Thursday, October 29, 2015

FOLLOWING THE SWEETHEART TRAIL; by Mrs. F. D. B, 1930

We borrowed  money at eight per cent for our wedding trip, and have never regretted it. The money has been paid back long since, and we still have the trip!

The year before we were married, my husband in partnership with another man, bought a small farm, borrowing heavily, and putting a mortgage on the place. When we decided to be married, we felt that the few dollars extra that it took for a trip would make little difference in the total.

How well I remember that hot August day! The short run to the county seat, the embarrassment we both suffered at the hands of the good-natured clerk at the courthouse, the kindly old minister, and his motherly-looking wife, the laughing good-byes, and then, at last, together on the trail going south. What a wonderful week it was that we spent in the beautiful Ozark mountains, made even more wonderful by the fact that a few miles south of Garnett, we struck the "Sweetheart Trail." We thought is symbolical; still do.

"Let's take this same trip every year for our vacation," my husband said. I agreed, and we made our plans. Have we done it? Not once, but we still plan to!

The first year was so busy, that there was no time for a vacation. The second, when prices were falling in that awful post-war depression, our partner dropped his share of the farm leaving us the whole burden. Rather than lose all the money we had put into the place, we tried to shoulder it, but the third year, we simply had to give it up. Our farm was sold to satisfy the mortgage, and we found ourselves still owning over eleven hundred dollars on a farm we no longer owned! It's a great life, isn't it?

Well, the next two years were pretty full, paying back that money. The sixth, our first baby was born, and the years that had passed seemed quite peaceful in comparison to those that followed. Two years ago we made our first payment on the farm we now occupy, (please note, I don't say "own"), and last year our little daughter was born. So here we are, up to the present, and still no vacation in sight.

Discouraging? Yes, rather. But I can wait for that vacation for another ten years, yes twenty! Anyway, I'll never take the Sweetheart Trail alone.

Monday, October 12, 2015

ON "MANAGING" CHILDREN; October 1934

John was a neighbor's boy--sixteen, clean-minded, obedient, capable, industrious. He had a good home and he loved it, and he loved his mother and father.
But John used to say, "If only they wouldn't treat me as though I was still a little kid!"

In his sixteenth summer he "worked out" for ten weeks for an uncle down the road a mile. The money he earned was to be his own to buy himself some new clothes for high school. Through the summer, some argument arose as to whether John should do his own buying, or let Mother do it for him as she had always done.

Then came a day when Mother said, "Tomorrow we'll go into town and buy John his new suit and shirts and ties."

Imagine the family's astonishment when John said, "No use, they're bought."

Sure enough, they had been bought, and not a bad choice as John saw it. However, the edict was that John must take them back to the store.

But he never did. He left home that night. It was six months before they heard from him--a post card saying that he had been working on a California ranch and was just about to sail with a merchant ship for foreign ports. "All's well. I miss you and the farm. Best love."

Why do we tell this little true story?

Because we get a good many letters from young folks who protest that parents--mothers particularly--insist on managing them after they think that they are old enough to do a good deal of managing for themselves. Here is one of such letters:

Dear Editor: I wish you would print something that would help mothers to realize that when children are grown up they ought to be allowed to work out their own ideas. I've got a much-beloved mother, but she is so devoted to her grown children that I wish some one would tell her she ought to let her reasonably intelligent sons and daughters do their own originating. There isn't anything she wouldn't do for her beloved children, and the poor little adult urchins would rather do some of the doing without her managing and hindering. We want to work out our own salvation.

Most mothers, fortunately, do not need the preachment that lies between the lines of story and letter, and to those who do, we'll leave the task of finding it for themselves.

P.S. What ever became of John? Oh, he came home again after a year, still a good boy, and both he and his family were better off for the experience.