Happy Strammers

IMG_6468Grandfather’s Definition of stramming– Working at high speed. It could include awkward use of your hands, fast motions without thinking and so things fall right and left and you make a lot of noise. The work does get done- loudly and hopefully without breaking something.

Grandfather called me a strammer today. I think that’s a compliment. He said his mother was one so I am pretty sure it is. He also defined stramming for me.

Gramp’s mother was Bessie Margaret Cummings Walden.  She had a master’s degree in dietary science, five rambunctious children, and she ran the Walden Farm. That is no small thing.

A couple of generations ago, The Walden Farm was a very famous name in Greenville, Maine. It was a place where people came for rest, recovery, fishing, and fun. Never advertised, it was a singular place with none other like it. People came to see and experience farm life. Some would camp out. Others would stay in the downstairs rooms which the kids vacated for the guests. Bessie took care of them all.

She presided over all the duties of the Walden Farm, which were many. She gardened, did the laundry, made clothes for her children, and cooked for guests. Sometimes she would drop her pots and pans, sit at the piano and play like a concert pianist and all from memory.

There was nothing she could not cook. She had a six cover wood stove and no fridge. The ice gathered in the winter was stored in an ice house where it was kept for the summer when guests came.

Bessie had to stram. Everything had to be done at high speed because there was so much to do. Gramps says she was very happy during this time of her life. She enjoyed her children, her farm and her guests.

So when Grandfather hears me in the kitchen noisily putting away dishes or yanking out pots and pans that do make a lot of clatter and hollers at me that I am stramming again, I take that as a compliment. Me and Bessie, two generations apart, are together in this – we are happy strammers!

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4 Responses to Happy Strammers

  1. Laureen Lawrence says:

    I had to read this to Dennis, as I obviously am a stammer also…at least in the noise part….how can pots and pans be used without noise????

  2. Margo Lambertson says:

    Love the stories you are telling through this site. Keep them for future generations. Great job, Viv!!!

  3. kathyallegra says:

    I guess I really COULD be a strammer!

  4. Carolyn Turner Comitta says:

    These stories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. The Turner children have grown up with the Walden children on Wilson Pond since the 1920’s. I can hear Uncle Bones voice as I read your stories. Love the stories and love Uncle Bones. What a gift for all of us. Thank you, Viv! Keep writing!!

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