This life story is written by Ethel Mae Beers Teed. She was the Sister to my Mother-in-law, Lena Belle Beers Alverson.
They lived in Beerston. --Diana Alverson, March 27, 2000
THE STORY OF MY LIFE
by Ethel Mae Beers Teed
I was born, a farmer's daughter, on Beers Brook, which is about six miles south of Walton, N.Y. My father was Clark Beers and my mother was Susie Hawkins. They worked hard to raise their six children.
In 1893, my sister, Lena was born. She was the oldest of the children. I was born in 1896. They named me Ethel after a dear friend and neighbor. The next year my twin brothers, Olin and Orra, were born in 1897. Two years later, my baby sister Alta was born. She only lived five months and in
September she died of cholera infantum. The most vivid thing I can remember of her was seeing her lying in her little coffin and my mother wringing her hands and walking the floor and crying, before the friends and neighbors came on the day of the funeral, which was always held in the home in those days.
I can still see several rows of chairs in the living room and I was sitting alone in one of the chairs in the back row. I also remember her coffin being lowered into the grave and my Grandmother Beers hanging on to me to show me where they were putting the baby.
In 1901, my youngest brother, Ralph, came along and in 1902, my youngest sister Cecile, joined the flock.
We were a happy carefree bunch. My twin brother and I were all about the same size, when we used to run around together playing, as I was small for my age. Small but tough. Where ever you saw one of us, you saw three, for we were always together. As I think back, I guess we were regular imps. What one couldn't think of another one could.
In those days, we went barefooted in the summer. As little a thing as stepping on a nail, didn't bother us much.. We had an outside toilet and it was built right against one end of the hog pen house. There was a post at one corner of the toilet and we would get up on that and get from there to the top of the toilet, walk across the peak and climb from there to the roof of the hog pen house, walk across the peak and on the other end there was a shed that Papa kept his machinery in. We would jump from the hog pen house down on the shed roof and jump from the edge to the ground. Round and round we would go. It was lots of fun and we had lots of pep.
Papa had built a small platform against a maple tree in the back yard next to the road to put his cans of milk on to load them on a wagon and take them to the creamery, which was two miles away. We had a big trough of water in the back room. Water was piped into it from a very cold spring near by, in which he set the cooler cans of milk, when he later started making butter instead of selling his milk to the creamery. After the milk cans had set about 24 hours in the cold water and the cream had risen to the top, he would skim the cream off. He would do this each morning until he had enough for a churning, then let it set until sour before he put it in the barrel churn and churned it. After the butter came, it was taken out and put on the butter worker to mix salt in it and then he sold the butter to a store in Walton. Papa always kept three or four brook trout in the trough, as there was always water running in it. Once in a while, one of those big fish would get to frisking and jump out of the trough onto the floor. That was
the end of him unless one of us saw him quick. We used to like to feed those fish. They grew quite big and got to be real tame. If one jumped out, Papa would catch another one out of the creek and kept the number the same.
We three children, liked to climb that maple tree by the platform, but when the boys stopped, I would always go on up until the small limbs would bend under my weight. I wonder now how we kept from killing ourselves. I was always that kind of child that would go farther than the rest or bust. We also climbed up in the apple trees and picked apples to eat. We should have been healthy as we ate lots of apples.
Papa made a swing in a huge maple tree by the road in the front yard. The tree was so big that he always hung six or eight cooler cans on it to catch the sap in the spring to boil into maple syrup and sugar in an open pan on an arch he built outdoors. I used to like to stand where the steam of the boiling sap would blow in my face. It smelled sweet. He would boil it down until it was nearly syrup and then Mama finished it in a sugaring-off pan in the house. Some of it she left as syrup and then boiled some of it down until it would form wax when a little was dropped in cold water. She always cleansed it by putting a little milk in it while it was boiling. That would gather any impurities that were in it and come to the top as scum, which she skimmed off. Then it was ready to beat until it made sugar.
Papa trimmed off a lot of limbs up real high on one side of that big tree and cut great long poles and hung in the tree with chains, put a seat in it and made a swing for us. The poles were long enough so that when we were swinging, the swing would go out over the road. Henry Tripp, our neighbor
above us, used to buy wild mustangs, unbroken, at a sales stable in Walton, run by Mr. Austin. He would get them cheap and then bread them to drive and sell them and make money on them. He was always driving up and down the road past our house with a half broken span and it didn't take much to scare
them. If we saw him coming, we would run and one of us would get in the swing, and swing out over the horses backs as he was passing. It would scare those wild mustangs and he would get pretty mad and threaten us with dire vengeance.
