This new collection of short pieces by Idora Tucker begins with an essay about Gertrude Cooley, a town girl who married a farmer. Gertrude transformed the farm of her in-laws with her love of music and children, her interesting relatives, and her formidable home-management skills. She is remembered here by the eldest of her five children.
Idora called this collection of essays "Bits and Pieces." We retitled it "Housecleaning." She was eighty-nine when she began writing this batch of essays. Several of them are about the work that she and other women did on the farm.
There is a lot of housework to be done on a farm. The "family" included summer boarders and farm hands; often there were more than a dozen people at the dinner table. Gertrude's helpers included Beaty (the "hired girl"), her elderly parents (who lived next door), her sister Hilda, and her five children.
Idora was 87 when she started the writing group that became known around Vermont as the Hale Street Gang. She published much of her work in a series of paperback editions back when Korongo was a storefront in downtown Randolph. The books were sold around the corner at an independent bookstore. Idora wrote about farm life, her marriage to a small-town physician, and her career as an educator, among other things.
The thirty essays included in this volume have never been published before. We offer this advance copy in celebration of mothers everywhere. Click on the appropriate bar to download either a PDF or a generic ePub file. If you have a tablet or a smartphone, we recommend the ePub file for the best reading experience.