Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Evening with Joe and Ella

Recently, I would have a blessing arrive on my doorstep bigger than I could ever imagine.  I was given the opportunity to spend time with some elderly neighbors for a few hours in the evenings.  I was a little hesitant in the beginning, mainly just because I hate to be committed to doing anything at a certain time and place everyday. :)  However, this visit would be come a bright spot in the day.  An evening spent with good people, in a home full of love and wisdom.  I jotted down a few of the amazing stories that have been shared with me so far.  Such an amazing Life we are given the opportunity to live!

I can think of no one else I'd rather go to dinner with!  The conversation is second to none.  Here are a few of my favorites. 

Ella: "Did you lose a button on your shirt?"
Joe: "No, I didn't lose a button.  I have a belly button there and that's the only button I need."

Joe "Old Mac's bridle didn't have a throat latch and if there was grass near by, he would shake his head until that bridle came off"
Ella remarks "They're foxy!"

A young Joe was in Sunday School and was asked to recite the ten commandments.  As he was going along instead of ...Don't covet your neighbors wife.....he said...."Don't cover your neighbors wife"
Oh the kids bust into laughter!  The nuns however did not see the humor.  (This is one of my favorites.  Just to hear the laughter in their voice when they tell a story :)

"I'm having an off day.....but I'll Giv'em Hell Tomorrow!" ~ Ella, age 96

Joe telling a story about being out in the field cultivating and the lonesome cooing from the doves.
Joe: "I hate them dam doves.  Such a lonesome sound.  About a mile from home with a team and a cultivator.  I walked home.  Dad asked me where the horses where?  I left them back about a mile. 
Dad said I better get them before they take off running and tear up the cultivator.  They hadn't run off.  They was tired from a long days work.  Coo Coo.  Coo Coo.  Hate those Doves.  So lonesome
Ella: "I took a Life Saving Class.  Learned how to carry a drowning person.  Whenever my Mom would miss me...I'd be down at the bay.  We'd swim with the ocean liners. Those Big Ocean Liners pull alot of water.   Swim almost out and then the big waves would almost push you back to the dock. 

Ella fondly speaks of the ocean and swimming in its cold water.  Walking on the beach, water lapping at your ankles.  The sand wears your feet smooth to where there's not a callus left on them.

Joe and Ella both tell about sitting in the front room one night and they saw a mouse.  They set out after the mouse.  Joe shifted the furniture around 10 times.  They got to laughing so hard chasing after the sneaky little thing that they had to stop.  (Love to hear the laughter in their voices as they reminisce about time shared together)
Ella: "My Dad died of TB.  I still remember the kids at school...My Momma says I can't play with you because your Daddy had TB.  Dad was a mechanic, one of the 1st to work on Ford's Model A's and T's.  Dad died when we were young, leaving Mom with 2 young kids to take care of.
One of the traits Ella often speaks about her mother is that she never worried.  Said there was just no use in it.  Valuable lessons to be learned :)

When Ella was 8 she WON a one of the 1st Model A's made.  The Mason Lodge gave tickets out at the elementary school.  It was her Lucky Day...of course her Mom had to sell it.  (Love them, I can just hear her voice as she tells me the stories)

Joe and Ella tell about a real estate guy named Draper that showed them the Idaho property.  They came up from California in 1973.  It was a pretty sad looking place Ella recalled.  Sand drifts up to the big picture windows and not hardly a tree on the place.  Ella told Joe "If you want to get it ok...but I think I'll live in town"  She soon follows that up with "Famous Last Words"
There home now is fully surrounded by trees and has a beautiful green lawn.  They put in lots of hard work.

Joe and Ella visiting one evening out on the yard swing:
Joe: Cat's can do anything in this yard and my dogs can't do anything.
Ella: Dogs make a bigger mess.
Joe:   Those dogs protect you from Gangsters.
Ella: Gangsters would take one look at me and leave.  Mean ol' woman in that yard! 

Ella kicks at the cat.
Joe: You're too mean
Ella: They can lick their butt somewhere else.

Ella breaking up a cat fight.
Joe: Let'em fight! ....Best cat wins!  (Insert sly smile)

Joe tells a story about picking black berries with Aunt Doll. 
A bear came up.  The Bear said WUFF.  I said WUFF ...and we both left.

Ella was an amazing cook.  I still remember the delicious meals she would make for the branding crew. 
Joe tells a story about Jerry Williams: I'm gonna have to bring my wife over so you can show her how to cook that chicken. 
Ella: He did always love my fried chicken.

Spit Fires tonight :)
Joe and Ella outside in the swing. 
Ella sent the dog away.   She doesn't like them up by the swing.
I said, Broke his little heart.  Joe replies, "He'll have a lot more broke if he comes over here"

Ella tells a story from her school years
We would line up to go into school in the mornings.  Teacher wacked my hands for talking in line.  Well, it wasn't me!  I asked what she did!?  Ella replies, "I took that ruler and wacked her back!  I got sent to the priciples office.  I'd take my punishment if I've done it but I haven't done it. I'm gonna Buck.  I've got a temper then .
Joe chimes in...That's how I lost my finger....She wacked it off.

Joe, age 97, tells about riding a horse the other day.  He was warming it up for one of his Great Great Grand Kids that had came up from California and wanted to ride.  He remarks about how he'd seen stories in the paper about 80-90 year olds riding.....it's not funny!  Need to ride everyday.  It had been about 3 months since I'd rode and I thought my arms where going to fall off my body!

Almost every night Ella tells me about words from Joe's father, "It's hell to get old" she says and now I understand what he was talking about.  