There was a gate across the road where it opened into our pasture and the gate was always kept closed until the cows got way up on the hill. When we saw Hank, as folks called him, coming, sometimes we would run and open the gate for him and he would throw pennies out for us. So you see, we were
sometimes good to him. He mentioned it to me after I was grown up and went up to see them with Mama, about how we used to scare his horses. We had a three story barn that we would get up on the roof and walk as close as we dared to the eaves, barefooted. Of course, as you might guess, I would always beat. I seemed to be made of that kind of metal. I went to within about three feet of the edge once. When I looked down, I got back up to the peak as fast as I could and didn't go that close again. It looked
like an awful big drop.
One day we thought of something brand new to do. We picked up an awful lot of big stones as many as we could carry. Nice little boulders, some of them, and we would drop them out of the window that was at the farthest end of the drive into a nice big pile of cow manure, where Papa threw out the manure each day. Remember we were three stories up. They made such a nice plop, as they hit that pile, that we just couldn't stop. We threw an awful lot of stones down there. When Papa got back from Walton, where they always did their trading, and saw what we had done, he blew a fuse. He said, " You kids get right in there and pick them all out again." Well, we waded in that nasty soft pile and picked them all out and threw them down in the hog lot. It wasn't nearly as much fun as it had been dropping them in there. It was
real smelly and I guess we were a sight when we finished. Now you can begin to see what lively, mischievous kids we were. Regular devils!
Another thing I recall is when Papa was milking and we kids were playing up and down the drive back of the cows, he would spit tobacco juice on our bare feet. It tickled him to beat all. He would stop his humming as he was doing when he worked, and laugh when he hit, as he usually did. He was a good shot. That was awful and we would run right out to the little stream that ran near the barn and wash it off. We must have been around four or five years old as I didn't milk yet and I was only five when I started milking. We had one very gentle cow, named Slicky. She was mostly black with white on her feet and nose and some white on her belly. The cows each side of her must have been real calm too. Olin would squat down on one side and Orra on the other side and I would get under her belly and we would milk away at the best of our ability with the pail setting on the floor. It was all done then; they didn't have milking machines in those days. After a while, as I was determined to milk, Papa sat me down on a stool and gave me the hardest milking cow in the barn to milk, thinking that would discourage me, but as I kept on trying, he gave up and gave me an easy milker, named Star. I managed very well with her. I have milked by hand and later after I was married, with milking machines, all my life. I really know cows. I have a place in my hair called a cowlick and Papa always told me that old Star was the cow that licked me when I was a baby and that caused my cowlick. Of course, I believed him.
We roamed all over from one side of that 127 acre farm to the other, but we never went beyond our order line -- never on anyone else's land. Right after breakfast, we would go down to the cellar, where Papa kept long bins of apples (he had all kinds), also bins of potatoes and other produce, such as
cabbage, beets, carrots and turnips. We would fill our pickets with apples and I would ask the boys, "Do you think we have enough to last us till we get back?" Then we would go outside and decide which side of the farm we would go on that day and then start out eating apples as we went. I don't know what fun we got out of roaming all the time, but we liked it. We got exercise anyway, and the amount of roaming we did, it is no wonder we kept apples going down or throats to keep us going. I should have though our
Mother would have gone crazy. She didn't know where we were half of the time. We always came back safe and sound and managed to get back for meals, so I guess she didn't worry. She got used to it, cause we would pick a different side of the farm each time.
It was no wonder that I was a good walker. When the teacher sometimes took us all to the back end of our big school yard and had us race, Lena would out run them all and as I got older and Lena had left school, I could beat the whole school, boys and all. At one time, there were 80 scholars in that one room country school. All taught by one teacher.
We had one hill on one side of the pasture that was covered with wintergreen berries. We picked and ate all we could hold and then we each took a big handful to eat in our bread and milk on Sunday night, which was our usual meal on Sunday night. Sometimes we would have corn meal mush instead.
