Meshing Old Days, Old Ways With The New


| 6/10/2015 9:00:00 AM


Tags: Nonogenarian, Elderly, Young At Heart, Yesteryear, Lois Hoffman,

Country MoonEveryone has a story to tell, it’s just that some life stories are more colorful than others. How true this is for Fern Jones who will be 99 years young in December.

When I first asked her about telling me her stories her answer was, “I don’t know what I’d have to tell you.” Two and a half hours later I am sure she could have found even more to tell me because, in Fern’s world, even ordinary tasks are fun, that’s just how she lives her life.

“You make the most of what you have,” she says. That, she truly does. Most every morning she can be found at Mel’s Diner in Union City to have a cup of coffee and catch up on the local happenings. She is plagued by failing eyesight so she must depend on others to drive. “That’s the reason,” she says “that anytime someone asks me to go somewhere, I am ready.” That usually isn’t a problem since her five daughters, Carol, Marilyn, Myra, Aleta and Neva, all live relatively close. More often than not, they all can be found at the local restaurant with her.

However, this isn’t just a recent habit of hers. She recalls the time that she, four other women and two babies made the trip to Texas to see their husbands who were in the service during World War ll. Her youngest daughter at the time, Myra, was 3 months old and the other baby was 9 months old and only two women could drive. “People ask me how we did it,” she says nonchalantly. “We just did. Myra laid on a pillow and another woman held the 9-month-old for the total 1,120 miles.”

That, probably, was the least of their worries since they had seven flat tires on the way down and, of course, there was no GPS back then. “We didn’t need one,” Fern shakes her head. “My husband told me not to worry because he sent all the directions.” His “directions” went something like this, “Go through this town, turn right at the bridge, keep going 10 miles until you see a blue barn ….” Can you imagine!

This has pretty much been the theme for her whole life, to make do with what life throws at you. She grew up in Elwood, Indiana, and moved to Sherwood, Michigan, area in 1952. I wanted to know her take on what life was like while she was growing up. Although times were sometimes hard, instead of regretting living in those times, she cherishes it. “We made fun with what we had.”

nebraskadave
6/11/2015 9:25:29 AM

Lois, what a fascinating story. I find it interesting to talk with those of another century. It's amazing the ingenuity they had because, well, they just had to have it. I find it also amazing the things they built back 100 years ago that are still standing the test of time. It's a little sad to see that knowledge slipping away and dependance on big box stores to supply all our needs .... and wants. Thank you for sharing Fern's story for us to enjoy. ***** Have a great day listening to stories of past life.





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