My Short Stories

Pookey Was Not Doing So Good

It all started with me going to Texas with my daughter Kelly, her husband Henry and my two granddaughters and my little Shih Tzu Pookey. Pookey stayed all week at my son David’s home in Texas while I stayed in a motel in a near by town because the motel didn’t allow dogs, not even cute tiny ones. David has four dogs, three cats, and Kelly had her two dogs there also. It was way to much for my little Pookey plus the fact that she got loaded with fleas from the sand in my sons back yard. His wife Betty wanted me to give Pookey to her permanently. Are you kidding, that flea ridden yard would kill Pookey in a week, no way!

The trip started out to be a bit traumatic for her but did get better as the miles went by. Pookey was standing up on her hind legs with her paws on the window watching other cars pass us. When others in passing cars saw her little face they would laugh and wave at her. Then after our week long visit we went back home to Kentucky and Kelly made the choice to go back to Texas and stay, make it her home. Pookey loves Kelly more than anyone else in our family, yes, even more than me.

I gave Kelly my loveseat to take with her to Texas, it was Pookey’s little couch too.
She would sit on the back of it every day and look out the big windows behind it at the birds eating from the feeder and at all the neighbors dogs that come in and out of our back yard, and cats. She didn’t know where to sit in my living room after the loveseat was gone so I bought a new loveseat.

Every day she sat at the sliding door that goes into Kelly’s house and made little sad noises. Not a cry, not a whine, just little sad noises, all day.
Another week went by and I noticed her hair was gone from around both her eyes. The reason you wouldn’t notice it right away is because her hair on the top of her head is long and almost covered her big brown eyes.

A few more days went by and Pookey seemed to be getting worse. The skin around her eyes formed a crusty kind of mess and her nose was runny, she looked terrible!
The following day I took her to the vets and he said the cause for her condition was anxiety, stress, and missing a family member that she loved, that’s what his diagnosis was.

He also said some dogs will get sick to the point where they will die when a person they love dies or moves away. He prescribed some meds and put a protective neck collar on her.

How we get her to take her pills is to put them in a small amount of peanut butter on a spoon, it works great and peanut butter is good for dogs.

Pookey no longer wears the cone, her hair is growing back, her eyes are clean and bright and her eyelashes are slowly growing back. It did give me a scare and I hope to never go through anything like that again.

With Kelly and the granddaughters gone I could see that I couldn’t take proper care of Pookey by myself. I sent out a couple of emails to close friends that I thought might take her and sure enough Leah my closest friend that I had hoped would take her called me right after the emails went out and asked me if I was really wanting to give Pookey away. The good thing was Pookey already knew this friend from her visits to my home so that helped when I had to say good by to Pookey. It was a painful and tough decision to make to give her away.

She is really happy with her adoptive family. She has more people around her all the time, mom and dad, grandma, grandkids, and others popping in and out of there home.

She actually gets out of the house and goes places like shopping, getting ice cream and to visit family friends. When she was with me she only got out on my deck. All and all it was a very good decision I made. The picture below is her on her way to McDonalds.

An update: Pookey died two months ago of old age, she was loved and had a good and happy life.

Author Eileen Clark

My Short Stories

Thank You For Saving My Life

I Can’t Believe How They Fuss Over Their Pets

That’s me saying it and that’s how I use to feel. I’d see these women falling all over their little dogs or their cats and think, get a life. I had cats off and on, no dogs. My kids had the dogs and they took care of them. I never fussed over my cats. I fed them, made sure they got their shots and that was it, no more, no less.

It started out with me wanting to go to a junk shop to buy a small cabinet for my kitchen. Three of these kinds of shops were right near my home and that’s where I wanted to start out, but my daughter was sure I needed to go out of town to this big new second hand shop that sold everything and that’s where we went.

It was not a junk shop, it was a huge building with booths along the walls and in the center of the room selling products of everything you could possible need from hunting gear to fancy china, but no cabinets like the one I had seen days earlier at a shop in our little town. 