One Sunday, I asked Mama if we couldn't have mush that Sunday night and she said, "Yes, if you want to fix it." We had a big iron kettle that she made it in. The whole family was outdoors talking and watching something, so I went in and got that iron kettle and put water and salt in it and when the
water boiled I sifted the meal in little by little, stirring all the while with a big spoon, just as I had seen Mama do it. Well, when it began to thicken, it started bubbling and burping as it would and some of that hot mush spattered on my hand and I dropped the spoon and ran out and told Mama to come, as it was plopping all over me. She came and finished it and took it off the fire when it was done. I never tried that again.
There were Johnny berries, as we called them, on that hill. They looked quite a lot like wintergreen berries only they are not quite so round and have two eyes on top instead of one like the wintergreens. They were red same as the others only grew a little different. I later learned that they were partridge berries. They are scarcer too.
Papa always raised all his meat, both beef and pork, also chickens for the family as well as for eggs. He made one trip down on the Delaware River each fall and brought back two wash tubs full of fish, which Mama and we children scaled and Papa cleaned them. I wasn't big enough to know what they
did to keep them. Seems as if they must have salted them down as they had to all their meat. No freezers then. He always grew a big garden, so we had all kinds of vegetables to eat. So you can see we had balanced meals. I don't ever remember having cereal much and when we did it had to be oat
flakes or cream of wheat. They didn't have all kinds of cereal like they do today. I was raised on pancakes and maple syrup and sugar or honey on them, as Papa kept around twenty swarms of bees. I still want one or two pancakes for my breakfast. I don't care for cereals too much.
We had one hill that was covered with chestnut trees. Every morning in the fall, after the frosts had opened the chestnut burrs, we would hurry up on the hill with little pails to gather the chestnuts before the squirrels got them. We ate some of them raw while they were fresh and Mama would boil some of them for us. My, they tasted good! We gathered lots of them and one year we had a bushel of the nuts out of the burrs that Papa took to the store and Mr. Kingbury bought them. They took the money and bought clothes for us three. We felt so proud.
In the summer, we went what we called swimming. We would put on old clothes and go in the creek that ran just across from our road. At least there was water enough to get us wet. When it rained, we would get real wet by standing under the end of the eave trough were it ran off the house in a big stream.
In the winter, we had lots of fun riding down the hill on a sled. There was only one sled and we took turns. Papa made us scooters with a barrel stave runners and a seat on top. We rode down the hill on them too. I never remember us three quarreling or fighting as some kids do. We were just like one.
In the winter Papa used to cut down trees on our farm and make logs of them, which he sold somewhere. He took the team apart and hooked a log behind each horse. Olin rode Jack and I rode Doll down to where he loaded them on a set of sleighs later. There was a man WORKING for him. His name was Tommy Howe, who was down by the big log pile to knock out the hooks and start us back with the horses to where Papa was WORKING. We weren't big enough to drive, but we stuck on the horses and held on to the manes and got the horses back for the next load. The horses knew just what to do by themselves. We thought it was fun to ride them. Papa always cut all of our fire wood for the stoves and put them in piles in long rows in the back yard every fall. One day, he let Olin, Orra and I ride on a big load of wood bringing it to the house. It was all cut and split up ready for the stoves. It was in the winter and he used a set of
sleighs to draw it on. Just before we got to the house, there was a hole in the road that went up to the house and the sleighs on one side went into that hold and tipped the whole load over. Orra and I managed to fall free but Olin was under the wood out of sight. You should have seen the wood fly, while Papa was digging him out. Olin wasn't hurt only a few bruises and scrapes, but we weren't allowed to ride on any more wood after that. Orra had Polio when we were 6 or 7 yrs. old. We had been riding down hill
that evening and in the night he was taken with a terrible leg ache. When the doctor came the next day, he said it was Polio. It left him lame. He had to swing that leg along after that. As he got older, that leg didn't grow like the other one did and it looked as if it were just skin and bone. No flesh on it much at all. As he got bigger that leg was shorter than the other one and he had to have the heel of his shoe built up. But he still had to swing that leg even after he got to be a man. Olin and I looked out for him after that and helped him do whatever we did, like getting on the hay mower and sliding off again. Orra couldn't get up there by himself, so Olin or I helped him up. We would boost him so he could make it. Of course, we weren't supposed to do this as Papa didn't allow it, but we managed to sneak a few rides in once in a while. If Papa had caught us at it, 'twould have been just too bad. I had always rather be outdoors than in. so I guess I was a regular tomboy.
