One day when we came home from school there was a postcard resting on top of the pile of mail on the kitchen table. It was an invitation to the wedding of one of my oldest cousins.
Mom and Daddy talked about the up coming wedding at the supper table and they decided to attend. They would have to leave for several days since the wedding was in Michigan. They didn't want us to miss school and since Grandpa Masts and the rest of Moms brothers and families were all planning to attend the wedding as well it was decided to ask one of the teen-aged girls to come and stay with us while they were gone.
The evening before they left Daddy and John went to bring her to our home so she would be there before they left soon after midnight. John, David, and I were excited to stay at home and felt only a little bit sorry for Mahlon who was still to little to stay with us.
When Daddy came home he dropped off the girl at the end of the driveway and drove on out to the barn to unhitch Jim. I peeped out the kitchen window to see who came but I didn't know who it was. Mom went out to the porch to welcome her inside. She was carrying an old brown battered suitcase that she set down inside the door. Mom introduced us to her saying, "Susan this is MaryAnn, and David" and then proceeded to tell her what our chores were each day. And what she had for her to work on while we were in school.
I wished we could stay at home. Susan looked like she knew how to have fun. When Daddy came into the house we all got ready for bed. I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep but the first thing I knew we were waking up and Daddy and Mom had left.
Susan got up and said we need to go do the chores before breakfast. We all went to the barn with her and watched as she sat down beside Jenny and tried to milk her. It must have been her first attempt to try milking a cow because it was the most pitiful sight I had ever seen as she pulled and squeezed but only a few drops of milk plunked noisily into the stainless steel pail. John and I tried to show her how but it wasn't as easy as it looked when we watched Daddy or Mom do it. Susan finally managed to get almost a quart of milk and decided it was good enough.
We went inside and saw it had taken much longer to do the chores than we had anticipated and it was almost time to leave for school. We quickly changed and ate a banana while Susan packed a lunch for us. School passed uneventfully enough and when we came home Susan was ready to try the chores right away. It didn't go much better than it had that morning she got a little more than a quart of milk but not much.
Once we got back to the house she asked us what we would like to have for supper. We wanted potatoes and meat. I went to the basement to get a bowlful of potatoes and once they were peeled I got a great idea. We would eat them raw. We used to each have a slice sprinkled with salt as a snack every evening while Mom peeled the potatoes for supper, but only one slice. Tonight we would get to eat all the raw potatoes we wanted. Susan looked a little dubious about our idea but with all three of us enthusiastically wanting a bowlful of raw potatoes she sliced them and set them on the table.
As we sat down I couldn't wait to be able to eat all the crunchy salty potatoes I wanted. We passed them and each took a generous helping. I sprinkled salt on a slice and ate it. It was delicious. I sprinkled salt on the next slice and ate it. Still good. The third slice wasn't a treat any longer and I would rather not have eaten the forth. As I eyed the pile of raw potatoes on my plate and the bowl that was still almost full I knew I couldn't eat them any longer. John and David were having the same problem I was. We ate our meat, but we all agreed we had more than our fill of raw potatoes.
Susan took all of them and put them in a bigger bowl and covered them with water to be used to make mashed potatoes the next day. Our grand adventure of staying at home without Daddy and Mom didn't feel very grand anymore and we could hardly wait until they came home again.
And since that day raw potatoes no longer look tempting.