“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” -Lisa Weed
“Being part of a family means smiling for photos.” -Harry Morgan
“In time of test, family is best.” -Burmese Proverb
**This “book” was handwritten by my great-grandmother and typed by my grandmother. My grandmother typed this as it was written. It will not be grammatically correct. I am not correcting her writing. I am sharing her words, her exact words, and that makes it even more special.
My Earliest Memories by Alda Bundick (Typed as written)
One time every time I walked in to the bedroom, Mama would be putting the bushel basket down. She had it upside down on the trunk. So I wondered why. The first time I got a chance when she was outside, I looked under there. She had a whole bunch of white flannel and some was done made into little white rabbits with pink eyes. They was so cute! Then a few days later, Dadie was going to Uncle Ray’s and she gave him a paper sack with 3 in it to take to Lee, Tee, and Myrtle and we each got one for Christmas. Not in our stockings though cause I told her I saw them. So she just gave them to us one night at supper.
One night Mr. Herman—the Kelt brothers that owned the ranch on which we lived was Bill and Herman. So we called them Mr. Herman and Mr. Bill. Mr. Herman spent the night with us for some reason. After supper we was sent to bed and they was talking about mosquitoes. (which we had never seen) I heard a mouse, I guess, or a lizard on the wall—so I went and told Mama that I heard one of those mosquitoes walking on the wall and I couldn’t go to sleep. The next morning Mama cooked eggs for breakfast. Mr. Herman said there is nothing better than good fresh eggs. Wayne popped up and said yeah, I see a little chicken in mine now. Mr. Herman never did forget those 2 remarks and always had to tell us about them.
We had a real good refrigerator—as it was a cistern and Mama put the milk and butter or whatever needed to be cool in a bucket and let it down into the cistern, until the bottom of the bucket touched the water then she tied the rope to the board across the top of the cistern. That’s where we got our drinking water most of the time but sometimes it would stay dry too long and the cistern went dry. Then it needed cleaning.
I remember Mama tied a rope on a board about 20 inches long—right in the middle and Claude got astraddle of the rope on the board and Mama let him down and he’d dip up a bucket full of slush. She’d thrown it out and send back for more until she got it all out, then sent old rags down and he’d wipe it up real good or until it suited Mama. I never did have to go down and clean it but I was glad. That didn’t even look like fun to me.
One day when Claude and I was at school, Mama lay on the bed reading. All of a sudden, Wayne climbed over her and said, “th–th– thar is a snake!!” Mama looked down, the head of the bed was right by the door and a big bull snake was crawling in. She got up and killed it. About an hour later, Wayne wouldn’t get down and go play and Mama said go on and play cause there is no more snakes. He said, “Well, what’s that one in there for then?” In the other door that went out the same direction, one bigger than before was coming in the door. So Mama killed it.
I guess we slept with the doors shut at night—I hope so anyway. After we came in from school Mama made us take them and put them in the trail with their head under the weeds, where we could watch and see what Dadie did when he came home. As he came in the same trail as we did from school and for some reason he was walking, which he did a lot. He was working in the clay pit there at Coyote for $1.00 a day.
Well, we sat and watched when he came home. He didn’t act like he ever saw it. He was carrying a 25 lb. box of dried fruit—apricots, I think, on his shoulder. He came in quite often with a 25 lb. wooden box of dried fruit—apples, prunes, raisins, peaches, and apricots. Sure was a treat for us. Anyway, we asked him didn’t he see the snakes. He said yeah, but they was so flat, I knew they was dead.
One day some people came by and the kids eating peppermint stick candy—they gave us a bite. Boy, it was good. So I guessed Dadie sensed that we wanted more—cause a few days or maybe the next day he came in with a carton of matches. We went to meet him and he let Claude carry it in and Mama said what did Dadie bring in. Claude said matches. Dadie said look at the picture on the box and we gave it a good looking over and tore into it. It was peppermint candy sticks. Sure was good to us.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31