Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy” OVCTC, GE host Community Service Day 65 years in the pulpit Jamison, Richmond, Minshew conquer second race of 2017 Brushcreek season Manchester’s Cox signs with Rio basketball program Senior Profile: Andrew Weeks A dozen SHAC champions Thomas D Lute Sandra F Schwab Turning something broken into something beautiful Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide One dead, two injured in ATV accident 2017 Graduation Ceremonies West Union Alumni and Friends Educational Fund announces 2017 Scholarship Awards TAG students tour Pennsylvania Commissioners proclaim Older Americans Month Building an anti-drug culture one t-shirt at a time SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS NAES students awarded Science Camp scholarships SSCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program celebrates graduation Bauman selected to National 4-H Congress Lois Pertuset Hazel Nixon Philip L Paeltz Manchester Youth Volleyball Camp begins May 30 Jase Thatcher Figgins’ walk-off winner sends North Adams to Division III sectional finals Lady Hounds top East 10-3 in sectional opener Commissioner Pell, union reps travel to DC Forgotten experience brings back good memories for WUHS seniors Gordon Boldman Local teen injured in jeep accident BCI Investigation underway Rick Arnold Happy Mother’s Day- Do you want food? Robert Hodge Melvin Tipton Lady Dragons Basketball Camp begins May 22 Lady Devils Basketball Camp is May 30-June 1 National Day of Prayer celebrated in county NAES students enjoy day at GABP Car strikes Amish buggy near Winchester Eldon J Shoenleben Farming out life lessons to children and parents Proposed Medicaid changes could cost Adams County millions Annual ‘Redneck Run” returns to Manchester May 13 They really were the best of times West Union hosts Junior High, High School County Track Meets Figgins signs with SSCC Soccer Perfect again! Senior Profile: Caley Grooms James T Hughes Anderson signs with Rio Grande Basketball Senior Profile: Miranda Schiltz Playing for Dad, Part II Lady Indians win SHAC Big School title Danny Bryant Sadie Stamm Franklin E Brayfield Softball, baseball tourney match ups announced Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Georgetown next week Southern Ohio Genealogical Society offers program on ‘Family History Sources at the Ohio History Center’ Joseph A Johnson Jr Kramer tosses two shutouts in five days Trip to Akron = two more wins for Lady Indians softball Devils blank Dragons in non-conference battle Meade twins part of Rio baseball program Playing for Dad Senior Profile: Madison Welch As Mr. Seas It, for ACOVSD High School graduates We stayed up all night with Bob Clean up of Manchester’s abandoned gas stations continues Ribbon cutting held for canoe/kayak access sites Columbus Industries donates driveway repair to Animal Shelter North Adams Elementary recognizes March Students of the Month Animal Shelter Adoption Center announces new hours of operation Major road construction planned for summer months West Union Elementary honors March Students of the Month Charles D Jordan Betty Ginn Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday

Delivering the baked goods

I know I’m always saying that the years when I grew up were so good and I’m sure that a person can tire of hearing that but I must say it at least one more time. I was raised in a time when it was almost taken for granted that a cook was also very good at baking. Almost each meal had homemade bread and/or yeast rolls to go with the meal. Cakes, pies and cookies were also common and delicious. Along with these items were other types of baked goods, everything from doughnuts to corn fritters.

In this are, our home was blessed in because my Mom not only baked, but did it well and enjoyed doing it, an awesome combination in a cook if you enjoy baked goods as much as I did and still do. Please don’t get me wrong, there are still ladies that can bake with the best. It is just not as necessary as it was in days gone by.

My Mom and all of her sisters were pretty gifted when it came to this part of a meal and I can say I know, because I of course tasted their products. My Mom may not won first place for the best cakes or cookies in a contest but she would have been first in volume. She loved to bake and from so many family and friends I hear that Mom always had a pan of Toll House chocolate chip cookies and they were extra good. I doubt very much that there is a soul that can say they went to our house and didn’t get offered some kind of baked goods.

Mom favored baking the cookies (Toll House or oatmeal raisin mostly) as a plate wasn’t needed to serve them and if they got dry, she offered a glass of milk or a cup of coffee to dunk them in. Upon departing our home, Mom would put a few cookies in a bag for the visitor to take with them, I think Mom’s theory on life was that it wasn’t complete without a cookie or two.

When the holiday seasons got near, our kitchen became a bakery, producing the amount one might expect from Keebler. My mother was a lady standing only 4’ 11” tall and weighing 104 pounds, but her unlimited energy was equal to uranium. It went on forever, leaving all others in her dust. When the baking began in high gear, it was truly high gear. Along with the Toll House and oatmeal cookies she baked pressed sugar cookies, snicker doodles, shortbread and even no bake cookies as they didn’t need the oven time. Along with the cookies, she baked Boston Brown Bread in a large number of loaves by saving tin cans and cleaning them and then baking a loaf in each can.

After so much had been baked and Dad, Ben, Peg and I had sampled them until we felt they had all passed quality assurance, Mom then would dig out a pile of small boxes she had been saving all year and wrapped them in Christmas wrapping paper and then commenced to fill the boxes with a mixture of all she had made and then added a loaf of the Boston Brown Bread along with a pack of Philadelphia Cream Cheese to be spread on the bread.

On the two Saturdays before Christmas, she and Dad would load the car up and head out on their route to deliver a box to each person, be it the elderly or physically handicapped and some who just didn’t have any family to care for them. I went along a few times when I was a younger boy and was always amazed at how warmly we were received by these people Mom had on their list. To my surprise in some of the homes where the person was very limited in what they could do for themselves, Mom would maybe wash a sink full of dirty dishes and Dad would carry out the trash or even take the broom and sweep the floors for them.

For as long as my parents were able, they did this every holiday season. I knew the folks would like the cookies as I knew I sure did. but I ask my Mom, “Why do you and Dad do this and even help with their housework?” Mom answered, “Not all folks are as fortunate as we are and it only seems right to give something to those who don’t have that good fortune. Besides it is only a little flour and sugar and some of our time.” With that answer, I never had to ask again.

To my Mom it was a gift she knew how to make and enjoyed giving and we all know that a few cookies can always be a good thing. To this day when I’m offered a homemade cookie I can’t help but think back to a time when I was the fortunate boy to live where the endless line of cookies came from. I can only think that Mom’s gifts were sweet in more ways than one. Then I eat one of those homemade cookies I was offered.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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