Mothers Diary
Another year has begun. I am always astonished that life goes on much the same after the midnight that heralds a new year. I get the same feeling the day after election and on my birthday.

About the middle of November 1944, I serenely went to the dentist office to make an appointment for some much postponed dental work. We settled on 4:30, January 3rd, 1945, which seemed a long way off. And here it is – right on top of me. I wonder how I can put it still further into the future.

Our amazement, when our daughter airs some of her newly acquired knowledge is equaled only by her own surprise that we should know already what she has just learned.

I have never been one to weep over touching scenes at a movie and I remain dry eyed through the most sentimental passages of a radio drama. But I choke up and reach for a handkerchief whenever I read a "Parson Sands" story by Barbara Webb in the Colliers.

Children have a tendency to cling to familiar things and old habits. We have a little chair that was a bright blue until I painted it white last spring. But Steve still refers to it as "the little blue chair" and as such it will probably go down in history. And the boys have temporarily abandoned their new Christmas toys for their favorite pastime of playing with a couple of old cardboard packing boxes.

It was just after we'd take the last paper over to the post office one Thursday, that Curtis approached the phone to make a call, just as it rang. He answered it and handed the receiver to me. It was my husband from the dentist's office. "I'll be here longer than I expected. You'd better go on home without me."
There was a customer in the office so I said okay and goodbye and handed the receiver back to Curtis who cradled it, then lifted it for his call.
There was mild wonder on his face and in his voice as he gently replaced the receiver. "I thought I hung up once," he said. "There's a man saying hello on the phone."
After a decent interval he again lifted the receiver to his ear, listened a second and banged it down it startled haste.
"What's the matter with that guy? Every time I try to call he's shouting 'hello' at me."
Presently he reached for the phone a fourth time, just as it gave a loud imperious peal. Curtis retreated and motioned to me. "You take it."
So I did and an exasperated voice demanded, "What’s going on down there?"
"Why Curtis is trying to make a call and every time he tries, somebody keeps yelling – Oh, it was you, Lloyd. What on earth are you doing?"
"I wasn’t through talking. Turn on the heater when you get home."
"Is that all you wanted? Now for pity's sake, get off the wire. Curtis wants to use the phone."
I listened for the click and carefully replaced the receiver.
"It's all yours now," I told him.
Curtis called is number. Nobody answered for a long time. Curtis hung up in disgust and left the office.

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Mothers Diary
Well, I've survived two visits to the dentist. My husband feels awfully sorry for me – sitting up there with my mouth wide open and not able to say a word. But I really feel pretty proud. I had no idea that my mouth could accommodate three or four rolls of cotton, a hose attachment, a mirror, an instrument or two and the dentist's fist besides!

There is no percentage in arguing or wise cracking or exchanging friendly insults with a dentist. He makes a challenging statement and props your mouth open before you can gurgle a reply. Then after you've sat there thinking up a really snappy answer, he changes the subject while you're hanging over the water basin. And when you sit up and open your mouth to say something really clever in goes an instrument and your witty remark emerges as "glub."

Dr. Braley assured me that when my upper teeth were all out, I'd be a new woman. When I reported this to my husband, he looked dubious and not a little alarmed.

On these cold mornings, it's a major problem getting our family sorted out. At night we all go properly to bed in assigned spots, the children each in separate beds. The next morning we are liable to find one in with Ruby and two in with us. Sometimes it gets too crowded in our bed and I retire to one of the children's beds to finish my morning's snooze. One memorable morning when we all woke up all three children were snugly covered in our bed and my husband and I were in Steve's bed in the next room? They had completely dispossessed us.

It is no balm to my disposition on wash morning to find our daughter in the bathroom, with her hair all soaked and soaped in an attempt to wash her own hair – braids and all!

In time of domestic stress some retire to the doghouse; some go out to the garden and eat worms. When three-year-old David, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Stevens gets into trouble, he slides under the dining room table and remains there until the "all clear" sounds!

As I seem constitutionally unable to hear an alarm clock in the morning when my husband leaves early, he resorts to the telephone to arouse me in time to get the kids off to school. The other morning even that failed and he swears the telephone rang in loud insistent peals for eight minutes – what must the girls in the telephone office think? Anyway, he was disgusted and said that when he left in the mornings I'd just have to get up and come down stairs to our daughter's bed – or else just get up!

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Mothers Diary
Terry and Randy This is Terry McDowell and Randy Peterson on their Christmas present, a cutter. The other half of the Christmas present did not get into the picture, but she's pretty important to the cutter and the boys, none-the-less. She's Bonnie, a real Shetland pony, and gets a work out nearly every late afternoon with the cutter and Randy and Terry.
When they brought the picture into the office, Terry solemnly called attention to the garbage can which got into the picture by mistake. But I guess everyone could tell a story of surprises that the camera stores up in the first proofs!
Terry is five, son of Mr. And Mrs. Lon McDowell of Manson. Randy, almost four, is the son of Pfc. And Mrs. Leo Peterson. Mrs. Peterson, Mrs. McDowell's sister, and Randy live with the McDowells while Pvt. Peterson is with the army overseas.