Their was a booth with several people standing in front of it so we couldn’t see what they were selling, what the big attraction was. When we got down to it, their she was sitting in the corner of a big wire cage. A tiny cream colored curly haired with little brown ears Shih Tzu. She had a little black button nose and big brown eyes, she looked like a little stuffed toy dog.

Since I’m sitting in a wheelchair I’m eye to eye with her. She just sat straight up looking directly at me, not moving, not even blinking, so tiny and white and fluffy. There was a small tag on the cage with the price, $400.00. That’s an unbelievable price for a Shih Tzu.

My daughter and granddaughter were looking at me very thoughtfully, trying to read my mind. I looked up at them and said if, and I’m just saying if. I didn’t get another syllable out of my mouth and they were jumping up and down and softly screaming like three year old’s. Telling them to calm down I finished my question, will you promise to help me take care of her?  you know I’ll need lots of help ? Oh yes yes yes, we promise we promise we promise. 

It was even worse than that, you’d have to have been there to get the full picture.

We live in a nice house with a mother in-law apartment attached right on the back where I reside. It would be no problem for my family to be a part of Pookey’s life and  they could help me when needed.
So now I’m one of those women that’s a mess over her pup, I don’t know how I managed to have lived without her.

My Pookey Almost Died

About a month after I got her, which would make her just 4 months old, my daughter and son in-law were in my room playing with her on my bed and Kelly, my daughter was eating frozen grapes and let my pup play with one. Shortly after giving it to her to play with, Kelly started looking for the grape seemingly quite concerned about the situation. I didn’t understand why she was so anxious about it until Henry explained that  grapes make dogs very sick and since Pookey was so little it could cause her to die. My pup did eat the grape. 

The next day which was a Friday, my daughter Kelly left her job early because she and her husband Henry were leaving town for the weekend on a trip to Texas.
My granddaughters were still in school, and my pup was lying on the floor near my feet close to death. 

Her eyes were half shut, she was panting, her little black botton nose was  dry with white stuff on it, and her little little tongue was hanging out of her mouth. I couldn’t do anything. I could not run to the neighbors, could not get her to the vet, could do nothing as I’m in a wheelchair, all I did was look down at her while crying.

The phone rang, it was my older daughter Val and she was on her way to her office.  
She works for an online business that sells a very special kind of dog food. Through sobs of tears I told what was going on and she stated she was minutes away from her building and she would have the girls that work there and that help people on the phone through crisis with their pets. She would have the girls call me right back.

They did, they told me to get cooked rice, syrup, and ice cubes. Amazingly I had all three of these things on hand. Rub her mouth with the ice, put the syrup on my finger and then rub it on her tongue. Then put the cooked rice piece by piece in her mouth, more ice, more syrup, more rice, and so on. I also added chicken soup to the menu.

They said when they call back later to check on her she should be fine, she was ! In less then an hour, she was running, jumping, and playing, I couldn’t believe it.

They made the poster of her that you see above this story that says,
“Thank You For Saving My Life” and hung it on there office wall because it’s a testimonial to their work over the phone and because she is such a beautiful little pup.

Author Eileen Clark

My Short Stories

Boots In The Snow

When I was eight I walked to school in the city of Hartford Connecticut every day with my two older brothers Bernie and Dick. We walked on the cement sidewalks and the rule was, never  step on the long crack that separated each sidewalk square. Some of the large cement squares had many cracks in them so it was a real difficult task to keep moving and not step on one of them. You had to keep moving along fast, you couldn’t take your time checking ahead before you put your foot down. You just could not step on one because you would really hurt your mother, that’s what we honestly believed. Quite silly don’t you think, well maybe not all the kids my age played this game.

Our winter boots were always black and for a girl I considered them to be very ugly. We all had them, black up past your ankle rubber boots. Little girls did not have red blue or pink boots back then like they sell today, or possibly it was the not so financially well off  kids that didn’t have boots in colors. Thing is, I don’t even remember seeing them in the big department stores. We did most of our shopping in the Sears & Roebucks catalogues and I never saw any pretty boots for kids in them either.

