Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Life on Berg Road #1

At one time this road had two names, one going east (Berg Road) and one going west ( Mount Garfield), named after President Garfield, I have never learned who Berg road was named after. Sitting at the west end of Mt. Garfield Road is a very enormous sand dune, people donated to have their name put on the steps going up to the top,which has a panarama view of Lake Michigan. When I was young and could climb the dune I counted over two hundred steps or more, it was a very tiring climb, even though we were young. I don't know why the county sold this property to a motor cycle club, so they could deface the dune, with trying to see how far their bikes could go up its face to win a trophy. It should of been declared a land mark, it is the largest sand dune for miles around. It is fenced in by the club and only they can enjoy it, everytime I pass it I feel sad to see it there all fenced off , with no one enjoyung it only from afar. The club only uses it one time a year in August, people come from all over the country to see the bike race up the dune.

Our house on Berg Road

Neither east or west was paved, it was a dusty old dirt road in those day's. Our house had never seen a coat of paint, it reminded me of a barn. My Uncle Floyd was driving for a moving company called Allied Van, the company had given him the trailer part of the truck for a storage shed and he had built a dog pen along the front of it. We had an outhouse just past that and behind the outhouse was a pig pen, belonging to our neighbor, we thought the pig was enormous. We had clothes line strung across half the back yard, in those day's people hung out, the clothes smelled so good.

The Trailer

We came to live here in 1946, at first my mom stayed for a year but there was not room for all of us and my mom was drinking too much and there was a lot of fighting. The house had two small bedroom's, a front room and the kitchen could only be used for cooking, doing dishes and there were several cupboards. Before the back bedroom was converted into our bedroom my Aunt used it for their dining room. The heating stove in the front room heated the whole house, making the other rooms chilly in cold weather, not to mention we had to go outside to the outhouse for our bathroom chores, brrr.

The Motley Crew

My cat Beauty

I believe at first my mom was thinking of staying a little while. That is when my Uncle decided to make the allied van trailer into a living place for us to stay in. This is what he put in it, he made home made bunk beds, a heating stove, table, chairs and built some cupboards. He cut out the front and put windows in, it was cold in there in cold weather because it had no insulation, next he made an outside door on one side so we could go in and out and put a screen door for summer months. I am going to find my pictures of this invention of my Uncles. When it became winter the bedding was inadequate and my mom found two house bricks , warmed them on the stove and wrapped them in towels, put them down by our feet, it never worked for a long period because they cooled too fast. I am sure if the county inspector got wind of this living condition it would of been condemed, because when we did dishes the water just drained under the trailer. All of our outside cats became sick from drinking this foul water and died, my beautiful cat beauty, she was a calico and I loved her very much, I cried for weeks over her death, I don't handle anything close to me being taken away and I am still like this today.

My mom and us girls

My mom made a real good effort to get along with my Aunt and Uncle but there was too much friction between them. My Aunt was my mom's sister and they never ever got along anyway, my aunt would come back home to visit and my mom always kicked her out. The reason was Aunt Margaret was in love with my dad, this was one of the reasons she took us girls in, she finally had my dad's kid's.

I can remember one time my Aunt Myrtle, not really my aunt, ask my mom if I could go to the movies and see "Lassie Come Home: with her, my Aunt Margaret stepped right in and told her no, it was not fair that my other sisters could not go, I was Aunt Myrtles favorite, well I went with swelled eyes from crying and I cried more from the movie, it was a tear jerker.

I loved my Aunt Myrtle and her husband Elwood, they lived right next door, Elwood was Uncle Floyds brother. They moved out to a farm and had me come to visit many times, my sisters went once in a while. Aunt Myrtle ask my aunt if they could adopt me and Aunt Margaret said she promised my mom she would keep us girls together, tears again. I was always glad when we went out to visit them, they had a nice farm with all kinds of animals and a beautiful quiet creek running through the farm with fish in it. The creek had fallen trees over and in it, we use to sit on the fallen trees and watch the fish swim and hide under the logs, you could shut the world out for just a little while, it was like you had descovered a secret place all your own.

My mom told us she would send for us as soon as she was settled, I had a sick feeling that I would not see her again. We said goodbye and my younger sister and myself moved back into Aunt Margarets house. The dining room was made into a bedroom, could only hold two beds and a dresser, two of us slept together. Our room had the hole in the wall with a little runway for the cats to go out and do their business, this added to the room being colder in the winter.

We would write letters to mom and her to us but this is how that situation went, we did not find this out until I went back home in 1955 and brought my mom to Michigan. Okay back to the letters, we would put our letters in the mail box and sometimes Aunt Margaret let them go and other times she probably read them and then burnt them. My mother said she received some letters and she would write back and wait, no reply, this same stenario went for my mom's letters, they would be read and burnt. We made sure we did not say anything about Aunt Margaret, just told my mom we missed her and wanted her to come for us, after a while we never received a letter from mom and thought she had forgotten about us.

