Old sister

“We’ve got to do something about that old sister.”

It would be several years before the Gaithers sang about it, but we Free Methodists did call each other Brother and Sister ’round there.

I never knew the first names of those in my parents’ or grandparents’ generation. Others who grew up Free Methodist put it like this:

  • Donna Caddell — I remember my Dad, Donald D. Woods, as Brother or Rev. Woods. It was always Brother Woods or Rev. Woods, Brother and Sister Sallor, Brother Rhinehold, 🙂 Brother Fletcher, and so on.
  • Keith E Lohnes — In ministry especially I believe it was considered too familiar to call a minister by his first name.

My tender ears had heard talk about disharmony in the body. So I listened up. Which troublesome old sister did my parents have to “do something” about?

I learned that Mr. Lord had built the house without a well or indoor plumbing. Even a four-year-old could see the bathroom had been added onto the back porch recently. Well, from the rust on the shower stall, not all that recently.

So I learned that rainwater fell from the roof into a cistern under that back porch. The cover boards were getting spongy, and Dad was concerned someone could fall in. So he was telling Mom, “We’ve got to do something about that old cistern.”

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