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Lisa A. Parnell
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The Granny Files: April 11, 1947
edited: Sunday, March 31, 2002
By Lisa A. Parnell
Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2002
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A letter from a grandmother's files. An April to remember.
Guess you’ve got a full sized letter due you this morning since the last two have been shorties.
Had a very nice day in town in spite of the rain. Excuse me a minute. I just remembered that I’ve got to change this ribbon if I don’t want to lose my religion. Whooie, that’s a bigger job than you might think. Happy gets ribbons wholesale but not the kind that fits our machine so I have to wind them off one spool and onto another. But isn’t this going to be a help to our eyes!
To repeat, I had a nice yesterday in spite of the rain – and what a rain it did turn out to be. We were sort of worried until we got home for fear our garden might have been washed away – but nothing was hurt. I didn’t buy much – Happy is conducting a campaign against spending of any sort – but I did get some nice cotton material for a dress and some underwear for him. I also saw such a good show. Try to be sure to see “The Best Years of Our Lives” when and if it comes to Anson. It’s more than worth the extra charge they’re making for it. The little down-to-earth details in it fascinated me. There was a hot-water bottle hanging on the back of the bath-room door – a girl dried dishes and put them away in a cabinet just like a million you’ve seen – even the curtains on the windows and the scraggly hedge. Fredric March, as you know, got the Academy Award for his performance – and I guess he deserved it all right – but it seemed to me that everyone else in the show was perfect in their parts too.
Wasn’t the tornado in the Pan-Handle a bad thing? It went about half-way between where Dave’s people live, at Shamrock, and where Johnnie and Shelley live, at Perryton. The morning paper said that two Red Cross workers from San Antonio passed through there late yesterday en route to Woodward with cases of blood plasma – and one of them was Mrs. Kenneth Jameson – you know, my predecessor with DPW in Anson. I’m glad she stayed with Red Cross, I think she’s ideally suited for their type of work.
The party I went to Wednesday was interesting. It wasn’t aluminum they were demonstrating after all – it was house-keeping supplies, like wax, window cleaner, mops and stuff like that. I got some things I needed and enjoyed meeting the neighbors who seem to be pretty decent people. There’s a nice old lady who lives fairly close and who just apologised and apologised for not having been to see me – but she has been ill and then her husband died since we’ve been out here. Of course, I’d known nothing about it. So I told her I’d just come to see her instead – and I think I will too. She’s a Mrs. Womack and I keep feeling like I went to school with some Womack youngster in Dallas but I can’t remember who it was. She said she had a daughter about my age who lives with her.
This is going to be sort of confidential from here on.
I’m a bit worried. As you know, Happy quit taking his shots over a month ago. He quit smoking at the same time and declares that he feels even better than he did when he was smoking and taking the shots. But I’m not so sure about that. I think I see signs of increasing irritability – but I’d never be able to convince him of that.
Well – he’s gotten so bothered about our financial condition that he even hates for me to go to the grocery store. Of course, that’s a slight exaggeration. Really, we aren’t in too good shape at that. Our expenses have been heavy getting started out here and our payments on this place are $75 a month for the first two years. We could have them cut down if we wanted to but are anxious to pay this out as quickly as possible. Add to all that the general increase in living costs and it really doesn’t leave much from his salary. He keeps saying that we can’t live on what he makes. The juke box income, so far, has gone to pay off the second lein on the place. That’s taken care of now tho. Of course, Happy always sings the blues about money – he’s always telling me not to write checks and then I’ll discover that there’s a lot more money in the bank than he said there was. Really, I’d gotten to where I didn’t pay too much attention to what he said – just tried to be conservative all the time as a matter of course. He said we couldn’t live on his salary long before we moved out here – in fact, he hated to see me quit DPW because “we couldn’t live on his salary”. So – just that by itself doesn’t bother me because I know better – and he does too. It’s almost like the boy who cried “Wolf”. Finally I got sort of tired of hearing it tho and asked him this morning if he wanted me to go back to work – and he just said, well, he didn’t know – that we surely couldn’t live on his salary. Well, phooie-dooie! Now I’m out on a limb. I’d hate worse than anything else to go back to work – particularly since there are so many more things that need doing at home. To say nothing of how much it means to Kyle to have me here. (And that “to say nothing” isn’t just a figure of speech. If I ever take Kyle into consideration aloud I’m pampering him. But Happy’s just as good to him as I am – in some ways better. So when Kyle is my reason for doing anything I always figure out some other reason to say out loud.) But on the other hand I’d hate to get in a financial jam as much as Happy would – and I feel sure I could go back with DPW here easily – there were four vacancies the last time I was down there. And that’s the best paid job with the most freedom I’d be likely to get – their salaries now are up to over $200 – don’t know just what but I think it’s around $225. Well – Belva was teasing me last night when they were over for a few minutes and said I was always crossing bridges before I got to them – and maybe that’s what I’m doing now. And there’d be lots of advantages to my having a nice check coming in every month. Sooo – just say nothing about this and we’ll see how things work out. I always figured I might have to get a job when Happy gets older and Kyle gets ready for college – there’s another bridge I’ve been trying to cross too far ahead of it. But I sort of wish I didn’t feel like I’m having a little pressure put on me.
I’m sure I shouldn’t have written all this – but you know me – and whenever I’ve got something on my mind I’ve got to get it off via the chest. Anyhow, they say people who do that never lose their minds.
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