by Kathy Warnes
After a busy tree chopping day at Pinegreen Lumber Camp on the shore of Lake Superior Lenny the Lumberjack trudged through the woods to the log cabin that he shared with his partner Olly. The wind beat Lenny’s coat like a broom and snow slithered into his lumberjack boots. Lenny flung open the door and hurried to the fire. He sat on a log chair and pulled off his boots and socks. The socks stood straight up like Lenny’s feet were still in them. The toes pointed out like a ___________________.
Olly brought him a tin washtub filled with hot water and Lenny plunked his feet into the hot water. “WHOOPPPP, that feels good,” he yelled. “Can you give me a little more hot water, Olly?”
When Olly poured hot water in the washtub, Lenny noticed something. “Olly, why do you have the clothespin on your nose?”
“Your feet smell, Lenny. You have to sleep out in the shed tonight and every night until your feet stop smelling. Even your socks stink! Avoid stinky socks, Lenny.”
The next day Lenny went into the woods for his chopping day wearing his lumberjack boots without any socks.
“I’ll avoid stinky socks,” Lenny muttered. Lenny didn’t hurry home down the trail that night with his axe over his shoulder. Instead he sunk his axe into a trail of trees and let it pull him along. Finally________
reached the cabin. “ Owwww,” Lenny said as he sank into his log chair in front of the fire.
Olly bent over Lenny’s feet counting. “You have ten blisters on your left big toes and twenty on your right little toe. You have five blisters on your right heel and seven blisters on your left heel.
“Owwwww,” said Lenny. He looked around the cabin for something to use on his feet instead of socks. He saw the oilcloth hanging over the edge of the table. “I’ll use the tablecloth,” Lenny said as he pulled it off the table, dishes and all. Lenny cut the oilcloth in two and stuffed a piece inside of each boot.
The oilcloth turned Lenny's toes into ice chunks and birds hovered around him all day eating the crumbs that keep falling out of his boots. “Oilcloth doesn’t make good socks,” Lenny said as he walked home on his ice chunk feet.”
That night ____________
counted 24 blisters on Lenny’s right little toe and 48 on his left. “But I avoided stinky socks,” Lenny told Olly.
The next day Lenny crawled into the woods without boots and socks. He picked some moss from the side of a tree. “Indians use it, so why I can’t I?” Lenny told a squirrel. He crawled back and got his boots and axe. He stuffed the moss inside of his boots and chopped his trees.
That night when Lenny sat in his log chair in front of the fire, Olly didn’t count any new blisters. The moss had even helped the old blisters heal. The moss and Lenny’s feet smelled like a blanket that someone had thrown over an angry ______.
“But I avoided stinky socks,” Lenny said.
“Think of some other way to avoid Stinky Socks, Olly begged him, holding his nose as he counted Lenny’s blisters. “I’ll hang this moss out on the clothesline like I used to do your Stinky Socks. Maybe the wind will blow away the smell.”
“I’ll think of something,” Lenny said. He put the moss on the floor.
Wrinkling his nose, Olly reached for the clothespins and then Lenny had an idea. “We can compromise,” he said.
Lenny picked up a clothespin and handed it to Olly. “Sleep with this on your nose until I can get to Gramonds General Store and buy you some nose plugs,” he said. “And I promise I’ll hang my socks and moss outside on the clothesline every night. Is it a deal?”
Olly clamped the _____________
on his nose. “Dit’s da deal,” he agreed.
Questions to Talk About
Do you wash clothes in a washing machine at your house?
Did your Grandmother use a washboard or clothes pins? Do you use clothes pins at your house?
What kind of tools did lumberjacks use?
by Kathy Warnes
Grandma Sarah pushed the iron over her aprons and Molly smelled starch and the steamy smell of water in the steam iron. She watched beads of water slide down the iron as
Grandma’s hands moved it across her apron.
“Why do you like to iron, Grandma Sarah?” Molly asked her.
“Oh, I’ve always liked to iron, especially since the day I watched my mother iron a mason jar full of money,” Grandma Sarah told her.
“Why did your mother iron money?” Molly asked.
Molly pulled up a stool beside the ironing board and sat with her chin in her hands staring at Grandma Sarah. “Please tell me about ironing the money, Grandma Sarah.”
“During the Great Depression some banks didn’t have any money at all, and some ran out of money and had to close,” Grandma Sarah said. ‘Lots of people didn’t want to put their money in a bank because they were afraid they wouldn’t get it back. My daddy felt that way about banks. He used to tell my mother that all the bankers wanted to do was get their hands on his money and spend it for him.”
“What did he do with his money?” Molly asked.
“Whenever daddy would make a dollar here and there doing farm chores, he’d bring it home and toss it in mother’s lap,” Grandma Sarah said. “Put this in the Mason jar, he’d tell mother.”
Molly scrunched up her noise. “What’s a Mason Jar?”
“A Mason Jar is a kind of jar that you used to put food in and can it. I canned peaches last year and put them in Mason Jars. Remember that? You helped me.”
“I remember,” Sarah said. “The jars are green with a big mouth, right? Did your mother put the money in the Mason Jar?”
