Continued from A Love Story….
Their first home was in Trousdale and they lived on Mom’s teaching salary she had saved. Later they moved to a farm house where Aunt Zola, dad’s oldest sister and Uncle Sherman lived – The Smith place.
Carl farmed and Le Nora kept books on every penny they made and spent from the day they got married. Le Nora was offered a teaching job in Cuba, Kansas, and they needed the money. They moved to Haddam, Kansas, and Carl leased a farm. Le Nora recalled one day that her Grandpa Shara brought an old mule over to help Carl with the plowing. When that mule decided he’d had enough, he just laid down – and no amount of prodding or poking could make him move. He just lay there, “Stubborn as a mule.” That saying was so true.
Life in the thirties was difficult. There was very little money and banks had little money to loan. Many went bankrupt and had to close their doors, Credit was very limited. Many a farmer saw taxes he could not pay accumulate. It was difficult to borrow from local banks even though they had land as collateral. Many lost their farms.
Le Nora and Carl were in northern Kansas for three years. Carl’s parents continued to accumulate debt and worried they might lose their farm. It was the dust bowl, and they weren’t making anything farming. Stamps were 3 cents and gas 9 cents a gallon. Carl’s parents decided to move to Kinsley and they sold the farm to Carl and Le Nora for $16,000, the debt they owed. Grandma and Grandad Donovan really wanted Dad, their only son back home and they didn’t want to lose the farm.
Carl moved back to the farm and Le Nora finished the school year teaching in Cuba. She missed her “Sweetheart.” It was a lonely three months for both of them.
Carl and Le Nora were happy to be back in Centerview living on the farm where Carl was born and raised. It was time to start a family. The beautiful thing about the farm life was the closeness of neighbors and how they worked together. No one got far behind in his work, whether he was sick or healthy. When a neighbor saw a need they volunteered to help. At harvest there was a threshing crew between neighbors getting all the crops harvested. Carl and Le Nora were able to buy the farm because of how well Le Nora saved and managed money, and because Carl was a good farmer.