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Keeping house was always her interest

This week I spent an enjoyable hour with Helen Snyder. She was born in 1918 in Wadena to Harold and Lily Campbell. She has one brother and one sister.

Helen has spent no time trying to figure out what she was interested in, what her hobby would be, how she enjoyed spending her time. She liked keeping house, every phase of it. Her first job was helping neighbor wives, then she went to work for Fred Tops mink farm near Verndale. Helen did no cooking or baking and Mrs. Tops did the laundry. The hired men were expected to keep their own clothes clean but ate in the house.

Mrs. Tops expected good work so Helen was content doing what she liked best. The Tops had four hired men, one of whom was Keith (Mike) Snyder, who became Helen's husband. After keeping the Tops house, she now had one of her own to take care of.

Mike and Helen's first place was near Sebeka, where they farmed for eight years. Then to one north of Verndale for the rest of the years. While Mike farmed Helen arranged and rearranged her house. She had a nice garden and enjoyed canning season. She liked to cook. One year she made 100 glasses of jelly. They have two sons.

One of Helen's greatest joys was to fix her house so it suited her, then invite friends over for a card party, which happened fairly often on long Minnesota winter evenings. She wasn't alone in this as Mike enjoyed having an attractive house as well and thrived on company. Summer Saturday nights were spent with their friends at one dance hall or another.

Helen really liked to shop, usually with a dressy little lady on her arm, her mother. Then one cold winter evening her mother was hit by a train as she crossed the tracks in Aldrich.

When she was young, did Helen want to travel, see other places in foreign lands? Nope. She tried it one year and was miserable so after that she stayed in her house. It was Mike who had sand in his shoes. After he was killed in an accident, she bought a home in Wadena.

If Helen might have been interested in school, she said it would have been in interior decorating. She would have made a dandy. From her house in Wadena, Helen moved first to Fair Oaks Apartments and now to Fair Oaks Lodge.

Since grizzly characters in the form of blindness and arthritis caught up with her, she fills her time like others in their clutches. She listens to conversations of others, looks forward to treats and mealtime, is pleased by those who stop by her chair. She tries to be patient.

When all else fails Helen flips the replay button. She is soon sailing around a dance floor again, or ploughing through carpet samples searching for the right shade of lime green to use with her ice blue velvet parlor chairs. Helen likes contrast.

One of her blue chairs is in her room.