“She sure did!” said Grandma Sarah. “After she had done this for five years or so there was quite a bit of money in the jar. That worried my mother. ‘Herman, she’d say to dad, we can’t keep that jar in the cupboard anymore. There’s just too much money in it!’”
“We’ll have to find a hiding place for it,” daddy said. “He looked around the kitchen. There ain’t any place to hide money in this kitchen.” Daddy went outside through the backyard and I followed him. He peeked inside the woodshed door, looking for a place to hide his money.”
“What did you do then, Grandma Sarah?”
“I was following daddy so closely that I tripped over the handle on the potato cellar door. Daddy caught me in his strong arms. ‘Be careful Sarah Jane. We don’t need any scraped knees around here,’ he said.
Then he looked at the cellar door and scratched his nose.”
Daddy told me that he thought he found a good hiding place. He pulled the metal handle and he tugged at that wooden door until it squeaked open. I followed him down the narrow, steep stairs to the bottom of the cellar. It was so dark in that cellar that I was glad when daddy stopped at the bottom of the stairs and grumbled that he couldn’t see a thing.”
“What did you do next? Grandma Sarah?” Molly asked.
“Daddy and I went back into the house and got a kerosene lantern. It was smoky and the light made orange shadows on the walls as we climbed back down the cellar steps. Mother had already begun storing potatoes, squashes, carrots, and beets and apples for the winter and I could smell a little of each of these as we went down the steps.”
“What did the cellar look like?” Sarah asked.
“Oh, it wasn’t even as big as your bedroom,” Grandma Sarah said. “The walls were stone and the floor dirt. On one end of the cellar were two, ten gallon pickle crocks sitting on a slab of concrete that jutted into the room. Daddy and I buried that Mason jar of money in a spot at the edge of the slab. I swore I wouldn’t tell another soul about the money.”
“Did you ever tell, Grandma Sarah?”
“No, I never did, Molly. I wanted to once when Jenny Gilbert offered me her corncob doll to tell her a secret, but I didn’t.”
“Did you remember where it was when you wanted to dig it u p?” Molly asked.
“Oh yes. One time daddy helped with a butchering and earned five dollars. He gave mother the money and told her to put it in our bank. Mother took me with her to show her where the bank was. I didn’t have any trouble finding the jar, and I handed it to mother. She opened it up and she was ready to shove the five dollars in it. Then she got a whiff of the money.
‘Whew! That smells terrible,’ she said. I’d better take it to the house and do something with it.’
“Did it smell bad, Grandma Sarah?” Molly asked.
“Yes, it did, Molly. I smelled the money and it had a damp, musty smell like rotting leaves or an old boot that had been sitting out in the rain too long.”
“What did you do next, Grandma Sarah?”
“Mother wrapped the Mason jar in her apron and I followed her back to the house.”
“What did you do with the money?” Molly wondered.
“I’m coming to that Molly. I’m coming to that,” Grandma Sarah chuckled. “In our farm kitchen we had a wood burning stove and mother always kept her sadirons on the back of the wood stove. I know you’re going to ask me what a sadiron is, so I’ll tell you before you ask. Sadirons are heavy, metal irons that have to be hot before you use them. You can’t plug them in; you have to heat them on the stove. That’s why mother always kept them on the back of our wood stove. Mother grabbed one of the sadirons, put up her old wood ironing board, and spread that money all over it. She had me hold the money down and she ironed every single dollar that was there.”
“How many dollars were there, Grandma?” Molly asked her.
“As far as I can recollect, there were at least one hundred of them,” Grandma Sarah said.
“I know my arms were getting pretty tired when we got to the tail end of ironing that money. We were just stuffing it back into the green Mason jar when daddy came in from the barn.
‘Mary, you’d better put that money away,’ he said to Mom. ‘Somebody might come after it.’
Molly moved her chair closer to Grandma Sarah’s chair. “What did you do with the money, Grandma Sarah? I promise I won’t tell anybody.”
“Daddy put the lid back on the Mason jar and he took it back down into the cellar and buried it. And do you know, before he could tell us where he buried it he was killed in the woods when Zeb Parker took at wild shot at a deer. Mother and I tried to find the jar when we needed money for food. We dug up nearly the whole cellar floor and all around the concrete slab, but we couldn’t find hide nor hair of that money.”
“Did you ever find it, Grandma Sarah?”
“No, not to this day, Molly. I still go out to the farm and poke around once in awhile trying to find that money, but I haven’t found it. “
Molly giggled and hugged Grandma Sarah. “I’ll help you look for the money, Grandma Sarah. And if we find it, can I iron it? I’d like to learn how to iron money!”
Questions to Talk About
1. Do you have an iron at your house?
2. Does your Grandmother iron?
3. Why don't people iron as much now as they did during the time of the Depression?
Was the first president from New York State.
Were Trail of Tears and pro-slavery.
So he got false teeth of ivory and wood.
And only trusted Abigail his wife.
In politics he chose the Confederacy.
One of them an Independence Declaration.
And measured much shorter than Dolly his wife
To invade North or South American land.
To defend the Africans of the Amistad.
His vice president was John Tyler, too.
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Quincy Adams