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Life at Oaklawn: Airing out, women inventor and more

Life at Oaklawn: Airing out, women inventor and more

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Bobbie Cannon Motley

Bobbie Cannon Motley

I hope you readers have been enjoying these cool mornings and warm afternoons. I know that I have as I've been airing out the house.

I remember my mother opening our windows at Oaklawn and letting the house air out before the winter months began. She would open every window in the house, including the ones upstairs, and we would just enjoy the fresh air. As you probably remember, we heated with wood for many years, and this made the house very hot in the summer months. We had windows open then, but it was still very hot in the kitchen.

We did not have running water in the house, but Daddy would wrap the pump and the pipes under the house with newspapers and sacks to prepare for the winter.

We got electricity when I was about 9 or 10, and Daddy had a well drilled and water lines put in the house. I remember when the pipes would freeze, and Daddy would strike a match and light the newspapers and try to warm them enough to get the water flowing. We also filled jugs and buckets at night just to have water in case the pipes froze during the night. A lot of his teachings have stuck with me over the years, and I still have a light in the pump house during the winter. I have an automatic light that comes on when the temperature reaches 32 degrees; this would have been wonderful back in those days.

I wrote some time ago about my mother always wishing she could have been an engineer on a train, so I did some research about women and some of the wonderful things that were accomplished by women.

Margaret Wilcox invented the car heater in 1893.

Anna Connelly invented the fire escape in 1887.

Florence Parpart invented the electric refrigerator in 1914.

Hedy Lamar, the film star, invented a secret communication system during World War II for radio-controlled torpedoes. This paved the way for Wi-Fi and the GPS.

I had no idea that these wonderful things we take for granted were invented by women.

My daddy and Mother lived through very difficult times, as did other families who had to survive after the Depression.

I often wonder what would happen today if for one week there was no electricity, no running water in the homes and no internet service. I am sure it would be chaos for many, but for my age group, we could survive with no problem.

I hope all of you readers, regardless of your political affiliation, will remember the president of the United States in your prayers. Remember that this is for the welfare of our great nation, and we must unite.

Please also remember to pray for our great United States of America in this horrible time of turmoil and be thankful that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Be safe and God bless.

Bobbie Cannon Motley’s family has lived at Oaklawn, in the Cannon Crossroads community, for generations. These are memories of days gone by, before all the development in western Cabarrus County.

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