Archive | May, 2012

Life on the farm 70 yrs ago was a beautiful thing

10 May

 Life was beautiful back on the farm.  My Mom, Hattie, tells the story:  “It took quite a while but I finally adjusted to this farm routine.  The farmhouse was a pretty ordinary  two-story white house, with three bedrooms upstairs and four downstairs with a very large pantry, which I loved. The kitchen was a really big room with a wood cookstove and a sink with a red pitcher pump.  The water came from a cistern in back of the house. The drinking water came from a different well.  There was also a deep water well outback, the water was brown and had a really bad chemical taste, which we almost never used.  We had a granite bucket on the cabinet for the drinking water.  I remember a couple of times when the bucket froze over.  The living room had a wood and coal stove and a bay window.  The front porch was a medium-sized porch with a porch swing, which I loved and still miss.

After we had been married about 16 years, we built a red brick ranch house, right over the spot where the old one had stood.  But no porch!!  No Swing!! The back porch was glassed in and covered the whole east side of the kitchen and then wrapped around the corner and covered almost half of the north side. It was great, lots of room.. There was a long galvanized bath tub hanging on the inside of the porch, Paul’s mother had left her old refrigerator and a large oak wooden table.  The table had six leaves which were stored inside of the table , and when all of these leaves were in, I could seat a lot of people.  Over the years I put a lot of big meals on that table.  My son, Paul and his wife, have it now. 

We had only been married about 3 weeks, when Paul brought home a nice young man from Kentucky and told me that he had hired him to help with the farming that year.  He lived with us and ate his meals with us and I did his laundry.  After the work was all done in the fall, he went back to Kentucky and married his high school sweetheart. At the end of their honeymoon, he brought her by to spend the night with us.  We immediately fell in love with her, too. Later they had children and we had our three, so we visited many times.

I was 18 and Paul was 25 when we got married, and I thought I was all grown up.  But I soon found that I had a lot to learn. Mu first lesson came when Paul came home one evening with 125 baby chickens.  They were so cute, fuzzy and yellow.  I understood that farm women usually took care of the chickens, so the next morning early, I went out to take care of the cute little chicks.  But when I opened the brooder house door, it was so hot and smelled so bad.  But I went on in and there to my horror, lay 6 dead chickens on the floor.  I REALLY did try to pick them up, but I just could not, I got sick.  I told Paul about it that night.  My kind and understanding husband told me not to worry about it, he would take care of the chickens.  After that my only outside job was to collect the eggs.  One day I went out to the hen house and there was a dead hen on one of the nests.  It must have taken me 10 minutes to get her off that nest. I would reach for her, but I just could not stand to touch her.  But FINALLY, I grabbed her and threw her on the hen house floor and got out of there fast. Well, that is the chicken story, next time I will tell about the pigs!!!!!!!!!”