Last night, after a busy day of errands and returning to teaching after the holiday break, I spent some time in the evening reading and transcribing my great-aunt Hattie’s diary. One entry in particular made me smile. The year was 1955. Hattie was 73 years old and living with her husband, Will, on a ranch on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She had no grandchildren of her own to enjoy, but she showered Jack and Cherrie—the children of the Parker family who worked as their hired hands—with grandmotherly affection.

Maybe her words will make you smile, too. She would like that.

January 3, 1955, Monday: Nice, a little chilly. Men gave cattle hay, caked and salted them. Will went to store to mail letters and get mail. He and Dave took thresher apart. Jack came up before noon, also Cherrie as Jack went with men to cake and salt cattle. Cherrie came to visit and play some, then Dave and Jack came to go home for dinner, so she went along. She has a saying, “That Old Poo Poo Man,” where she got the saying, no one knows. Parkers have a Parakeet Bird and it is some pet, and a cage, but it does not stay in it. Flies and sits on folks’ shoulders and all around on furniture up high. I wrote in diary, got eats, and when Will brought the mail, we read it. Jeanne, Jack and Cherrie came late p.m. with Pretty Boy Parakeet and we enjoyed it flying around.