From Martha’s Memories:
Karolina Schaffer Deering
Mom’s parents chose a mate for her and she was soon married to Otto Deering in 1910 They homesteaded on a farm in the Clear Water district. Both Alvin and I went under the name of Deering. My brother Emil (Jim) was born a year later. From then on Mom had a baby every two years. As the oldest I cared for the babies and children while mom helped in the fields and on the farm. When mom had a new baby, the last one born was put in bed with me.
When Gottlieb ( Gordon) was a baby we had an emergency. It was a dry hot summer and there were lots of flies and mom put fly poison on fly strips to kill them She put the bottle of fly poison on the window sill and went out to help pop. With the animals.
Alvin was to watch over us. Gordon was crawling all over the place and pulled himself up to the window and was able open the bottle of poison and drank some. As soon as Alvin saw him, he ran out and told pop and mom. They quickly harnessed up the horses and took Gordon to the doctor in town. Alvin who was 12 years old was to take care of Jim age two and myself age three and a half. We lived in the middle of a prairie without telephones. Our nearest neighbor was Grandma Schafer 5 miles away.
Alvin tried many ways to entertain us., Finally he pulled up a wooden chair and got two boxes of matches and put the match’s one on top of the other until he had built a house. All the time he was building he told us not to blow or it would fall down. So we sat very still, when he finally finished all the matches he looked around for more. Then he took one of the matches off the top and lit the building on fire. It wasn’t a very big fire and went out quickly. He told Jim and me if we told mom he would give us a good spanking. He said that he had to get the cows in and milk them before it got dark. I’m sure he did not know what to do with two babies, so he put us down in the cellar. The cellar was a hole in the floor with a ladder which went down into a dark dirt cellar where mom kept potatoes, milk, cream etc. We sat on a bag of potatoes and cried, screamed and yelled as hard as we could. But nobody heard us, and it seemed like forever before Alvin came back and said we could watch him milk. Then Alvin got mad at us because we were too tired to eat supper. That night I cried myself to sleep.