This morning , Gram Martin saw me down by the pond and called me. I thought she might need some chores done but she called me over to sit next to her on the big porch. She told me she heard I won first prize in the poetry department in the Portland Sunday paper. She said she was very proud of me and then she really surprised me! How would you like to take over for me and write the local news for the Advertiser-Democrat, she asked. Well, I just drew in my breath and said, I can’t do that, Grammy, I don’t know what to write about. Well she assured me that she would help me find the news and then I would get the free newspaper and when I got through reading it, I could pass it on to her.
I love reading and I love writing, but after all I am not that old. Grammy kept patting my hand and telling me all I have to remember is to use a pencil and write on the lined copy paper that the paper sends to her free. She went into her bedroom and returned with a big stack of black lined paper and on the top , it said Advertiser-Democrat Norway Maine.
Well I have been feeling pretty important since then. Ma is coming in the yard now from getting some groceries at Vallee’s store so I am hoping she will agree to my writing for the paper. What are you up to, young lady, is the first thing she asks, so I know she can read my face like a book. I explain about Gram wanting me to write for the paper and without a hitch, puts her grocery bag on the cupboard and said, well, that’s good practice for you. But don’t you start and then get tired of it. Once you start , there is no stopping because your grandmother will not get her paper. I show her the copy paper and she smiles so I think she might be a little proud that I am going to gather the news around Greenwood Center..well, along with Gram’s help.
By the way, Ma says, I have a job offer for you if you want it. Another job offer and this one might pay, I am thinking! Do you want to babysit Flossie and Stan Seames’ two kids while they work in the mill? Pays $12 a week, Floss says. Sure, why not, I thought.
Well, here it is, Monday morning and 6:30 a.m. Oh, boy, my eyes are half open but Dad stops the car and I walk up the little hill to Stan and Flossie’s house. It is a little house with a porch and sits up by the woods. I like it already. There’s a big rock in front of the house with flowers growing near it. Flossie tells me when the kids have their naps and shows me what to give them for lunch at noon. She asks me if I can make curls like Shirley Temple with Evvie’s hair. Evvie is four and I am not sure how she will like me fooling with her hair and a rat tail comb every morning. Raymond is six and he is very quiet but has a cute little grin. Stan asks me if I mind stirring something in the back room in a tub once in the forenoon and once in the middle of the afternoon and tells me there is a paddle there to stir it with and I say sure.
Wow, for my first babysitting job, these kids are angels. Evvie sits through her curling job every morning and Raymond is always busy playing with his toys. Come noon, we all have lunch and when I tell them it is nap time, off they go with no argument. Charlotte Cole lives right next door in a little house, but she works at the mill, so we don’t see anyone all day.
The summer has gone really well and it is almost time for me to end the baby sitting job. I am thinking about a few of the things we have done. One day at noon, we decided to open the can of spaghettios that Flossie had left. Well, I put the old hand can opener to it and it exploded. Spaghetti everywhere, on me, on the counter, in fact some went up on the ceiling. Raymond and Evvie laughed as hard as I did. I got up in a chair and Raymond handed me some wet cloths so we had everything cleaned up by the time their parents came home. One day while they were taking a nap, I decided to surprise Flossie and made a chocolate cake with a recipe that I found. It turned out really good and she was so pleased and said it helped her so much. And remember all this time I am stirring Stan’s project in the back room twice a day. That was the cause of the only arguing that Raymond and Evvie ever did and I resolved that. They watched as I took the paddle each time and stirred the big tub of liquid around and around…but each time, they both wanted to lick the paddle. Well, neither would give in, so finally I told them that one could lick it in the morning and the other in the afternoon. I guess a lick of home brew never hurt …if it is one lick a day ! No more arguing!!! I am going to miss those kids so much!!
Gram checks in with me with the news of their visitors and any other news that comes her way. She makes sure I mail it in time for the paper to get it printed and is really proud of the way I am writing so nice and clear as she has not had any complaints from them. She says this gives her more time to do other things like work on her quilts and knit hats and mittens for all the grandchildren.
Well, it seems like I have had quite the summer. I am not sure I wrote everything correctly and timely and not sure I did the babysitting right, but that $12 came in handy when it came to buying my school things!!!