Friday, September 14, 2012


Mr. Green had taken a lively part in the conversation, adding an illuminating word now and then. Finally I asked him point blank: “What is the secret of your wife's success?”

And he replied without a moment's hesitation, “Her good nature.” Then he added slowly, thinking as he spoke:

Don't you think that when people have the right slant on life—even though they haven't much money—they get more out of living than people who have everything—and haven't the right slant?”

“Success?” Sally Sod echoed. “No one knows any better than I, that I am a complete failure in more ways than one. And if our Ship of Matrimony should, sometime in the future, anchor safely in the Harbor of Success, I should feel that it was the farmer's success—not the farmer's wife's.

“Webster says: 'Success is the termination of anything attempted.' That is what we are working for now and we'll have to keep right at it for years to come. It's going to be uphill work.

“After seeing me, if you still consider me worthy of a niche in your Hall of Fame please don't write 'Finis.' I still consider myself only a candidate for success and I am willing—more willing than ever—to wage a heavy campaign. My motto will be:

Hard work and more of it.

“And my emblem—a baby buggy with a pair of patched overalls rampant.”

August 1927 cover


ONE MONTH OUT OF MY LIFE, by “Sally Sod” Herself

Dishes washed; beds made; floors swept; a line of baby clothes flapping in the breeze; the owner of those same clothes asleep in her little bed; the next three out in the sunshine playing; and the six big ones away at school. Now that my house is quiet I will sit down and tell you the story of a sample month of my life.

August, October or March, it makes no difference. There is always enough to do and I never would have had this tale to tell only that I lost my temper on the first day of August—all over one simple little question my Boy said, “Why didn't you sew up that tear in my shirt.”

That was enough. I was angry in a minute. Didn't I have all the big things to do? Didn't I keep house for twelve? Ten of them under fourteen at that! Didn't I wash, sew, mend and cook for all of them? Beside keeping track of them all the time! That was enough. . .without doing every one of all the little bits of things that should be done. Well, I would keep track of my work and next time some one said, “Why?” to me I would have facts and figures that would show how I spent my time.

There is always housework to do. But the farm work has a mighty sway over the house, too. August first found us with our hay cut and wheat in the barn. That filled every inch clear to the roof and now the oats were cut and shocked and must be drawn up to the barn and stacked. So we decided the best way to do this would be to get three extra men to help. Three extra doing farm work, means three extra to cook for. Well, anyhow, that made the job short. One day it rained so the men left early and I said, “When I get a meal ready I like to have some one here to eat it.”

Just like an answer to prayer, a car stopped in front of the house and let out five people who came to spend the day. The end of that week totaled 29 loaves of bread, 5 cakes, 4 washings, 8 floors cleaned, 16 meals extra for help and 5 for company.

The next week everything went along as usual until Friday when the news came that there would be company for dinner Tuesday.


“Aunt Lizzie, Aunt Flossie and her three youngsters.”

You should have seen my children then! Whoops, “hollers,” somersaults, cart wheels and hand springs.

“What shall we have to eat?”

“Chicken! Chicken! Chicken!” their voices sang out clear and loud.

“What else?”



“Soup . . . noodle soup!”

“Hold on! Hold on! Not all that at once.”

“Well, say, Ma, fry the chicken anyway and have some of those new pickles and pie.” We vote by acclamation at our house.

“Why, that will be Sister's birthday. Why not a great big cake?”

So we decided on cake instead of pie. Then I thought, “There's a woman near here who came to this part of the country with Aunt Lizzie . . . when they were young. I'll ask her over, too.”

When Tuesday came the day was fine, and everything was nice. We had a good visit and a good dinner and Little Son said, “I'm full up to the neck. When do we have another birthday?”

After my company was gone I began to think and figure. I had my pencil and paper out and one of the boys said, “What's the big scowl for?”

I told him that I was trying to figure out two winter coats and a bed blanket after the money was all spent and he said,”Don't worry, Ma, I'll learn how to rubberize Pa's milk checks. Then you can always stretch the money.”