I leaned to take care of the little chickens in their small coops with slats on the front, so the chicken could get out but not the hen. That was one of my jobs as I got older. I also liked to gather the eggs at night. There would be nearly a 12-quart pail of them. Papa crated them in 24 dozen crates and shipped them to New Your City to sell them. We had all sorts of fowls - hens, even a few bantams, ducks, geese and guineas. The guinea hen hatched her eggs out in the meadow in tall grass, which is a trick they
always have. Mama helped me put the hen with her little ones in one of the little coops, same as we did the other hens. Every morning the guinea rooster would come and take the little ones out into the meadow to catch insects. They don't scratch in a garden like hens do. They are great insect eaters. Every night the rooster would bring the babies back to their mother and then he would roost in a tree close by. The guinea rooster will mother the chicks just the same as the hen does. Our guineas would not roost in the hen house with the hens. The preferred to roost in trees. Hoot owls used to come at night and get one once in a while. .
One day when Mama and Papa had gone to Walton and Lena was supposed to be watching us to keep us out of mischief, we got the big idea that we would feed the geese. We went down to the cellar and bought up a lot of apples. Geese like apples and we had a good time throwing them into the geese. The geese were fenced in a big lot. There were the bee hives in the same lot and that was where the home-made pond was that supplied the big water wheel with water to run the churn. Orra and I thought we had enough apples in there for the geese and we stopped and tried to get Olin to stop, but he was having so
much fun that he wouldn't stop. The ground just inside the fence, for about three feet out, was covered with apples. Lots more than the geese would eat. I told Olin that Papa would be mad. Of course, when Papa came home and saw those apples, Orra and I tried to tell him that we had tried to get Olin to
stop - kid fashion. Well, he told Olin to get right over in there and pick them all out again. That gander was as ugly as a bear with a sore head. Olin would climb over the finse and grab a couple of apples and that gander would stretch out his long neck and start for Olin. Back over the fence he would come, and I stood there with a long stick trying to keep the gander back. Olin had to make a lot of trips over the fence with me whacking that gander. A gander will grab a piece of your leg and bite to beat all and at the same time be striking at you with his big wings. They can strike hard too and lame a person's arm if they hit them.
I remember one time, Lena got up in the red astrachan apple tree in our front yard and picked quite a few of them off and threw them on the ground. Of course, Olin, Orra and I were cheering her on and enjoying her doing it. She was the only one of us that could climb that tree. The limbs were too high for us to reach. Papa was WORKING somewhere and Mama was busy getting supper and didn't notice us. When Papa came, we three took our whippings but when Lena saw Papa coming, she shot out of that tree and ran as fast as she could, way down in the meadow and behind a little hill out of sight. She didn't come back until after dark and everybody was in bed. Then she sneaked in and went up stairs to bed. Lena got her whipping the next morning just the same. That is the only time I can remember Lena being in on any of our scraps. The whippings we got were not just the spanking with the flat of your hand on a kid's bottom, as children get occasionally nowadays. My parents usually used a switch on us and they left welts on our bare legs. I guess they got desperate.
We had three butternut trees in our yard next to the road. We would gather the nuts and put them up the stairs that we used as a storage room on one side of the house and when they were dry and the shucks turned brown, we would put them in a barrel that was kept there for that purpose. There was
nearly a barrel full. After the butternuts were all dried and in the barrel, every once in a while Mama would go out on a big flag stone in front of the outside cellar door and crack some of the nuts for us, while all of us children sat in a half circle around her and each of us had a nut in their turn. Butternuts have to be cracked with a hammer and if we tried cracking them on the stone, it would smash them to bits. She would hold one on end in her left hand and hit the top if the nut with the hammer in the other hand
and the nutmeats usually came out whole. She always saved out a cupful of the meats and ground them in the food chopper and put them in a frosting for a cake. That was always a treat.
Sometimes, she would make molasses candy for us. I think she put some sugar in with molasses. When it spun a thread as she poured it from the spoon and also would form a ball in cold water it was ready. Then she would put some in cold water to cool it and each kid had a hunk of it to pull and stretch and double back and do it over and over until it was light colored. Then she cut it in pieces with a pair of shears.
