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"We were at a cousin's house for a family dinner. My dad and a group of his friends would play ball in the afternoon, and they played baseball out in the pasture type thing. And I can just remember when the fire whistle we had – there was a country telephone line – if there was a ring that had, oh I think, two long rings and a 'ring, ring, ring' beyond that, you knew that was an emergency ring. Everybody should go to the phone and listen. Otherwise, if you had 'ring, ring' that might be my ring. Or, 'rriinngg, rriinngg,' might be yours. You were supposed to only go to the telephone and talk when it was your ring. A lot of people did go and listen in on other people's conversations. But when this emergency ring rang, why we knew there was something. And so someone had gone to the phone, and we found out that it was our house that was burning. And I remember that our dad jumped over the banister – he was upstairs changing clothes into his baseball clothes. And he jumped over the banister and down the steps. And, oh, we went out, and it was most horrid. They saved the baby buggy and the sewing machine that were on the porch. They could pull those out, you know the men got there to save those things, but everything else perished. All our precious things, all my baby things, all the things that my mother and dad had worked for all those years had gone up in smoke."

Norma Ehlers - Fire!

   

Other Excerpts from Norma Ehlers' Interview:

My land means so much to me
First grade in country school
Planting potatoes
Fire!
Canning vegetables
Homemade ice cream!
Treating sicknesses
Storing ice for the summer
Welcoming orphans

Entire Interview with Norma Ehlers