course my joy in this pleasure was measured in decibels of lung capacity which brought Alice Carrol out of the church; her eyes blazing fire and her voice the thunder of
Mount Siniai! I was gracefully deposited in the weeds by the fence while Israel fled in 20 directions.
By and by, Sister Carrol left.
Shortly afterward, Sofe came "triplingly" over the "terra" of the "firma" and announced:
"You may come into the house! You have a new baby sister."
"I do? Where did she come from?"
"Heavenly Father sent her."
"Heavenly Father? I thought we got everything from Montgomery Ward."
"Oh, come in and see."
Sofe tootled me along and sure enough--there in the cradle was this squriming, not quite snarling. little fist fighter! Oh, dear me. "What will we do with her?" was my first worried concern.
"You won't have to do anything about her," was Sofe's welcome reply. "Just wait and watch and you'll see her grow up like Minnie and Elna and Orvile."
Now--that was hopeful! More pals like them? Ah, Heaven came awfully close, right then.
But--you took so much time to grow up. Why, the next morning you weren't a bit bigger than you were yesterday. Good grief if you took so much time would you ever grow up before we were old and feeble? But it seemed everybody just relaxed and waited--come what may.
One thing you had done most admirably though was to fill in that gap between July and September with a birthday which reconciled Mother's pre-determined schedule to have a separate month for each child's birth. I learned later that she was downright provoked that Orvil had got in a hurry--he should have came in June! That upset her approved calculations and she must study the stars and the phases of the moon more carefully and your ticket did much to relieve her anxiety for error. All ready, you rated an A+, so the rest was easy sledding.
And so--you were named "Lucinda." NOT Cindy! Oh, NO!

Now that we've got you that far along, what can I add next? I sit here in a kind of dreamy trance, trying to put together the years that followed. School in the winter times and working with Father in the summer times, left only a few short periods of time to hatch-up or bring to pass the real actions which made up the growing years. YOU were were my first convert to the church? At least our Father Bishop did arrange it so that I baptized you, just before I left on my mission to
Texas in July. We had the usual 'font' --the Elk Canal which snaked its circuit along the foothills above the valley. It was the same spot where my delayed (?) immersion did come to pass, but only after I had convinced my reluctant bishop that I needed to repent of my sins! The occasion did not seem to have a lasting effect--maybe because the water was too cold?
Anyway we were gathered at the bridge across the canal where the road to
Burlington disappeared into the lava hills beyond the Penrose farms. I took the lead by feeling my way over the bottom of the flowing pool--bare-footed of course. The bridge, I was sure, would be my steadying point in case the flowing current intended to move everything downstream! Brother Berthelson steadied my faltering nerves and my fluttering shivers by grasping my right arm and teaching me how to make it square from the shoulder for the ordinance. By then you were cross-wiggling your way towards me, arms above the water and that perpetual grin of greeting which break into a full-fledged smile on the instant!
And so we complied with the ages old instructions for this honored privilege. There may have been one other person baptized at that time--it kind of seems that way, but I don't remember. You were the main one.
Edward Gwyn had came up with me from his home in
Cowley, Wyo. where we had labored diligently in the cause of truth and righteousness the Saturday night before. Sounds --er, mysterious? Could be!
I had driven Blizzard (you guess what that was), on a little ditch rider's two-wheeled cart, over to his home-base, on Saturday morning. During the morning's chores we reckoned this cart might be a new adventure for Beaulah Carlton and any friends she may have gathered around. Umm, well now, did it work out that way? But we did arrive in Penrose before the time for the service. With Sunday School being dismissed at
12:00 noon in those days, and Sacrament Meeting beginning at 2:00 p.m. this time was planned for the baptism. Now it was time to change to dry clothes, eat lunch, feed the horse and get to meeting. Didn't make it. By the time all was ready the meeting was 2/3's gone so I took Edward home. A few days later I boarded the train at Powell, Wyo, and was on my way to Salt Lake City and my mission. Twenty-six months later, I came home and found you had grown up! Yes, you had grown up and pretty as a picture! Then there followed some years of hither, thither and gone. until I landed up in Long Beach, California. Then one day the news was received that you were married to Norman Sorensen! Now--the Normans were recorded in history in a very commendable way. And Sorensen? I have written an appraisal of his choir's singing elsewhere and if I find it, it shall be sent along.

Now I know that if we could get together to prompt each other, we could knock our beanie heads into endless schreechings. That is what they made milleniums for? So--I must get busy to sort and pile up enough what-cha-ma-call-its for who-it-may-concern!



Judy said...

This is a fun letter, written as only Uncle Brooks could do. It certainly gives the reader a strong visual.

Elizabeth said...

How could we equal the incredible story telling and use of words that Uncle Brooks had. What a gift - one has to laugh and enjoy, and then reflect on the times and lives involved. Makes my descriptions very mundane, indeed. Thank you, Ann, for taking the time to copy this into the blog!

Louise Blood said...

Uncle Brooks was a treasure, witty, clever, so talented with words. This was such fun to read. By the way, Ann, did you notice my belated comment on your question for birth memories? It doesn't come close to this, but I did add my thoughts.

Ann said...

Thank you, Louise. Yes I did notice, but am just a little slow in responding. Uncle Brooks must have always been full of nonsense! His letters are so fun to read - can't you hear him talking as you read?