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Grandma Ella Gladys of Sanpete Utah

Updated on March 20, 2016
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Ruth, aka Elayne Kongaika, was raised in the orchard town of Orem, Utah. She married a Polynesian boy and has had amazing travel experiences

Grandpa Hugh Cheney and Grandma Ella Gladys Anderson (Barker)
Grandpa Hugh Cheney and Grandma Ella Gladys Anderson (Barker) | Source

(Transcribed from Grandmother's handwriting by Ruth Elayne, her granddaughter)

When I was very young Christmas to me meant my family, the birth of the baby Jesus, and Santa Claus.

When I was 3 1/2 years old, my father mother, older brother Bazil, baby brother Lee and I moved to the Barker farm 2 1/2 miles Northwest of Fairview, Utah.

For our first Christmas, Daddy chopped down a little pinion pine tree from the woods North of the house. Strings of popped corn, cranberries and colored paper chains and pretty little colored candles clipped on the branches made the little tree look like Christmas very special.

Our Daddy popped corn and made honey candy for us. He had a beautiful voice and would entertain us with his songs. Mother was a gifted reader of poems and stories and we loved to hear her recite them.

Life wasn’t dull on the farm. There were the Bob sleigh rides and coasting down the hill on a sled. However that first winter we children had measles, chicken pox and whooping cough. I guess our relatives who came to visit didn’t want us to miss any thing.

Our good neighbors Brother Simion Brady and his family lived down the Ridge about a block. He was the one who told us children that the Ridge was called Mike Ridge because long ago an old Indian named Mike claimed that area for his Hunting ground.

I think one Christmas my Brother must of found a little wagon under the Christmas tree. Modeled after the kid of wagons the farmers used with a spring seat on it.

The following Spring mother sent Bazil to town with a large kettle of eggs. Our nanny Goat was hitched to the wagon. They arrived at Sanpitch without any problems, but then a large dog chased the goat, but my brother managed to save the eggs. That same Nanny goat cause quite a joke on our Daddy one Christmas Eve.

It was very dark when he came in from doing chores. The Nanny was on the roof of the house, but all Daddy could see was a white beard. It gave him quite a start until the Nanny said Baa at him.

Grandmother's parents, brothers, and family
Grandmother's parents, brothers, and family | Source

I must mention our Dog Ring. He was one of the family. A beautiful Border Collie with black curley hair with a white ring around his neck. He once saved our baby brother from a rattle snake which was crawling towards the baby.

Another time we watched him streak over the snow covered fields chasing a coyote - Daddy sold the hide of the animal to pay for Ring’s Dog tax. We kids thought that was great.

When I was old enough to go to school I stayed with my aunt Sarah Fowles in town. My Brother rode his little pony Topsy to school.

My Grandfather Bushman who was in his eighties lived at Aunt Sarah’s home. He was such a dear, Sweet man.

One night after family prayer I said Good night Grandpa He answered good night dear my aunt said he must love you very much because he almost never calls anyone dear. I’ve cherished that all my life.

Grandpa and Grandma Anderson and their children: Robert, Florine, Dale, and Terry.
Grandpa and Grandma Anderson and their children: Robert, Florine, Dale, and Terry. | Source

When I was 7 my father bought a home in town my two best friends lived near by. I liked that. One day I came home from school all excited and said to mother there is a new family in town who is poorer than we are they have 6 boys but they don’t have any girls my 6 brothers were very special and good to me always.

Bazil and I walked back and forth to school many times we even sang as we trudged along.

Each year on Christmas Eve Aunt Sadie would have all the uncles and aunts cousins to her home. There would be presents for every one under the tree. Of course Santa Clause would come. When he left, someone asked my little 4 years old brother Reed what he thought about Santa he answered, Santa was alright but why did he have Daddy’s shoes on?

Grandmother with her children and their spouses in the back of her home in Fairview, Utah
Grandmother with her children and their spouses in the back of her home in Fairview, Utah | Source

My father had two brothers and their families living at Salt Lake City. They wanted us to move up there so we did. It was a different kind of Christmas with our City cousins. Santa brought me a beautiful Doll with real hair. Daddy got a job working in a commission House where all the fruits from Central America came to be sorted then moved on to the Retail Stores. The red bananas were special. When Spring came my folks and we children were ready to move home to Fairview.

Back home at Christmas time Grandma and Grandpa Terry insisted on having all their family which was a large one to their home for Christmas dinner. They would set their large round table 3 times, 15 people each time, children last. I was always afraid that Grandma’s delicious little tarts would have all been eaten.

The young people in town had parties and other entertainments during the Holidays - but when the town curfew bell rant at 9 pm all the young people had to be off the streets.

When I was 16 years old I was invited to sing in the choir. One Christmas Eve we would ride around in Bob Sleighs singing Carols to the older people and shut ins.

Four years later I was married and my husband and I moved to Provo. We came home four months later for Christmas. That’s when I realized what coming home meant.

That was 62 years ago. The weather on that Christmas day was warmer than we have been having this year. My folks were living in the Big Gray house on Main Street we sat out on the South porch and eat our candy and nuts and my three young Brothers were disappointed they got a nice sled for Christmas, but no snow. The next winter was very cold, lots of snow. We brought our baby boy home for Christmas. I came on the train we were afraid the car would be too cold When Bob was born my mother came to stay with me for a couple of weeks she brought my baby brother with her by the time Bobbie was 3 weeks old Gene who was 9 had him saying a goo a goo. Gene had been chucking him under the chin.

Our next move was to Rexburg Idaho where Hugh taught school. The first winter was open weather. We were able to visit with my Great Uncle Al and his wife and children. The next winter was very cold and lots of snow - we weren’t able to get out to Moody Creek. So after two years we again moved back home. This time we had our baby girl Florine to take home.

They say home is where the heart is, where there is love and Grandparents.

Our parents had taught us to be kind to those less fortunate. To love our neighbors as ourselves, To keep the Christmas spirit in our hearts all year.

We hated to say good by to Uncle Al and Aunt Salina. Hugh and I loved them very much. They both had tears in their eyes.

Note: I left it as she wrote it without much change in spelling, grammar or punctuation.
~ Ruth

My husband and I and Grandma Ella Gladys Anderson (Barker)
My husband and I and Grandma Ella Gladys Anderson (Barker) | Source

Extreme Snowmobiling at Fairview, Utah

© 2016 Elayne


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