This was taken in 1943 when the Illinois River flooded at which time Chicago let some of it's sewage come down river which really messed up the fishing for a long time. It also killed all the lilac bushes that were under water. There was a one room cellar with a dirt floor under part of the house which was only used for jars of veggies and fruit that mom canned. The night the cellar filled up you could hear the empty fruit jars gurgle as they filled. It never got over the floors, however. Everyone had to take typhoid shots since all the wells were under water. I was a freshman in high school when this happened.
Here is a picture of my dad's canna bed. He loved flowers and had a beautiful, very large garden. You can actually see the many rows of gladiolas he planted each year. We had all kinds of veggies and even peanuts. In the back of this picture you can see our outhouse which is right by the coalshed. The only time I ever got to take a bath in a real tub was at my grandparents house. How I loved that - but grandma used Kirk's Hardwater Castile Soap and it made you itch and feel all prickly.
This was much later and shows that the house wasn't looking bad at all after a nice paint job and roses on the fence. This gocart did not belong to my brother but he certainly is looking happy sitting in it. It does look like a great rig. He told me who it belonged to, but I have forgotten and you would not know the person anyway!
This simple way of life was a good way of life in spite of no bathroom or telephone. We were loved, had plenty to eat and I remember my childhood fondly. I think it does make you appreciate things you get so much more if you have to wait for them a little while. Most of the kids at that time had to make their own fun and use their imagination. There should be a little more of that today. (Click to enlarge)