The Scheckel family was back in the warm farmhouse by 6 PM on winter nights out on the Oak Grove Ridge farm in the 1940s and 1950s. All the livestock were fed, watered, and bedded down for the night. The cows were milked. The Lone Ranger came on the radio on about 6:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
The wind howled with great fury at times, gusts seems to rock or sway the house, and make noises as the timbers creaked. We were not alarmed. That old farmhouse was built sturdy and had weathered many storms and high winds. Furthermore, it was protected on nearly all sides by trees.
We made popcorn some night. Put some grease in the frying pan, put in popcorn and topped it with a lid. As soon as the first kernels popped, one of us would have to slide the frying pan back and forth across the burner to prevent the kernels from burning.
We grew our own popcorn in the garden. Why buy if you can grow your own? The popcorn ears were smaller than field corn. Some of our home-grown popcorn had white kernels and some had yellow kernels. The white kernels yielded whitish popcorn and was slightly smaller than the yellow kernels.
We made sure the ear corn was very dry. If the ears were not completely dry, the popcorn kernels would mold. We picked the ears in late fall, shelled the popcorn ears, and stored the kernels in a jar for use during the winter.
When popped, the corn filled a large bowl, some butter was put in the frying pan to melt. The melted butter was poured over the popcorn. Small dishes were filled for each of us to eat. We played cards, 500, Euchre, or Pepper. Some of us would read or play Monopoly. Dad would listen to the radio, or work a crossword puzzle, or read a newspaper. Mom would mend clothes or crochet doilies.