Part 6 - Unfinished Stories


Alice Krumm

Alice Krumm, age 98


How to Live to be Ninety Years Old

Anyone who wishes to grow old gracefully should remember that it is not heredity that controls our age, it is our thought life and our emotions. As to heredity being a factor in old age, my mother passed away at age 63, my father at 72. Therefore I have lived 28 years longer than my mother did and nineteen years longer than my father.

People like Pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress carry an unnecessary burden on their backs. They cling to every sin they every committed, and to their resentments, hatreds, regrets, and guilty feelings.

The book Pilgrim's Progress was written by John Bunyan at least 100 years ago. Our mother read from it to us every Sunday P.M. - my brother, sister, and me. We were too young to get the implications of the book but it was terribly exciting to us like when Pilgrim was in the slough of despair and couldn't find his way out, ...


... when we were alone walking down the path in front of our white picket fence. She put her young, strong arm around me and gripped me very tightly.

She said, "Now you are going to tell this and make a laughing stock of me, but I'm going to be faithful!"

"Some beautiful music woke me up last night. It was voices singing and the words of the song were 'Nearer my God to Thee / Nearer to Thee / E'en though it be a cross / That raiseth me.' After the song a voice said, 'Tell ----- ----- that she should be a minister!'"

She said, "I woke my mother up and told her to go to the door and see if anybody was around. I thought maybe some singers were passing in front of the house.

"Mother went out into the moonlight to see if there were singers anywhere but there were none around. The moon was shining brightly and everything was quiet."

This decided me for the moment only. The path that I was to take now was too clear for further contention. I became very quiet. But if you follow God there will come a time in your life when every natural voice etc.

When all was quiet I went downstairs to breakfast one AM and my mother attacked me angrily. She said, "You have been trifling with this young man's affections! I want you to stop deceiving young men," etc. etc. Here was the first voice of authority raised against me. Finally I gave in. "Well, maybe I'd better go on with it," and made the fatal decision -


Those Two Little Boys

(Version 1)

Laura Ingalls Wilder is bringing back the Covered Wagon Days of a century ago. Uncle Ezra Meeker blazed the Oregon Trail across the U. S. in a covered wagon such as she talked about, and 200,000 immigrants followed his trail and settled the Pacific northwest.

This was in the days before automobiles or airplanes were even dreamed about. About this time there were two little boys in our community who were going west in a covered wagon with their parents.

My mother felt so sorry for the little boys that she invited them to our house for dinner just before they pulled out for the West.

The little boys were about nine or ten years old and were so excited over the trip that they could talk of nothing else. They said, "Pa's goin' to take shootin' irons along." They were living in the future and sleeping out under the stars even before they got started.

Sleeping under the stars rolled up in blankets was to be a great experience. There is usually one star bigger and brighter than the others and if one centers his gaze on the big star, he is usually asleep before he knows it.

The family had probably built a camp fire and prepared a hot dish of some kind.

Laura Ingalls Wilder has revived the Covered Wagon Days in the book she has written entitled O. T. B. of P. C.

She describes explicitly how to build a covered wagon. In fact, she devotes four entire pages of her book telling how to build a covered wagon.

The two little boys went west in a covered wagon and grew up in the Pacific northwest. Perhaps they became governors or congressmen. When we see those little boys together we contrive a future for them in our imaginations. Who knows what those little boys...


Those Two Little Boys

(Version 2)

Two little boys, perhaps eight or ten years old, visited Green Lea Manor recently. They reminded me of those two little boys years ago who went west in a covered wagon.

My mother was sorry for the two little boys. She said they would never come back to Iowa, so she invited them to our house for dinner. The little boys came and they were so excited about the trip that they could talk about nothing else. They said their pa was going to take shootin' irons along.

It really was going to be quite a big adventure. They would have camp fires at night along the way and after supper cooked over the coals they would roll up in blankets and sleep out in the evening dew.


Introduction | Personal Memories | Quotes and Notes | Letters | Newspaper Articles  | Miscellaneous Notes


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Gleanings of a Lifetime, by Alice Krumm (1879-1987)
Copyright 1998 by Bill Price
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