There were two sets of stairs in the house. They were on each side. Up the stairs on the one side of the house, Olin and Orra slept in one room and Lena and I in the other room. Our house must have been two small houses put together, because on the storeroom side, there as a window hole that looked out on the roof of the other side and that room was dark, for that was the only window in there. Our pantry and kitchen and one bedroom were directly below those two rooms. On the other side of the house, where the other two bedroom were, had a nice living room and one bedroom, which we used for a spare bedroom in case of company.
I want you to understand that our life was not all play. Each one of us had our chores to do. Every time Papa plowed up a piece of land to put in a crop, we three had to help him pick all the stones off. He had the horses hitched to a stone boat which was flat and low to the ground and had wooden runners on it and just a little edge around the top. We helped him load the stones on it and then helped him throw them over a deep bank that was no good. Our farm must have been a stoney one.
Another of our chores was to bring in the wood every night and fill the big wood box behind the stove. Every night we would always ask Mama, "How many armfuls?" and she would always say ten apiece for the kitchen stove and three or four chunks each for the heater in the living room.
Orra had pneumonia one time and Dr. Holley came from Walton to see him. We were having a flood and the water ran over the little bridge below our yard. He came in a Model T. Ford, the first car anywhere around those parts. He was afraid to drive over the bridge not knowing what shape it might be
in, and the water was too deep for him to wad with shoes on. Papa had on rubber boots and he took the doctor on his back and carried him across. We children just couldn't figure out how that car could run without any horses.
We had well-balanced meals and ate lots of fruit. But we never went to the cupboard and piece-mealed as lots of kids do today. When Mama went to Walton with Papa, she always brought us back bananas, oranges or candy. We never got any toys except on Christmas Day.
One Christmas Eve, Papa always went outside before we went to bed and knocked on the kitchen window. We would always call out something that we wanted. One night, I saw his hand when he knocked and I bounced around and said I had seen Santa's hand. It was an old custom then. After we had
scampered to bed, Mama would put any big toys on the floor under the tree and the smaller ones on the tree, also a big of candy and nuts for each child. We only got one toy apiece. When it just started to get light in the morning, I would wake up and slip down stairs and peek at the things, but never touched them. Then, I'd go back to bed till it was time to get up.
One Christmas, Lena got a nice doll, a dandy. I couldn't have been more than two or three years old. I had to stand on my tip toes to reach that doll that Lean had laid on a shelf beside the sewing machine, that was just the same level. The kept their newspapers there. I could just reach one foot of the doll, I pulled it off and stood looking at it. I was standing by the stove which sat on a big flat stone. Mama saw me and instead of coming and taking the doll away from me, she called to Lena, who was in the living room, that she had better come and get her doll as I had it. When I saw Lena come rushing at me, I dropped that doll quick as a flash and it landed on that stone and broke all to smithereens. Lena cried to beat all, but I was
too small to digest all of that; but it made the incident stick in my mind. All I thought of was getting that doll out of my hands fast. I've wondered for a lifetime now, if Lena still holds that against me.
Mama always left Lena in charge of us kids when she went to Walton and if we got pretty noisy, she would chase us outdoors, waving a big butcher knife and lock the door. If we got upon the banking, that was always put around the house every winter, and peeked in the window at her, she would wave that knife at us. I spoke to her in a letter recently about her chasing us out of the house with that knife and she said that was the only way she could control us.
I got along pretty good when I started school. Lena had already taught me to say, "It is a dog," so when Mr. Calbreath called me to stand by his knee and read, he pointed to the picture of the dog and asked me what that said, I repeated it just as Lena had told me. He turned to the next page and asked me what that said. I didn't know any of the words so I said the same words. Mr. Calbreath said, " I guess your big sister has been teaching you a little." Then he laughed. I had just memorized it.
I remember going to school in the winter, when we had a big flood. The road was full of water and we had to go along the timberline. We had two mile to walk to school. There weren't any buses in those days. My feet got so cold after we had gone a little less than a mile, that Lena sent me back home. When I got home, the outside of each foot was frozen until it had turned white. I can still see just how my
feet looked. Mama thawed my feet out, and I had chilblains for years after that. They itch something terrible after they had been frozen. They still bothered me for quite a while, even after I was married.
After I finished the eighth grade, I went to High School in Walton, I worked for board and went to school. After I had finished the two years of High School, my parents told me they couldn't afford to send me any longer. I came home and found a place to work out at housework.