After dinner, we often have warm water foot soaks and do a foot massage.  Often times, Joe, age 97 and Ella, age 96 can be seen playing footsy at the table.  They are the cutest ever. What an inspiration!  So blessed to be able to stand in their glow.
Here is a few more stories from Joe and Ella: Mules and Beaver Hats

*******Additional Joe and Ella Stories******* Updated 2/20/13

      Muskal Wine ~ “I remember one time when I had to much to drink.  I was maybe 17 and mother had went to Oregon to take care of my older sister.  That Muskal Wine!  I must have spent two days on the Davenport.  Oh, I was sick!  Typical Teenager.  (as she shrugs her shoulders)  These young kids tickle me.  They don’t think we know anything.  They could learn a thing or two if they would listen” Ella, age 96

Joe recalls a story about taking Ella’s mother to the Doc : Ella’s mother wasn’t feeling good.  We took her down to Doc Tunin.  He was a good country doctor.  Wasn’t anything to big, just wasn’t feeling right.  He was really examining her well.  She says, “Well Doc, you examine a guy from Ear Hole to A hole”   (lol….I think she actually said the word but Joe was too polite to say that in front of Ella and I)

“Ol Dorthy was a cute gal, a lot of fun, good personality….but the morals of a snake”  

“I like a good high ball every once in awhile” Ella, age 96

“Coming down from Oregon, I had enough credits that I only  went a half a day my last year of highschool.  I took a job working for Judge Winburn.  I was a typist and took short hand.  In his office, he had a cubby hole that was just big enough for a cot.   When he had too much to drink he’d go in there and sleep it off.  Leave me in the front office to take care of business.  Quite a thing for an 18 year old kid”  ~ Ella

“Dad used to make Muskal Wine.  It was nice, sweet and not to strong.” Joe, age 97

“Mom was dating a guy named Chuck. During prohibition I think.  They bootlegged in the house.  There is a big crock downstairs that Mom used to make beer in.  It would take about 30 days to ferment” ~ Ella

“Ol’ Sam Rich, he had a big long beard and a crooked foot.  Good ol’ man but scary looking for a kid.  Dad had sent me down Sam Rich’s place to get him to help harvesting grain.  Sam could sew sacks.  He could do Anything! Didn’t care what you paid him as long as he got a buck or two.”   Joe  … (remember to ask about him drinking Canned Heat!)

“You can lose a few fingers and you can lose a few toes….so long as you don’t lose your Mind…you’re all right” Joe Marty, age 97  (missing a Toe and partial finger)

Joe, were you parents tough?  Joe replies“ Yes, those Swiss people are tough.”  Ella chimes in, “Yes, the Swiss people are Tough….just ask me!  (as she points at Joe and smiles)

“When Dad was 6 or 7, he would herd goats.  Everyone had a couple goats to milk.  Around daylight, he would head up the trail with his goats to graze on the top of the mountain.  Those goats are smart.  Coming home at night, those goats drop right out and go to their spot to be milked”  ~ Joe speaking about his Dad
When it started to rain and thunder all the goats would run for cover under a tree or bush.  If they got up and ran to another tree…you better go with them because lighting would hit right where they were at.” Joe, speaking about stories from his Dad

“He could do Anything He Made His Mind To” Joe, speaking of his Dad

“There were four girls in the family and there were no doctors for any of them.  Joking….Pappa probably used baling wire to tie their belly button”  - Joe

Rabbit Drives –  Joe remember the Rabbit Drives.  Anybody with a 4 wheeler would go, horseback or on foot too.   Ol’ Siddoway had a brand new pickup and he told me to come…Zig Zagging through the sagebrush. The sagebrush was high.  They would gather the rabbits into a corral.  Squealling ans screaming. There were THOUSANDS of them.    You can’t image it.

 “That town ain’t made for hillbillies” Joe, age 97  ~ 2/19/2013

UPDATED JUNE 12, 2013 ------------------------------------------------------

* Leo Nagel had a prune orchard.  They picked, washed and then put them in trays to dry.

Russian Jake, he was a TOUGH ol' bird!  Tough and his wife was tougher.  Their mules got loose and ran through the field and the trays.  Leo was a big strong man.  Leo was MAD he could've killed him.  Went up to Russian Jake, MAD, and hit him in the chest as hard as he could.  (Joe chuckles) Russian Jake didn't even budge.  ...In an accent, ...."Oh Leo, don't fight" Story told by Joe

*"I used to hook 8 mules.  4 abreast is the best, if not you lose a lot of power. 
Farther you get back from your load, more power you lose.  Closer you keep horse power to your equipment, more power you have. 
If they weren't too wild, I could hook 8 head in 10 minutes" Joe Marty
Happy Anniversary! 6/12/2013

"He was a handsome critter when he was young. He had the most GORGEOUS Eye Lashes! We hit it off pretty good. I fell for him. We fell for each other" Ella, age 97
(64th Anniversary, I think, they couldn't remember for sure)

Holding Hands & Dancing a Jig ~ Grateful for the examples I have the privilege to learn from. Joe & Ella, holding hands as they watch the Lawrence Welk Show. It was swing bands tonight & one of their favorites. They were dancing a jig from their chairs. 97+ in age and they still some of the funnest people I know. Tonight we laughed till we were crying." ~ 10/7/2013

Thank You so much for taking a few moments to travel the gypsy trail with me. 
Hope you enjoyed the ride ~ Mindy


  1. This just made my day! Thanks for sharing their stories with us!

  2. Thanks so much Liz! Glad you enjoyed them. They are such amazing people