I don;t know why ny uncle decided to sell the house and buy one in town, boy oh boy an inside toilet and a bathtub, now we could take a good bath.. The house only had two bedrooms but we had more room. I missed the country life, the friends that I had, playing marbles and baseball in the pasture with them. I am going to stop my story here and another time I will write about my city life, and bringing my mom to Michigan. I promise pictures on this post.


Old Lady Lincoln said...

What an interesting story. They call these the good old days. Personally, I don't know about you, but I don't want to go back to the good old days.Living them once was enough for me. But those good old days is what has made you and me the strong women we are today. Will be waiting to read the rest of the story.

Mary said...

and we think we have it tough! Thanks for sharing your story - it certainly helps me to put things into perspective. I am glad that you have started a new post - will check it out.

Many blessing.

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

Thank you for sharing these stories with us.
My Mom is a war bride,having been born in Scotland.She also knows a thing or two about hard times.Most people these days do not understand how good they have it,myself included.
I see you are starting a new blog. I look forward to checking it out soon.

Grahamn Kracker said...

After all these decades, the story about the calico and the other cats is still so sad, so very, very, sad.

As for Berg Road, I know who it is named after - a fellow Alaskan:

Ice Berg

We all wondered what happened to him.

Ms. Tee said...

Hi Margaret :) I enjoyed getting caught up on your posts. I also wanted to tell you that you won one of the sweater candles over at my blog. If you could send me your name/address I will mail it out to you this week. My email is delightfulhome (at)charter.(net) Thanks for joining in on the giveaway. :)

Missy said...

Thanks for sharing your interesting story. I can't even imagine not living with out modern plumbing.

Momo and Pinot said...

Happy belated New Year, Margaret and family.

I enjoyed reading your stories. Thank you for sharing about your life, marriage and family.... I am looking forward to reading more stories on your blog.

I bought a computer for my parents who live overseas last summer and they still have a very hard time to learn it!!! I wish they have a blog like yours.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

I enjoy reading about your life. Your blog reminds me of another one, svensto. She is writing about her life, too.

Looking forward to reading about your City Life!

Cat with a garden said...

We are looking forward to the city-life part, too. You went through a lot and are around to tell. We think that is just wonderfull!!!
Siena & Chilli

Anonymous said...

This is such an interesting story Margaret. I am sorry about your Mother. My mother was ill when I was a child and hospitalized for long periods of time....But my father did a good job with us while she was gone..

Dog_geek said...

What a fascinating read - thanks for sharing your memories with us!

Anonymous said...

Margaret..I wanted to tell you that I only posted about the horses on my blog. Amanda from Amanda's Veranda blog is the one actually helping the horses...

Andrea said...

What a story. I find it very facinating to hear stories from when my mom and grandmother grew up. The times were so different. I love to hear about them. I would have loved to have seen pictures!! I bet those would be neat too!!

I am sure the winter's were really cold. I know how cold Michigan gets. Ohio was cold enough growing up and we had indoor plumbing and heating!!

peggy and The Cats said...

Hi Margaret,
Have you seen this? Made me think of you.

Merle said...

Dear Margaret ~~ Great post with more of your story. A shame the aunt couldn't have been kinder, but I guess her life was sad as well.
Thank you for your visit and Kate and I had a lovely visit. And since then I had 2 cousins stay a night and we had a great time also. Take good care Margaret, Love, Merle.

Steppa and her Babys +Lover Guy said...

Hi girl thanks for your storry it sounds just like me and my mom she was the best i live my first 23 yers in iceland so i know Cold coming thrue the walls MOM had 7 kids and lost her huspand so we lived a ruf live but I to am strog now for it cant wate to get more about u This make me cry and smile Thanks and God bless

Gramma Ann said...

What an interesting life you lived. It sounds like your aunt was a controlling kind of person. She always had to be in control and have the last word. Or in this case, not let you children and your mother have any kind of communication. In that way she was in control and controlling everyone around her.

I look forward to the next installment! Until then have a splendid week.

Crystal said...

I've enjoyed catching up on your posts. I'm glad that you recorded so many of your memories from long ago. I'm sure that your family will treasure those thoughts. So often the stories are lost before they can be shared. Take care!!

Missy said...

Those pictures that you added are really something! Thanks for sharing.

Everycat said...

Thank you for sharing this touching part of your life with us Margaret. The photos are so evocative of a very different world and as always it's beautifully written.

Margaret Cloud said...

Your comments has touched my heart, thank you friends.

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