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Sod House

Sand Hills

by my sister Mimi

You know, in 1940 we had no running water and no electricity in Nebraska. Our neighbors had a sod house. We rode a horse to school with snow up to its belly in the winter. As I remember, the school was about three miles from our home. We rode in a little wagon behind the horse. When the weather was cold, we were covered in an animal skin with hot bricks at our feet. In my mind, we had more cold than hot weather.

We rode bareback

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Marian Parks in Greenville College

When the weather was nice we rode bareback on the horse. I sat behind Bob and hung on to him. Bob was 10 and I was 8. He made a step with his hands clasped together for me to step on and then he gave me a boost up on to the horse. Sometimes — I have no idea how often — I just went right on over the horse. I don’t remember getting hurt. He told me a few years ago that it was no accident that I went right on over the horse. He just gave me an extra boost on purpose. Now doesn’t that sound like something a brother might do? Just for fun!!

A fried egg sandwich

friedeggsandwichWe carried our lunch in a little tin pail. The favorite lunch that I remember was a fried egg sandwich. Bob’s favorite lunch …….he told me not long ago……was pheasant.

The only one in third grade

I was the only one in third grade. I spent my day listening to the other kids do their lessons and playing with my doll. There was one black pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room which had to be fed during the day.

Each father supplied hay

There was a barn just outside the school which housed our horses for the day. Each father supplied hay for their horse for the day. There were times when we were coming home from school when we saw rattle snakes and heard coyotes howling.

Picking up cow chips

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Real Cow Chips, but not Mimi

After school Bob and I took the little wagon or cart that took us to school and went to the pasture to pick up cow chips. These cow chips were used for fuel for heat and for cooking.

Watermelons under the bed

The men were great pheasant hunters. We had lots of pheasant to eat. Also lots of watermelons. I remember many watermelons under the bed waiting to be eaten.

Bath time in the kitchen

Bath time! In the kitchen in a big old tub. I always tried to be the first one in because everybody used the same water!! Can you imagine? Your side away from the stove froze. You kept reminding people to stay out because you were taking a bath! We caught rain water to wash our hair. It was supposed to do something special…not sure what that was.

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2 Responses to Sand Hills

  1. Myrna Houston April 23, 2017 at 5:34 PM #

    Oh what memories of Ringgold Nebraska and the sand hills.

    I don’t know what year you left this place, but my Dad, Rev. Cecil Phillips was sent to Ringgold to pastor in the late summer of 1945. We were a family of 5. I, Myrna Loy (Phillips) Houston am the oldest child, then my sister Dona Dee, and my brother Roy. In February of 1948 our baby sister Sandra, was born and three weeks later our Mother passed away in North Platte.

    Life was a challenge at times, with no electricity or running water. The outhouse, shared by the parsonage family and the church, was the hottest place in summer and coldest place in winter. The school house was one mile South of town, uphill both ways (ha) and in 1949 the great Blizzard nearly killed we students, tied together with a rope, following the barbed wire fence home to Ringgold.

    In spite of some hardships, this place is still one of my favorite spots on this earth. There are no greener hills, larger pastures full of cattle of cattle, or more friendly people as “tough as nails”.

    I don’t know what your Dad’s salary was, but my Dad was paid whatever was dropped into the offering plate on Sunday morning. I remember one Sunday he got 6 Cents. Time to try to get a few more pheasant, rabbits, or pray in some garden surplus.

    There is so much more we could each share, but for now, have a good day.

  2. Gary June 6, 2017 at 3:21 PM #

    Loved every word!!! I too went to a one room school house – We did not have running water at home!!! I remember well our “bath in the tub” (galvanized metal). One sister – she always got to take her bath first – because we used the same water !! :). Thank you for the great memories – again – I enjoyed every word

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Elijah

Elijah