Every year the Noel's house was decorated with joyous NOEL from top to bottom, left to right. Christmas goodies were baked. Christmas presents were bought and wrapped.
The Noel's came for Thanksgiving. Their home was filled with joy.
December 1st was different. The youngest Noel didn't call. He didn't write.
The Noel's drove to see him. No one answered. No Noel.
25 days passed. No one baked the Christmas goodies. No one bought and wrapped the presents. Oneta Noel's health began to fail her. She was too weak to talk.
Oneta Noel lived on Christmas, but died December 26th with a broken heart.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Once again together, here are Arthur Kenneth and Ocie Sheets. Theirs was a story set on the vast empty prairies of North Dakota. She was from a refined family with an English pedigree. He came west byway of rugged German roots. She was the spinster teacher in a one room school. He was the boy sent off to work on a farm after his mother remarried.
Ocie told how the handsome young man would come by the school house everyday. He helped her clean the boards, sweep out the ashes from the stove and get the school house ready for the next day. It must have been strange for him to spend time there since schools and reading were not familiar to him. But he showed up after the school children left for the day, helped her, and took her home. He soon asked her to marry him and leave the one room school. She said, "Yes!" and never looked back.
They married July 15, 1924. The young school marm and the farm hand. Their home together was a large farm near her mothers home. He bought her a horse she named Tootsie after the popular candy. They raised a family of two boys and one girl there in North Dakota until the dust bowl came and swept their dreams of having a farm away from them.
But still in love they picked up their family, rearranged their dreams and moved on to Indiana. He found a job in a factory and she stayed home to care for their young children.
The children grew, married and had children of their own. Then grandchildren came, and great grandchildren, but one thing never changed, their love for each other.
He continued to work and take care of her as he did in the one room school house. When he found out that he had cancer, she took care of him. They battled cancer together, their love giving them strength. But the battle was not to be won. He passed away August 13, 1980.
Ocie often spoke fondly of Kenneth, their young romance, Tootsie, and living on the farm in North Dakota. She seemed to like to tell the story about how she cooked for the thrashers when they came to work the fields.
Even when her memory began to fade, she never forgot Kenneth and her love for him. October 28, 1994 she went to be with him, the school marm and the farm hand, together at last, "Together Forever."