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Over or Under, Mom’s Dilemma…

Story ID:8938
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Over or Under, Mom’s Dilemma…
By Chuck Dishno

My Mom was born in 1897 to a fairly affluent family in Missoula, Montana. They were not rich, by any means but enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle.

Mom was the older of two girls. Mom used to tell us about how close she and her sister, Eudora were and the fun they had. One thing she talked about was her bedroom and the bed that had a canopy over it with all the frilly things hanging from the fringe.

Mom married quite young to a fairly well to do man in Oakland, California. It turned out to be a bad marriage and after two boys, divorced and moved back to Missoula with her mother.

Mom was a very accomplished musician and played a piano with an orchestra. There she met my Dad’s brother who told her of my Dad, a single and lonely man. My Pop was a cattle rancher in the Big Hole Valley, Montana, about 100 miles from Missoula.

Pop had recently lost his ranch due to the Great Depression and was ready to move on to another life. His brother arranged for them to meet and it must have been love at first sight. Pop had heard of a job near Bend, Oregon falling timber so Mom, Pop and the two boys packed up and headed out for a new beginning.

After the timber falling job ended in the fall, the four of them decided to head for Klamath Falls where Pop had heard of a job with the Oregon Highway Department. Times were tough and they were living in a tent. A far cry from the lifestyle Mom was used to.

Pop got the job and they moved to a small village on Quartz Mountain near the town of Bly. Pop rented a small cabin and for the first time they were living with a roof over their heads. The job with the highway department lasted about three years. During that time I was conceived and Pop had found another timber job in Bly. That is where I was born in on August 4, 1934,

The depression was still in full swing but Pop bought a small lot in Bly with 3 tar-paper shacks butted together at 90 degree angles. There was no indoor plumbing but a 3-hole outhouse served the purpose. There was only cold water piped into the house and Mom had to heat water on a wood stove with a tank on the side.

This was a far cry from her previous life but she never complained as she was in love and had her man and three boys.

We lived in those three shacks until the summer of 1941 when they along with 5 other buildings burned to the ground. The entire town turned out to clear off the lot and build us a new home complete with indoor plumbing and hot and cold running water. We were really living it up and were happy.

I don’t think Mom ever complained about the decision she made to go with Pop. She loved her man and who cares if she would never have a canopy over her bed again. I remember Pop saying that living with him she would never have that canopy over the bed but he assured her that with their new life style there would always be a “can of pee” under the bed.

My beloved Pop died in 1959 but Mom lived on for another 43 years, passing away at 95. Mom lived with Roz and I for the last 9 years of her life. She had her own little bedroom but never did get the canopy over her bed.

I know that they both reside in Heaven now. I hope Mom will finally have a Heavenly canopy but the bed they share will certainly have Pop’s “can of pee” under it. After all, he wouldn’t want to disappoint his lovely Lura.