The boots had snap type clamps from the middle to the top and often because it was too much trouble or we were just lazy, we never buckled them up just slipped them on and off we’d go.

I loved to walk on the huge high snow banks along the side of the road where the plow’s piled it up after clearing off the roads. It was fun trudging along on those banks pushing one foot after the other down, my whole leg would be swallowed up into the snow. I had to work hard to pull my leg up and out of the snow wiggling my leg back and forth to pull it up only to clump the other foot and leg down almost to my hips into the snow bank again.

We never gave a thought about the fact that walking on these snow banks was very dangerous and any time we could slip off falling towards the road and oncoming cars would run over us, we would have been killed!

Sure enough it was bound to happen, one day up came my foot with no boot!  I quickly looked down the hole that my foot was buried in only to see snow. Of course snow will fall back into the hole as my foot comes up. I frantically searched, pulling snow away with my freezing red numb fingers. I was in a terrified state by now, still pulling snow away from where I thought the hole might have been to where my boot still just might be, all the time knowing I was as good as dead, I couldn’t find my boot. 

Yes, my father would kill me when he got home from work. In matters like this, my mother would not kill me, she just got sick. Here’s how it would go, ” I’m sick, you have made me sick over this, I just can’t take any more, now I am sick.” It was right after the second world war and we were poor, everyone was poor for a while in that period of time, so I was not going to get a new pair of boots this winter.

My feet were going to freeze every day back and forth to school, and in the play yard, and in my backyard, and at my girlfriends back yard, all winter long, frozen feet, and of course I did get the spanking from my father that night when he got home from work. He had a brown leather strap hanging on a nail behind the kitchen stove. He made it at his workplace.

My spanking, my mother reminding me that I was indeed killing her, and my feet getting wet and very cold every day, I feel I was duly punished and never walked on snow banks ever again, ever.

On the school shoes the soles would separate because in time the rubber would wear down to the thread and the thick thread holding the two pieces together got exposed and would disintegrate. With every step I took it was flop flop flop, it was embarrassing!  My father would glue them together, put a clamp on them, holding them very tight over night so they would be ready to wear the next day. That glue job lasted about a month then came unglued. Mom would say live with it.

Author Eileen Clark

My Short Stories

What Took Me So Long?

My youngest daughter Kelly at the age thirteen, was really doing well at school especially in her computer class so I agreed to purchase a small Apple computer. At that time you could use a small  TV for your monitor and considering I would be killing two birds with one stone, a computer for her room and a television for her room, why not! 

It was just Kelly and myself living in the home now with an unused bedroom. I was divorced and my two older children had graduated school and moved out starting their own lives. Kelly was having some minor  problems as teenagers often do and having her interested in an educational activity was a good thing. She also was playing an instrument in a band at her school, raising and showing Lop-eared rabbits, taking roller-skating lessons with me and hitting all the antique shops also with me, learning about old and sometimes priceless pieces. 

I built two very long and big rabbit cages plus large wooden boxes. I figured if one is going to keep a rabbit that loves hopping about in the woods they should at least have plenty of room to move around in. I believe it’s cruel the way people keep rabbits in little cages and have no business owning any pets! Kelly and I went to several nearby towns buying special breeds of rabbits. One breed was the Lop Eared rabbit and another was the Angora. I went with her to the fairs in town when she was showing her rabbits. One of her rabbits got first place, a blue ribbon, and her picture taken holding her rabbit. It ended up on the front page of our small town newspaper, very small town, which would explain the front page thing.

I did not get involved with her and her computer, that was hers and hers alone. In those days there was no reason for the computer to be set up in a family safe area because nothing was online that parents had to fear.

Looking back, oh how I wish I had gotten involved with her computer activities and had her show me what it was all about. She was able to find jobs quickly because of her computer knowledge after she got out of school.

I had helped her buy a home and then had a smaller place built right behind her house that I would live in. While she worked I watched her two girls, my grandbabies, and enjoyed landscaping our combined yards, making water gardens, arbors, and a big vegetable garden.

