Saturday we stopped in the very small hamlet of Butternut where my Great Aunt Et and Great Uncle Johnny had lived for 52 years. I have the best memories of going there as a child. They were our "little house on the prairie" relatives. They had no electricity or running water. In the kitchen, there was a water pump. My aunt cooked with a wooden stove. She made the best pies! They had a pantry with home canned food, such as pickles and ground cherries, and kept butter and cream in a well outside the house. Of course, they had an outhouse – a 2 seater. I remember them letting us play on their typewriter and pump organ. They also had a wooden flat-bed cart with large steel wheels and a handle. My brother would pull my sister and me all around the yard. We were told to never go upstairs or in the garage. The garage had an old car in it – perhaps a model A or T. There were snakes by the garage, in the ferns, so that kept us away. I remember my great uncle once let me shoot his b -b gun at his pigs. I’m sure he knew I couldn’t hit them if I tried. Some of my best childhood memories took place there. We had lots of picnics in their yard. One of their grandsons went on to become a US Navy Admiral. True story. Not bad!
Today the house still stands, but one wouldn’t recognize it. There’s brown siding, new windows, and an added bedroom on the main floor. A new 3 stall garage replaced the old one. The outhouse is gone, and the new owner, who visited with us for awhile Saturday, has done some fun things with his flower gardens. One thing I liked was the use of a spindle headboard for vines to climb. It was really cute. He had a neat bird feeder too.
Across the street was the mercantile store he used to run. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been done to it over the years. It is pretty rickety. Tall plants cover much of it. There is a gas pump out in the front. The price per gallon read: $.65/gal. I don’t recall my Uncle Johnny working there, but if my Aunt Liz says it’s so, it’s so. Apparently he was also the town clerk and had registered the birth of my Uncle Vic back in the early 1900’s. I was too busy visiting with the new owner to take any pictures, but my cousin Diane took fabulous photos.