Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lula Morris Atkin(1915-2005) at Morris Reunion August 8th, 1987

Lulu Morris Atkin:
(Tells about Mary Ellen Easton Morris and she is Frank's daughter and Mary Ellen's Granddaughter)
Mary Easton Morris

What I am going to talk about today is Grandma Morris.  She wasn't a very big woman as I remember her maybe 5'2 or 4 tall.  Most of her life she wasn't very heavy but she wore a lot of petty coats so her skirts made her look  bigger than she really was.  She was quiet, gentle, and a sweet person and I don't ever remember her getting angry or ornery or even raising her voice to any of us and she had a sense of humor that wouldn't quit.  We spent a lot of time at grandmas house especially until I was about 9.  Then we moved to town, with our house over on the hill across the Beaver River. 
Frank A. Morris
 Zealand Morris                      

Dad and Uncle Zeal jointly owned the farm and worked it together.  Our livestock was all kept together and the milking was done at Grandma's corral.  I remember that many a night, Barbara and I would be so sleepy before all the milking, separating and chores were done, that we just about get sleeping really soundly when our parents would call finish and we would have to get up and walk home.  I remember feeling I'd rather die than get up, but Grandma with her sweet gentleness was always there to help us up and get going.  She made the best cookies, they would be so huge it seemed to me, about 3-4 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.  They were flavored with nutmeg and had raisins in them.  If anyone here has that recipe I wish you'd give it to me.  Nobody could fry cabbage like she could either.  I remember one time I ate so much I got sick and Mother and Grandma had to take care of me that night.  I remember those good meals for the hay hands and threshing crew and Grandma and Mother and others in the family cooked pies and cakes and piles of food that was so good.  This was almost as good as family reunions with all the local relatives that were besides the threshing crew.

I was sick a lot for the first 8 years of my life.  Always my dear Grandma's both of them, came to help nurse me through the very serious illnesses I had, and when Nola was talking about Castor Oil, Yeah!  I remember that stuff and there were many a times we had to take it, sometimes it was with orange juice or a little coffee and it never tasted good with anything. 

When I was old enough to know that Grandma was a person of her own right, and not just a Grandma that gave us cookies, rocked us in her lap and did nice things for us, she was in her late 60's or early 70's but she never really seemed that old to me until the last 6 years of her life.  Before she died in 1930 at nearly 80 years of age, she walked to town to visit her families there and she was still quite active in her home.  At this time I had good opportunities to visit Grandma all by myself.  It was my chore to go to her house every day and clean and wash the separator discs and the utensils used for milking.  So I had a chance to visit with Grandma but like all the kids 12 years of age, I didn't really appreciate it then.   Let me tell you for a minute about cleaning the cream separator.  Have any of you ever seen a separator or the workings of it?  Well if you have never washed one you have missed a lot.  Along with a lot of other parts there was a contraption called the discs.  This consisted of about 52 cups that fit one into another and were put on a big metal safety pin.  Everyone of those cups had to be washed and scalded with boiling water, dried, inserted into each other and back into the pin.  The purpose of this supposedly, was to separate cream from the milk and it had to be fixed just so.  I guess it did do that but you couldn't prove it by me.  I only knew I cleaned that thing a million times or so it seemed.  I just hated those discs and I think everyone hated to clean them too, even Grandma.
Joseph Smith Morris and Mary Easton Morris early family photo

Grandma had a busy active life raising her family sometimes being alone with her children for months, as Grandpa served a 2 year mission during this time, also as a cattle buyer which took him from home a lot.  I have heard Grandma often tell us when her children were quite young she and the children took the milk cows over the river for the summer where the feed was lush and thick. Here they milked the cows and made butter and cheese.  Now, I don't know exactly where over on the river is, but it was over towards. Paragonah somewhere (could it have been up that canyon?)

She said during the time she lived in a little cabin that had a door with no latch and the door was held closed with just a big rock. When I think of it now just how she told about it then, I marvel about it, how courageous and brave she was to stay there alone, just with her children without even a safe place to live in. There must surely have been wandering Indians and other men out there and also wild animals.  It must have been her keen sense of humor that brought her through the hard times in her life she lost to children,  John in infancy and Lula at age 8 and her husband when he was only 54. She had grief and adversity and a lot of  hard work but she endured them all.  Her sense of humor was the most amazing thing about grandma. She was always saying something funny in her quaint Scottish dialect or some little Scottish sayings that I wish I could remember now.  Many times I could see her laughing over some ordinary incidence that tickled her. Like one time when King was 5 or 6 years old he, Barbara and I had gone over at Thanksgiving time and it was pretty nippy so we wore our coats and caps. King had on a red stocking cap and a dark colored coat. Grandma had a flock of about 40 turkeys that were about ready for market and they caught sight of King. They must have thought he was a strange turkey invading there territory because the whole flock started after him. King ran for the house as fast as his little legs could go and with all those turkeys right behind him. Their necks sticking right out, boy they were going to get him. King reached grandma who picked him up and brought him safely home and she was laughing so hard that she could hardly talk.

 She spent a lot of time of her last few years staying for months at a time.  She was still cheerful and gentle and as alert as she could be and her sense of humor was as keen as ever.  She still sang her cute little songs and her cute little Scottish sayings. We had a record on our phonograph about a Scotsman who "liked to have me breakfast in bed in the Sunday morning." Grandma loved this song and she would have us play it for here and as she listened she would chuckle to herself all the time the record played. she was a lovely lady, or grandma. She was gentle, kind and had a lot of courage and was humble and faithful always. She told me her two favorite hymns were, " We thank the oh God for a prophet and How firm a foundation".  I thought that maybe you would like to know this. She was sweet to us all and judging from her personality in her last years time, people are generally cross and hard to live with but still she had kept her sense of humor and her easy going nature. I'm sure she never did or said anything harmful to anyone in her whole life she was a wonderful person.  A Grandma to be proud of. I loved her then and I love her now and I'm thankful for the heritage she gave me and the memories I have of her.

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