She had one room she used as an office, library, and her computer, there it was all the time and I never even looked at it,  nor did I care too.

 After a couple of years passed my arthritis took over my whole body. Kelly and the girls and I left Texas and moved to New England. I moved into a senior citizen apartment complex and found my life had no eventful meaning to it. No grandchildren to watch, no gardening, nothing but pain, loneliness, and more pain.

I watched a lot of TV and started to notice that after a show  was over they would announce that we could learn more about this product or that story on or if the station was NBC the same announcement was made. Also there would be a www. something for a certain product that was being talked about, or a www.something after a commercial if you wanted to know more about the product or wanted to order the thing. I got more and more curious about the computer world. 

One day when I was in the lounge of the center building where the seniors’ activities were held, a couple of ladies were sitting there talking and one was saying to the other that her son never came to take her shopping when he had said he would. I suggested she might do some of her shopping on the computer since she didn’t drive and was unable to get out on her own. They both looked at me and asked, what is a computer?”

That evening I called up my daughter Kelly and asked her to help me purchase a computer and spend a day with me teaching me how to use it. She was shocked, after all these years being around one and never having the slightest interest in learning how to use it, why now ?

I explained to her that the way my rheumatoid arthritis is moving in on me so fast, and I can see my hands and feet starting to cripple up, I will some day be very limited in my ability to drive and even take care of my own needs. I should really buy one now and get myself educated in the computer world. She said she had a cheap one that was called Barbie that wasn’t being used and I can have it. I was delighted as I felt if I couldn’t get the hang of it I would have wasted my money.

I was fifty nine when I got my first computer and  now years later I could not live without it. Not only do I do all my shopping online for food, clothes, yard supplies and you name it, I have three websites and the rest is history, I could not live without it.

Author Eileen Clark


My Short Stories

 My Brothers Were Paper Boys

The Paper Boy

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. My brothers delivered the newspapers six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which they got to keep 2 cents. They had to get up at 6 AM every morning.
On Saturday, they had to collect the 42 cents from their customers. The favorite customers were the ones who gave the boys 50 cents and told them to keep the change. The least favorite customers were the ones that seemed to never be home on collection day.
Rain, snow, and summer heat never stopped the paper boys from getting the papers to every customers home.

At My House

My brothers were paper boys in the early forties, they were in third and fourth grade, let’s see, I guess that would have made them about 9 and 10 years old. It was in the city of Hartford Connecticut. They delivered them after school and used a red wagon instead of bikes, we couldn’t afford bikes.
We were Irish Catholics living in an Italian neighborhood and that meant trouble for the boys, especially my younger brother because he had bright red curly hair and big freckles all over his pale white face.

You may wonder why that would be trouble for the boys.

The Irish and Italian’s did not mix together in those days. The Italian boy’s named Joey, Rocky, and I don’t remember the other boys names would be on the corner when the bundle of papers were dropped off, then folded and placed in the red wagon by my brothers.
Rocky and friends showed up just to make trouble for my brothers. They would scatter the papers all over the streets and passing cars would carry them off on their hoods, roofs and trunks never to be seen again. Other times Rocky and friends would wait until the papers were all folded and stacked neatly and ready to be delivered, then the bully’s would push my brothers aside and throw the papers all over the streets. No one could do anything about it and the boys just took it. Well it did escalate to the point where Rocky and friends were waiting on the corner along with, this time untouched papers.

They had other plans this particular afternoon.

They wrapped white adhesive tape all over the boys heads and my brothers went about there job delivering all the papers wearing this horrid tape looking like they had white caps on their heads. My mother had to cut most of there hair off and they went to school the next day almost bald. The following day my mom, dragging my reluctant brothers along went directly to the principle’s office to give Father O’Malley a “Show and Tell” complaint. The Father questioned my brothers, asking for names until he was blue in the face because my brothers would not tell, “squeal” on Rocky, Joey and friends. The very next evening the Italian boys were waiting on the corner for my brothers. The news papers were all folded and stacked in a neat pile. As soon as the boys appeared, Rocky and friends placed the folded papers nicely in the red wagon and walked away.

