9thDay ofNaBloPoMo/Growing Up

It took two months to hear back from the Welfare office about our appeal and we were anxious  the whole time.  But finally word came and it was positive that we were reinstated and would start receiving aid again.  We celebrated by having a cake that Mother had made especially for the occasion, with milk of course.  Mother had checked with Grandma Glennon to see if she had known about Himself turning Mother in and having the aid cut off.  Grandma swore that she did not know and said that she would have a serious talk with Father.  Mother thought to herself that she wouldn’t hold her breadth waiting for that to happen.

We did not see Father for a long time after that and it was just fine with us.  Around this time Mother decided to plant a garden of our own so we would have fresh vegetables.  Mrs. D. helped her by letting her know what fertilizer to use and how to put sticks by the tomatoes and beans so they would brace and or climb and soon we had our very own vegetables.  They were so tasty we even ate them raw.  And although the house was a shack, the yard was big and we had enough room to put some chicken wire up and soon we had a few chickens running around.  It did not take long for us kids to consider the chickens as pets.  We even gave them names.

Anna was in third grade at the Catholic school and since there was no kindergarten, I had just started in first grade.  Anna was two years older than I was and she took her position as older sister very seriously.  She helped me become acclimated to the Catholic school and the nuns if that was at all possible.  We had a long walk to school and had to cross railroad tracks at one point and a main street at another.  There were no crossing guards in those days so when I think back, it was actually pretty dangerous, if not actually that long a walk.  We of course had no car and Mother had to stay home with Joan who was now a toddler.  Mother took us on several trial walks on Saturdays when she could get someone to watch Joan or would take her along in the carriage.  But by the time I started school, Anna was an old hand at getting to school, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.  The snow of course was another matter.  The slipping and sliding was something else but most of the time we had snow boots.

One day as Anna and I started out for school, our dog “Buster” started to follow us.  We tried to get him to go back home but he just would not listen and by the time we got to Main Street, he ran into the street and started to bark at the cars going by.

To be continued.

8th Day of NaBloPoMo/Growing Up

Anna and Marion

Note to all who are following:  So sorry I forgot to publish this (Nov. 8th) yesterday.  I had it all ready early and just forgot to hit the publish button!

Mother managed to get a few jobs cleaning house which was hard and she would come home from work completely exhausted.  But overall we were doing well especially since we had the extra income coming in.  It helped pay for the coal and and clothes and shoes we needed, not to mention snow boots in the winter.  We lived in the Snow Belt and in Winter it never stopped snowing.

One day Mother got notice from the Welfare Department.  She had to attend a hearing about whether or not our monthly allotment was going to be cut off.  Even though it was hard to get to the hearing, Mother made sure she attended.   After taking a Street Car and then a bus to get there, she was very anxious.  She was sweating profusely and her heart was beating rapidly.  She was directed to a room where her usual worker and another woman were sitting at a long table.  They asked her to be seated at the other end of the table.

She later told us she felt tiny sitting at that big table and she also felt guilty for some reason.  The women proceeded to question her about whether she was working or not.  She told them honestly that she had done some house cleaning for a few people as the amount she was receiving was not enough to take care of all her bills.  The taller woman with the gray hair and beady eyes seemed to be boring a hole into her head and Mother immediately got a headache.

As it turns out Paddy, our Father had reported her to the Welfare people for working.  The nice woman who was her usual worker said that she would be cut off Welfare starting immediately but would continue to get the commodities.  Mother pleaded with them not to do it but to no avail.  They said their hands were tied and they could do nothing about it.  But she could appeal the decision.  So she filled out the paperwork to get the appeal going because without the money she was receiving, Mother did not know how we were going to make it.

On the way home Mother was thinking about Himself and how he could have reported her, knowing there was a possibility we would be cut off or at least be in trouble and not be able to pay the bills.  While he sat warm and comfy at his mother’s house.  She wondered if his Mother knew about this.  Well she was going to get to the bottom of it!