When the depression hit about 1929 the winter was bad and the hens couldn’t lay many egg. Christmas gifts were only given to the younger members of the family. Theresa asked what I really wanted. One thing I said was a ring with a red set. I got that and a light blue opal necklace also, I felt I was certainly blessed! Opal my birth stone! Adolph saw I could make Christmas wreaths out of cedar branches and add red crepe paper bows, he asked me to make more and he took them to market on Saturdays to sell to customers for 25 cents each to buy Christmas gifts for the little ones under 6 years at home.
Once Aunt Tilly, Mom’s sister, took Selma on a vacation trip. So grandma would not be alone she picked 3 of her grandchildren to stay the week with her. Gladys Erhardt was the older, 5 years, Morris Fisher was next and then myself, Lillian Sommerer. I might have been 8 years old, we did all the things Selma slways did and we had such fun together, even the work. I remember scrubbing grandmas kitchen floor, she told me how. I was so proud how pretty and clean it looked. We got to pull water up from Grandpa’s well with a bucket on a rope. One day after everything was clean and in place she had us light the lantern and then told Morris to go into the closet and open the trap door and put the lantern down and find the red iron strong box and lift it up, then she opened it with a key and took out $5.00. The box was put back and the trap door was closed. Then she sent the three of us to the waterfall pasture to play till she rang the dinner bell for us. She had invited Pastor Bultman to come and give her Holy Communion as she couldn’t walk well enough to enjoy the privilege in Church. I’ll never forget that, it’s stapled on my heart, that being able to take Holy communion is a most blessed thing one can do! I loved my Grandmother so much, what a joyful time Gladys, Morris and I had.
Christmas at Honey Creek Immanuel Church was the best and took quite an effort. Adolph’s cousin Mary and Leona told us there was candy and peanuts and oranges there for all school children so we were eager to get there. The tree was a tremendous size and beautifully trimmed. It was lighted with real candles, when I smell wax burning it still takes me back all those years. The Immanuel school children sang all the pretty carols, and the service was in English and we got to hear the story of the birth of our Savior from sin. “Momma and Daddy used, THE STICK often, so we knew about Sin.” The ride to church, 8 miles by horse and buggy seemed forever, except coming home the sky was full of dazzling stars and it was so cold we covered with Adolph’s heavy lap robe to keep warm. We had our goodies in our arms and listened to the horses shoes hit the flint stone rocks on the road, and the sparks were as pretty as the stars in the sky.
Aunt Leona’s son Henry was a young married man in 1940 and Theresa’s sixth child, a boy was 14, each were plowing in fields on either side of the Honey Creek. (Very happy Christian farmers) Aunt Leona’s son Henry was singing on his side of the Honey Creek (at the top of his lungs) and in GERMAN, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.” While Theresa’s son Vernon was singing in English on the other side just as loud, the very same words. Vernon said he enjoyed those times a lot.
What good looking girls…