That was it, not a word was spoken, they just walked away!

My brothers were never bothered again by Rocky, Joey, and the other friends of theirs or anyone else. An interesting observation, every now and then when my brothers got to the corner where the bundles of papers were left off for them, they would find a nicely folded stack of news papers ready for the boys wagon and they knew they were safe from not just Rocky and friends but from any other bullies that might be around. I’m guessing the word got out, don’t nobody mess with the Irish paper boys because the Italian boys were watching over them.

Author Eileen Clark


My Short Stories

His Name is Alistair And He Just Walked Away

The year was about 2015 when this took place.

My sweet granddaughter Chelsea is an animal lover, has been since birth. When she was four, she use to have invisible rabbits that she carried around in the palms of her hands and when she wanted to let them go she would throw her hands up in the air and make a sound, “swisssh” and they’d all disappear according to her.
She is fourteen a couple of months ago she acquired a big sorry looking cat. She brought him home from a friends house. Every time she went there this big white and tan scruffy cat would stare at her with very green sad eyes as if  saying, “help me,” so one day she finally did. She just picked him up, said good by to her friend adding, “we’ll talk about this later” and walked out the door.

He had long hair that had to be shaved off because his fur was filled with big clumps and knots, he really was in bad shape. After the hair was removed many cuts and bruises were exposed. This poor cat, I say bravo to my granddaughter!  Chelsea’s dad Henry brought the cat to the vets shortly after she brought him home and got him cleaned up, so he could get a good exam and get any shots he might need and to be neutered.
My granddaughter named the cat Alistair and oh is he happy playing with my cats, running and hiding under the pine trees, blackberry bushes, and the woods down below. He also loves sleeping on my porch on very hot days with the Bamboo screens  down, the fans on, and the water fountain running and giving off a cool light splash every now and then landing on him. Everything a cat could wish for sweet Alistair has so I believe he is now officially our cat.

This past March my granddaughter Chelsea and her parents packed up everything and moved to Texas. I asked Chelsea to please leave Alistair with me. He already was staying on the big deck and my back porch seeming to love it there. He also enjoyed playing in the back yard  around my flower beds and playing with my cats Dixie and Little Girl, he seemed to really like Little Girl. I was certain he would be happier here rather then be shipped off to a new and unknown place. He seemed to be content and settled into this new arrangement but he would not come into my house. Even though one night when it got very cold and was raining I could not get him to come in so I put a large fluffy towel on the chair that he slept in on my porch and I felt he would stay warm and be fine. He was fine and as the days began to warm up I was sure that Alistair was going to become a permanent member to my family.

Four weeks had gone by and things seemed to be going pretty good when one day, I remember it so well because I was in my living room staring out the big picture window, when I saw Alistair walking on the other side of our fence. I never saw him on that side of the fence before so I just watched him slowly walking down the hill and into the deeper part of the woods. I have not seen Alistair since that day.
For at least three months I would open my porch door hoping that I would see him sitting on that chair with the towel, but days and then months went by and the chair stayed empty. He just left, he just walked away.

Was it that he knew as he watched the boxes getting filled and piled up one on top of the other?  Was it that as he sat on the front steps and watching pieces of furniture being taken out of his home and being placed in this big truck ? Or perhaps it was because every time he went up the steps at the front of the house, the door never opened for him, and at night the porch light never came on and he remembers the big truck driving slowly going down the road with the family car following behind it and his Chelsea was in it. Was his heart so broken that he just walked away ?
Many months have passed and I don’t look for Alistair first thing in the morning anymore, but I’m still holding on to some hope that he will come back home.

