In the Depression era, this part of the state was even emptier. Farms were large and spread out and required neighbours and hired help during work-intensive periods to get various jobs done. But in-between times the daily chores were ususally managed by one man and his wife and kids. Such was the case with my grandparents. My grandmother's day was full of the kinds of chores that women these days cannot even imagine. There was no telephone or television. And at that time they only had a generator to operate the water well pump and provide electricity. No microwave. No refrigerator! Not even a gas stove! Miss Ruby, as all the folks called her, did her canning and preserving and cooking on a wood-burning stove.
At some point during this time, my grandfather had to take the cotton harvest to be ginned (have the fibers removed from the seeds and husks) and sold. He would be gone for about a week. As the time for him to leave approached he became more nervous about leaving his wife and 2 young children alone on the farm. He'd heard news from neighboring farms about drifters passing through and stealing from these isolated homesteads. A loaded shotgun was always kept behind the door in case of "snakes and varmints" (four-legged as well as two-legged varieties). But Daddy Rob was going to be taking the shotgun with him on his trip, a necessary precaution as he would be carrying cash for selling the cotton crop.
Miss Ruby was not worried. She was very independent and had traveled many a road and spent many a night alone on the farm. But the day before he left Daddy Rob came home from a trip to town with a small pistol. And argument ensued. One of few between my grandparents (that we know about anyway). Miss Ruby was not having such a gun in her house. End of discussion. But Daddy Rob was insistent. He was trying to show her how safe it was and demonstrate how to shoot it. He emptied the bullets from the pistol chamber and then showed her how to stretch out her arm and lock her elbow to steady the gun. Miss Ruby was adamant. She was not having the gun in her house. But Daddy Rob persisted. "It's perfectly safe", he said, lowering his arm, "See",and he pulled the trigger to show her how easy it was to fire.
The gun went off. One round was still in the barrel. It left a small hole through the wooden floor of the kitchen. Miss Ruby did not say a word. Neither did Daddy Rob. He left the house with the pistol which was never seen again. His trip was uneventful as was Miss Ruby's week without him. The subject of a gun in the house never came up again.
But for the remainder of the time they lived in that house, Miss Ruby refused to let him fix the hole in the floor!