Frances Looking Back Maya Angelou Podcast TTT Remembering Season 2

Season 2.Episode 19: Frances on Building a Sod House

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.  

Thank you for listening in. 

Today, Frances looks back to a time when sod houses or soddies were the homes of early settlers on the frontiers of the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. When the prairie lacked standard building materials such as wood or stone, sod from thick, toughly rooted prairie grass was abundant, free, and could be used for house construction.  

So put the kettle on and add to the discussion. Frances and I look forward to your insights on

I am your host Rebecca Budd and I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

Thank you for joining Frances and me on Tea Toast and Trivia. One last thought – comes from Maya Angelou “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Until next time, dear friends, safe travels wherever your adventures take you.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

4 replies on “Season 2.Episode 19: Frances on Building a Sod House”

Frances wonderfully details the process from her father’s stories passed down orally. Important story telling for your family and for us! Until this podcast all I ever knew about sod homes was the little bit we learned in American History classes and from novels like On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder and My Ántonia by Willa Cather. From these I learned that if the pioneers arrived at their new homesteads in awful weather, they literally lived in dirt caves until they could build with sod. A slightly more contemporary version of this practice was to build and live in new basements until the landowners had time and resources to finish the house. Those novelists show many women wanting to transition to new wooden frame homes, but your mother says that wasn’t always the case. This a brick of history brought to life 🙂 Thank you both.

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I’m so glad that you listened in Mary Jo. I confess that I did not know much about this family history and am thankful that Frances has agreed to share this time. You are so right – individual stories will be lost in the history books that can only cover the overarching narrative. It is up to our writers to tell the stories and help us understand that we are the offspring of courageous people. As to the contemporary version, my mother will recount that her parents built a basement before they completed the house, which did not occur until 25 years later. I understand that the house was completed for my parents wedding celebration. How far we have come, but how close we remain…

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I know about these sod houses. I have seen a very few old pics. Frances, thank you for adding an extra layer to my knowledge! Rebecca, I just can’t get enough of your mom!

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I was with Frances today – she has a new computer and is becoming familiar with the “fast” speed. Mom is the bravest person I know and continues to inspire me with her determination to live boldly, with expectation. She is out every day, sewing costumes for young dancers or organizing her work space. We remind her to slow down, but we are generally talking to space for she is already down the road and we must rush to keep up with her. I am so glad that you join our conversation. It is a joy to have your presence with us. Hugs and more hugs!


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