Author Eileen Clark

My Short Stories

If I Only Had A Brain

I was eight years old in second grade when I began to notice the kids in my class always had the answers when called on and I never did. I remember the year was 1947 and the reason I remember that date is because I can still see it written on yellow lined paper with a black led pencil. The teacher wanted us to put the  date up in the right hand corner of  our paper and I never could remember the date. I stayed back in second grade and that was the beginning of the rest of my life.  I won’t drag you through all of the agonizing experience I had,  just the ones that are still with me. Forth or fifth grade, walking home from school I threw one of my books in the bushes because I didn’t understand my homework and would skip school the day test were given. In the summer my two brothers went outside to play after they finished the chores and I  sat at the kitchen table with my mom trying to teach me math, how to tell time and spell simple words. She painted pictures on the back of big sheets of wallpaper, balloons, apples, balls, and a big clock with moving hands. I also heard often,  ” Why can’t you get this stuff right like your brothers do.” The sad thing is I also looked bad, very skinny, straight brown hair, a big space in the middle of my teeth, my eyebrows grew right across my forehead meeting each other. Also I was left handed, no one but me in my class was left handed and I had one front tooth that was BLACK! It seems I fell on my face one day on the sidewalk  hitting my teeth, nice. I quit school a few days after I turned sixteen, who would of guessed.

So now we’ll go to my adulthood. I never thought about it catching up on me like it did. The first time was with my kid sister. She’s still in her teens and I’m married with one child. I remember the very day, we were in the post office and I said something to her, don’t remember what it was but after she answered I felt  much younger then her and way less knowledgeable. She was passing me. The second time was even worse because this time it was my teenage daughter. We were in the yard at our home in Texas and after I got done telling her something she kindly corrected me, very scary.  And then the worst of the worst, I wrote a nice letter to my granddaughter who’s about ten or twelve and a week later I see my letter on her dresser in her bedroom with corrections made on my spelling. Still I did pretty good bluffing my way through life. I had many good jobs, wrapping meat in the supermarkets, working in the insurance company, worked at a double wide factory hanging the curtains in all the rooms, cleaning, staining, trimming, and final inspection. At forty I got my GED, ya ! I got a job at a workshop as a therapeutic technician working with adults that had retardation issues, or as the correct way of saying today is  ( special needs ).  I remember one day saying to a co-worker and good friend, they don’t know things like I don’t know things, the difference is, they don’t know that they don’t know things, I know that I don’t know things, that I’m stupid!

I’m a Jehovah’s Witness and when I received one of our Awake magazine, on the cover was written, Does Your Child Have Learning Problems?  I still have that magazine, May, 1983. I read it and then I went to our library and got several books on learning disability’s. As I read them I cried, it was me, everything I was reading was about me. My mom was telling me on the phone one day that my dad shuts down when he gets nervous or if someone is giving him directions to some place, so I guess that tells you who I got it from. I can’t read road maps, can’t drive far from home, can’t follow directions when to many are given, and get lost in big buildings.  We  with poor learning skills tend to shut down, became great con artist in that we have ways of squeezing out of tough situations if we’re called upon. We do much better with visual information then reading stuff.  Now that I’ve read all this important information in these books I got,  it’s answered so many things I had wondered about. I was an intelligent person, much more then many other people that I know so how can this be. Why did I have so much trouble learning something when so many others didn’t? Well now I know and I’m not afraid to admit it, no more shame. The bright side of all of this is people like myself are very creative and artistic and that I am! I paint, (watercolors), build things, water gardens, arbers, landscaping went to interior decorator classes, and write poems.

P.S. My writings I can spell check but I have not found a site that will help me know where to put commas so go easy on me please.