I got a job on Johnny Brook, a road out of Cannonsville. I worked for Walter Scrambling. I did the house work and helped milk. Mrs. Scrambling had just had a baby when I went there. The had a nurse there taking care of her and the baby. Mrs. Scrambling died while I was there.
While I was there, I met Hogan Teed, who later became my husband. After we were married, we lived on a farm on Johnny Brook and raised five fine children of our own. I never told my children what a scalawag I was when I was a child.
Of course, my parents' family had their misfortunes, as every family has, so I'll mention some of them that happened when I was a child. I can well remember when Lena caught on fire. Mama and Papa were at the barn milking the cows one morning, and Orra sat in front of the old wood-burning cook stove in the old black rocker and Lena was putting on his stockings and shoes. The front door of the hearth was open to let more heat out and as it was real chilly and Lena's brand new dress went against the grates and caught on fire. She ran screaming to the barn and Papa met her and grabbed her and jumped a high fence with her in his arms and doused her up and down in the pond to put out the fire. It burned the back of her new dress out and blistered her bottom. She couldn't bear to look at that dress after that. She said it looked just like fire to her, so Mama fixed the dress over for me.
When I was nine or ten years old, and Papa was away for a couple of days on Jury Duty in Delhi, I was putting the cows in the barn to be milked. The cows came rushing in and they knocked the manure fork that was leaning against the side of the barn, down and then knocked me down on top of it. It had fallen with the tines sticking up. It felt as if my foot was wedged between two of the tines, which are sharper than a pitch fork for hay. I had fallen on my face, When I turned over, I looked and saw that a tine had
gone right through the top of my foot and stuck out the bottom about three inches. My foot was numbed at the moment and I calmly pulled the tine out of my foot and went screaming to the house. I didn't stop to stanchion up the cows. Mama was in the big hen house gathering eggs and came to see what was
the matter. Old Mr. White, who lived alone a short distance from us, but right down the road, came right over to see if he could help. He always kept his eyes and ears turned our way whenever Papa was away on Jury Duty. He was an awfully nice old man with snow white hair. It was a week before I could even put my foot to the ground. I sat in the old rocker with my foot in a chair. If I put it down to the floor, it would ache and throb. I finally got so I could hobble around some. It's a wonder I didn't stagnate being
quiet that long, Mama had a bottle of Calendula, a brown liquid, that she put on both sides of my foot. That was all and kept it bandaged. It healed all right, but today they would have had to have a tetanus shot or would have blood poisoning or some sort of infection. I told you I was tough!
Olin had appendicitis and had his appendix out. Orra had pneumonia twice and the doctor said he couldn't stand a third bout of it. He nearly died the second time. He wasn't as strong and rugged as Olin and I. Later he had that bout of polio as I've already said. Ralph had convulsions when he was cutting his teeth. Cecile crawled up on a lumber pile where Papa had laid his scythe and cut the calf of her leg.
We had had the whooping cough when Cecile was just a small baby. Papa had it along with the rest of us. Cecile was so small that she would choke and turn black in the face if she cried. She wasn't big enough to cough like the rest but would choke. Papa said he had the whooping cough when he was a
boy but he had it again right along with us.
I guess we all used to drive our parents out of their minds, but their love for us never changed. For all the whippings we got, we thought the world of Mama and Papa, especially Mama. Sometimes when we got in trouble or something happened, I would go in crying, with the tears running down my cheeks, I would tell her about it and she would go out and fix it or remove the evidence before Papa saw it. She knew we would get a whipping. bless her! She was one of the best mothers that ever lived! We surely were Holy Terrors, but she loved us just the same.
I am 76 years old now and I lost my husband 1 1/2 years ago in 1970. Since then it has been the blackest time and the hardest to bear of my whole life. Hogan Jr. lives close by. I live alone now. All my children and their families have been so good to me.
Our children were Marjorie, born in 1917, Cecile in 1919, Hogan Jr. 1927, Earl 1932 and Clark in 1940. They are worth all the trials and troubles I have had. I don't know how I would have stood my husband's death without them and I thank the Lord for them. I have nineteen grand-children and eight great grandchildren.
I am quite well and hope to live a few years longer. I hope I haven't tired you all out with the story of my life. Now you can see what you have got for a mother (or sister). Wouldn't you like to have a trio like we were?