Something has got to be done about this getting up in the morning late business! There was a long period in Waterloo that we did all right. Thanks to my sister's own private alarm system that goes off in her head at ten minutes of seven every morning – I wonder how people do that! – we got up in good season every morning. I could watch my husband read the paper and crunch his cereal and mutter into his coffee, "I must make haste" and rush off to catch the 7:15 bus. And then breakfast for my sister before she caught the 7:35 bus. And at 7:35, I was cozily settled with the coffee pot handy, a plate of toast and the morning paper, for 25 minutes of uninterrupted bliss – if one of the youngsters didn't awaken. That 25 minute period rather gave me a start for the day, before the rush of getting the first born ready for school, dressing and breakfasting the boys and the subsequent activities familiar to every housekeeper and mother. I sipped coffee and nibbled toast, all by my lone, and read the paper from front to back, including the funnies and want ads. There's nothing like a morning paper read in the morning. It was exciting to open my door in the early hours and find it lying there and devour it with my breakfast. And it lacks flavor when I don't get it until noon.
Anyhow, I used to enjoy myself before the youngsters arose – and somehow I have to arrange for something similar now – instead of dishing up cereal, tying ribbons on braids, dressing two squirming boys and hunting mittens, all at the same time in one wild rush.
Alarm Clock Maybe if I had a reliable alarm clock it would help. We have two alarm clocks. One keeps fairly good time if we set it and wind it carefully every night, but the alarm doesn't work. The other one has a pretty good alarm, but is a little difficult to set correctly as it has no hands. So we set the alarm every night and go to bed wondering what time it will tear loose in the morning. It never alarms at the time we hoped we set it for, so we're always surprised. Mostly unpleasantly, as either too early or too late is hard on the disposition.

No one can say anything to me against Manson, but I do miss delivery people and collectors. The milk man and I used to have some pretty deep discussions on the front porch on rationing, the high cost of living and our children, and I always knew the latest about the milk situation. The Jewel Tea lady said if she stayed in every kitchen as long as she did mine, she'd never make her rounds on time. The collector for the magazine club swore the youngsters grew an inch every month. The insurance man went to the army and his wife took over and kept me posted on his adventures and what it was like to get along without the man of the family. And the ice man, when he found me at the limit of my patience one morning because it looked like rain and I didn't have enough clothespins to get all the washing on the line, told me where his wife had bought some clothes pins that had just come in that very morning. So I got some, too!.

This morning when I cleared away the breakfast dishes, I wondered where the orange juice glasses had disappeared to. Later I found them snugly tucked inside my overshoes. More of Bruce's work!

Mothers Diary
I solved the getting up problem. Very simply, too! I just have my husband call me when he arises and I scramble out at the same time. I can't imagine why that solution didn't occur to me before, unless it did and I just suppressed it, because he does get up at unearthly hours some times. However, he's been quite considerate since I resolutely announced my decision that I was turning over a new leaf. Of course, he hoots derisively when I boast about how wonderfully I'm keeping the leaf turned, since the new regime is only 5 days old. But, oh – how I hate to get up in the dark before the house is warm – and I don't really wake up until about nine o'clock. So I assured him that even five days is quite a record for me.

Dentist Office Visit There is not much more to report from the dentist's office. Last week I very cleverly maneuvered my daughter into the chair during my appointed time. It had suddenly seemed to me that the filling she needed shouldn't be postponed any longer. And I was quite willing that the rest of mine should.
We thought she was very brave and contained during the ordeal. And a brief salute here to Dr. Braley for the very fine way he handles a youngster through the first dental experience. There wasn't a yip out of the child and at home that evening, my praises were loud in regard to her conduct. Finally she ended the discussion in a bored young voice. "It did hurt – and I wanted to cry – but I was too scared!"
"Yes, sir! Mighty glad the holidays are over!" My husband and daughter's birthdays follow so closely on the heels of New Year's that I never feel that I can relax till both birthday cakes have been frosted, candled and consumed, and all gifts have been acknowledged. Now they are over and I guess I'm ready to live calmly through the rest of the winter.
However, I don't dare take too long a breath, as I'm liable to cut off in the middle of it to the realization that it's spring, with painting the furniture and planting garden, and housecleaning, then before I can turn around there's mowing the lawn and canning time, and doesn't time fly through?

Mrs. Macklin tells this story about, Jerry Hendrickson, small son of Mr. and Mrs. Max Hendrickson of Vermillion, South Dakota. To Jerry, Jesus is as real as the next door neighbor, and the most wonderful person he knows about. Praying Hands His prayers are friendly and intimate chats in which all his little wants are made known. One night, apparently fed up with the shortages, he prayed that he might be favored with some bananas, and his mother reported it to her grocer. The next time Jerry went to the store, the grocer presented him with a sack of bananas from a bunch that had just come in. Jerry delighted, cried out, "Mother, He did send them! Tonight, I think I'll pray for pears!"

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