My Short Stories

The Old Pantries

I’d been thinking for some time about doing a blog on pantries of the yesterday’s. I don’t have any pictures of the pantries in the houses I lived in over the years. I don’t have any pictures of the houses I lived in during my childhood, and that’s sad because some of them were great houses. I decided to do a search on Google using the key words, old pantries. I just couldn’t believe the things that came up, lots and lots of restaurants named, The Pantry, The Old Pantry and The Pantry House which I think are all great names. The other thing I pulled up was “Pantry Kitchens” for those less fortunate folks going through some hard times, it was nice to see so many of them around the country.
 I wonder how many of you know what an old fashioned pantry really is. Many pictures came up showing a small room with rows and rows of shelves filled with canned food. Now that may very well be what some or even many pantries were like in the 20’s and  30’s but they are not like the pantries in my life. I was born in 1939 and these are my memories of our pantries.
 I was in first grade and lived in a big old farm house in Massachusetts and it had a big pantry off the kitchen, or maybe it wasn’t so big but that I was small. It was narrow and long with counters over rows of cabinets and drawers under them and rows of shelves from the ceiling down to the counter tops. A window was at the very end of the room for plenty of light to come in. When you’d open a cabinet door you might see a large bin for holding your potato’s and another smaller bin behind another cabinet door for flour. 
 I often hid in the pantry staying very quiet so my brothers wouldn’t find me. One time I actually tried to crawl into the potato bin while hiding from them, it didn’t work, I couldn’t fit. Our pantry had long counter tops over the cabinets and mom would put two or three pies on them to cool.
Some had the kitchen sink in them and in one place we lived in Connecticut it had room for our ice box, yes we had an ice box in my day. Most families had electric refrigerators by now but we were some what poor and still could not afford to buy such a luxury item just yet. We were not alone though because in the summers I remember several kids in our neighborhood waiting for the iceman to come and deliver the ice to their homes too. When the truck pulled up to our houses we would run up to the iceman and just stand their with our hands held out like we were trying to cup some water with big smiles on our faces. He knew what we wanted because it was a weekly task and he never seemed to mind it. The task, chipping off pieces of ice for us to gleefully run off crunching on it and cold streams of water running down our faces. He wore a large black rubber cape type article on his back and large claw type tongs to grab and hold tight the big square chunks of ice, then he’d swing it over his back to carry it up to our kitchens. The ice box had a large tray under the ice shelf with a rubber tube connected to a hole in the tray that ran all the way down the back of the refrigerator to the floor resting in a good size pan that had to be emptied out every night by which ever kid was available, usually it was emptied after we got done doing the dishes which included washing, drying, and putting them up on the long shelves in the pantry.
This is what our ice box looked like.
Have you seen old ice boxes in antique shops, some of them are absolutely beautiful and can cost hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. Ours was not like them, it was a plain white box, top part held the block of ice and bottom had three shelves for the food, nothing pretty about it. I’m happy to see that in some new homes the old fashioned pantry is coming back, except not so old fashioned and folks that own these homes don’t really know what they are missing.

Author Eileen Clark

This link will take you to some beautiful pantry designs of today.

My Short Stories

There Are Tigers In That House !

My granddaughter just had her first child and I wanted to give her something to keep in her head as she goes through life raising her children. I told her about an experience I had with my son David. One of the very important things as a parent to do is always pay attention to what your child is telling you. I did try to do that but believe at times I may have failed. It was before your mom was born Chelsea, one day when your grandfather, you dad Jeff and I, your great-grandfather Lincoln and great-grandmother Ruth were coming home from a fair.

We were on a highway in a suburban type area, beautiful homes set back from the road with nice manicured yards. My son David, who was three at the time, started shouting, “There are tigers in that house, there are tigers in that house!” We all laughed since David was always talking about apes and tigers, and we had just been to a fair. As we kept moving along down the highway I could see David was really upset. He looked up at me with his big blue eyes and said, “Mommy, I really did see tigers in that house, honest Mommy.” I pleaded with my father in-law that we must turn around and go back.

I literally got booed by a few in the car, but this time with a little sharper tone in my voice Gramps did turn the car around and back we went. It was going to be pretty hard to know how far back we had to go because no one saw the house with tigers and so which kind of house do you look for ? What color was it, was it big or small ? I then said, we should keep going until we see the house with the tigers in it, after all, he shouted it out as soon as he thought he saw them. You can imagine how well that went over. Everyone was nonchalant about it but David and I kept our eyes glued to the left side of the road because he did know what side the house was on.

Holy Molly ! This beautiful house had two big tigers enclosed in their garage, David did see it. My father in-law pulled right into the driveway, parked the car, and we all just gazed at the awesome sight of the two big tigers and praised David up and down. Always pay attention to what your child is telling you Chelsea, I was so glad I did!

Author Eileen Clark