Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI
14 February 2004

Heather: What was it like when you were a child on the farm?

William J.B. Spencer and Audrey Mae Spencer

Audrey: There was much more snow then. I could walk over the five-foot fence and not sink in as the snow was frozen. I could walk over the fence!!

We would get a snowstorm and I was always sick in bed with the croup. I would lie in bed and look out this nice big window by my bed. I’d keep watching for grass. Mother (MaryJane [née Vaughn] Spencer) would shake out the tablecloth on the snow. I would watch the birds come picking up crumbs that were dropped on the snow.

When I was a child, a sled as wide as the street was hitched to a couple of big horses. This sled swept the road of the snow. We used to have five feet snow storms! The people would be out plowing the road the minute the snow started until the snow stopped. Without plowing the roads, the snow on the road would have frozen and no one could even get out of their yard. Everybody got up and plowed their own driveway and then the road. If they wanted to get anywhere, they had to help plow the road.

The mailman came with horse and wagon. The buggy had a little top to keep you from getting wet or you could open it to get the sun (like a doll carriage-canvas to open it up or fold it over back). The mailman came by every day when I was little. My job was to go to the mailbox and get the mail. I was small and didn’t know enough to read.

I played with little stones by the house. I made a little fence and made a stove with stones. I would stand there and pack the stones and play for hours with the stones. I was always out in the yard, but I never went near the road.

The road was for the mailman and mail wagon.

Clara Tarbox would go by. They went down to the Village (Arctic) every day to get groceries or something.

Mother and I went down to Arctic every week to get groceries. Arctic used to be a nice place. Then a lot of hoodlums hung out in Arctic. You had to look out for yourself in your wagon. Mother would say “You stay right close to me now”.

Mother would go catch a horse, hitch the horse to the wagon and drive to Arctic. That was quite a job to go out in the yard and call “Prince”. Prince would come right away. Prince was afraid of hay loads. We tried to keep him away from hay loads. He was the only horse that was afraid of hay loads. When we got to Arctic, Mother would get out and put reins around the hitching post.

I would hang on to my mother’s clothes. Mother would go into the Bedards store. There was one little aisle or hall where I could see two little old ladies there. Mother always sat there and talked with them for a while. I sat there. I was quiet.

Colonial Ancestors, Conversations, Life in Anthony (Coventry), Life on the Farm , , ,

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