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Saving the Words So We Don't Forget

We Had Each Other --

Sunday, when Elwood stopped to visit his parents, he found his mother reading a book. Rachael regularly read several magazines and the newspaper, but rarely read books. She owned hundreds of cookbooks and nearly every bird guide printed, but when anyone suggested Rachael read a particular book she would reply, "I like to nibble on words." In response to Elwood's questioning expression, Rachael said,

The book is, We Had Each Other - A Spoken History of Lyme, New Hampshire. Sally brought me the book. She said she wanted to thank me for helping her when that big dumb mean mule, Flo, kicked her. Sally said she knew I would like the book. She was right. We Had Each Other reminds me of the old days. I was just reading about the '38 hurricane. I hadn't thought about the hurricane in years, but as I read what Pearl Dimick had said, "(t)hey cut the lumber and stored it in the ponds and lakes, so insects wouldn't bore into it" I remembered my father telling me the same thing.

Elwood said, "I remember you and dad telling about the hurricane." Picking up the book he read -

September 20th . . .You couldn't believe it was happening. It had been raining for a couple of days and the ground was saturated. And that particular day, the birds were funny: they didn't act right. . . We couldn't imagine what was happening.

Elwood looked up from the book and said, "It is easy to forget that the weather channel hasn't been around forever.

Looking at his mother, Elwood said "They had a lot of farms in those days. Does the book mention farming?" Turning to page 71 Elwood said, "Sure does!" and then read-

Farming operations were pretty similar. Almost everybody in town had some connection with farming. . . Almost everyone had a garden, and a garden in those days would include a potato patch and probably three different kinds of beans. . . you had to have a horse, if you had your own transportation.

Flipping forward to the front of the book Elwood said, "This is interesting, '(t)here were three mail deliveries a day. . . the mailman would stop morning, noon and night,"

After flipping through a few more pages Elwood read, "Refrigeration in those days was a problem. Your only possible refrigeration was to use ice, and that was a big operation. . . several groups of men ...[would] go out on Post Pond and cut ice . . . You had a separate building which was an ice house . . . All your ice was packed in sawdust."

Handing We Had Each Other back to his mother Elwood said, "I'm going to buy We Had Each Other. I want to read the book, and when the twins are older, have them read it. I'm glad the authors saved the words. The book will help us not forget what life used to be like."

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