Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nola Baker Morris speaks at the Morris Reunion August 8th, 1987

Nola Baker Morris:
When our ancestors came to America they must have had a seed planted of faith, strength, and courage because they had a great desire to nourish that seed with diligence, patience and suffering to be willing to accept the challenge to come to our land of freedom for the Gospel.

Our Pioneer families knew the meaning of how, and the importance of pulling together.  They were taught the commandments, "Ye have loved one another as I have loved you".  They worked together, worshipped, cried, laughed and sang together. 

When I was little I remember singing, can you older ones remember how much enthusiasm "Put you shoulder to the wheel"?   "Come, Come Ye Saints" were sung with ?  They sang it like they meant what they were singing. 

Our people received their strength from each other and they lived as one big family. 

Life on the farm, when we grew up has changed and I feel like we owe it to our children to share what our life was like then.  So I'd like to reminisce a little bit on what a new bride was expected to know when she approached that time in her life.
Ormond and Nola Baker Morris on Wedding Day 1936

The art of homemaking has changed so much.  Some of the things she was to know about mostly, was to make bread, she must know it started by having a live start of yeast.  This is kept alive from one baking to another and along with this they had to know when the wood stoves oven was at the right temperature to give the right brown and bake on the loaves of bread by putting their hands into the oven to see if it was too hot or hot enough.  They didn't have a temperature gauge like we do now.  They had to know how to cure meat, make vinegar from cider, dry vegetables and fruit, how to make tallow, and take pride in keep lamps full of coal oil and wicks trimmed just so, because if not oh! how you could black up a clean chimney.

She must know how to patch holes in overalls, and darn and knit stockings.  Make soap, know the home remedies when her family came sick such as making mustard plasters, and gave enemas and castor oil.  I have a little bit I'd like to share on enema's and how effective they are to sickness.  I didn't plan on this but I will share this, Carlene, Dan and Della Rae had gone down to help move Karen and Glen and their family back to Utah from Texas.  When they arrived there Karen's little baby was running a terrible fever, she was under the care of the Doctors but it wasn't going well and what the little darling needed.  As soon as Carlene saw the little one she said "Karen, let's give her an enema".  They did and the high fever dropped in minutes. You can't believe how much that helped that little one.  Another remedy that was used a lot as children was a little dab of sugar with a few drops of coal oil in it.  It was used for breaking up the croup.  So I know the home remedy we used were very good.

Oh yes, and that little white pill can anyone remember those???  I believe the thoughts of it made me sick.  I had one hard time swallowing it.  You'd thought it was a marble or something like that.  After getting it down it really served it's purpose real good.  Just the thought of it often made me well quick.

How important it was to hang out the white washing, the night before seemed to be the way it always started by soaking the whites, or real dirty ones in soapy suds over night and in the morning start scrubbing over the board.  This was always on a Monday.  I remember many times when I would come from school.  Mother would still be scrubbing.  She seemed to think I could scrub stockings, I had to have been 10 years old or so, because she died when I was 13 years old.  I remember not minding too much because I felt sorry for her because she was scrubbing when I left for school and she still was when I got home.  Now it is such a choice memory for me.

I think the kids did appreciate what she did for us without complaining.  At least I don't remember her getting angry at any of us.  Her sweet understanding ways were so outstanding.  We always boiled our whites in a large copper boiler with soap suds in the water and stirred with the broom stick as they would boil.  Then rinse and starch them.  The starch was made from a little dab of flour and boiling water poured over the flour mixture.  It would be thinned down with cold water to the consistency that we wanted.  Ironing was with a flat iron, heated on a wood stove was a must to make our clothes look pretty.  Whether it was hot or cool days we had to heat our flat irons.  We took pride in ironing, many at a time we would have a large basketful of clothes to iron.  We always ironed pillowcases and many ladies ironed their sheets but that wasn't for me.  I loved to take sheets off the line and put them right back on the bed.  Oh how nice they would smell.  Of course lots of times, we would have to do that because it was the only sheet we had.  We would dampen the clothes down the night before so the dampness would get through the clothes.  The fabrics then aren't like the fabrics of today.  If you were lucky enough to have a nice breeze while the clothes were drying helped.  It was always a pleasure to climb into the bed with that refreshing smell to put you off to sleep.

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