Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great Aunt Teeter

Her real name was Elizabeth, or Lizzie. She was always great aunt Teeter to us. I don't know what it means, or how she came about that name. She was Mom's aunt. She lived on a farm near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, all alone. You see where I'm going here?

She had a big white farmhouse with a wonderful front porch complete with davenport, great for summertime naps. The kitchen was the biggest room in the house, and she also had a walk in pantry about half the size of the kitchen where she baked bread and kept all her stores. Across a short boardwalk was the summer kitchen. A little further off of that was the outhouse. That's right, she had no running water in the house. She had the manually operated pump off the front of the house. For toilet facilities in the winter, she had a little room upstairs with a sawdust toilet.


She also had a big red barn, and a henhouse. She didn't have any animals, at least when I knew her, except for the semi-feral barn cats that wouldn't let anybody else touch them, but would come running when she called. I spent hours in that henhouse trying to pet a cat!

She was an avid AWA fan. I remember falling asleep to the glow of the little black and white TV showing Vern Gagne, The Crusher and Nick Bockwinkel going at it, and Teeter yelling right along with them.

She made the best ring macaroni salad, with shredded carrots on top that she always served in this bowl.



It is among my most treasured possessions, along with this rocking chair.




When I had a new floor put in my living room, I made sure it went well with the rocker.



I don't remember the exact year she died. I was maybe 8 or 9. I wish I knew her when I was older, you know? She obviously made a lasting impression on me. Most of my earliest memories are of her and her place. When people say you must be crazy living there alone on that farm, I just smile. I had a great role model, and come from a long line of spinster farm ladies!





8 comments:

dragonxser said...

I had wondered how you came to be on your own, on the farm! Seems you come from a line of strong women with pioneer spirits. My most treasured items are like yours - things that have strong people memories attached. Many hugs to you and your mom, and your fur people too :)

rilera said...

...and you are obviously content and living the life that you want. Great Aunt Teeter sounds like an amazing lady. BTW, I love that rocking chair, it's lovely.

How's Mom doing? You hanging in there?

Robin said...

I treasure my old memories of going to the country...the smell of fresh bread baking, the naps in the swing on the front porch...and falling in the pig pen!

My grandparents had a rocking chair very similar to yours! I didn't get it...

Annie said...

Robyn, Mom is doing good. We've been having some restless nights, but I'm hanging in there. Sometimes it feels like it's just by a thread, but it's a strong thread!
Robin, I also learned early on to watch for that gutter in the dairy barn. It will get the unsuspecting every time!

Cinnamin said...

I love the chair as well! Where can I find one??!! :-)

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you sharing these pictures and stories. You make me smile as I enjoy these little glimpses into your life. Thanks!

purple-power said...

Sorry I've been away - life has intervened. I've missed reading your stories. My mom has had a bunch of incidents and I've just been overwhelmed. But things seem to have stablized and that gives me some time to catch up.

I love your blog - I love both the pictures and the word pictures. Thank you.

Olga said...

I think it's always a fantasy in the back of my mind to live on a farm. 'cept mine experiance would turn out like Green Acres- murphys law and all .

Miss T said...

Lovely.