Friday, September 21, 2012

Remembering the good old days (Part 1)

This post is meant for older people, say in the range of 70 years old and up. As a kid, my sisters and I were fortunate enough to be sent to live with our grandparents on a farm. This was in the 1930's. Being on a farm in those days you had to earn your keep young or old. And you also to be responsible for your actions. Old retired farmers would remember this how it was on a farm.

Even though we were young in didn’t matter, we had chores to do and those chores that had to be done in the morning had to be done in the morning and no excuse. We were getting up at 5 a.m. and had to wash in cold water then eat breakfast and then it was out in the barn to feed and water the animals. Then there was wood to bring in for the wood stove and this was all done before going to school, which was a long walk of about a mile.  At noon we'd come back home for lunch then the long walk back to school.

We had no plumbing, no running water, and no electricity but we had plenty of work and believe this or not, I enjoyed it.  I was young and didn’t know any better. But one thing about it, we were healthy. After supper once our homework was done and our chores completed we were allowed to go out and play until  about 9 p.m. Playing meant taking our wagon and rolling down a hill. Then once back in the house we washed up (still in cold water) and then went to bed.  Like I said - it was hard, but it was good.

On Fridays it was the same as other days except, not having school the next day, we used to sit in front of the wood stove with the oil lamps burning and my grandmother used to tell us ghost stories.  This went on for about an hour. Then it was bed time. Before going to bed we had to go to the bathroom and this was a outhouse in the back of the house and late at night going out in the back of the house you had to take your chances about what kind of wild animal you might run into like a bear or porcupine or skunk.  Inside the house if you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night you had to use a pail.

But another thing about it we never had to worry about food. Getting up in the morning and going for breakfast you could expect meat and potatoes. There was some nice home made bread - the big round loaves freshly made and baked that same morning.  Sometimes just the smell used to wake me up.

Saturday morning we had a different kind of chore.  We'd watch for the butcher. He used to come around with his pickup truck and a homemade cap on the back of it and packed with ice and meat. After I got what my grandmother wanted, I had to bring it in the house and she would check it and while she was doing that I had to go out and open one of the barrels that was packed in course salt and bring in the meat for the day.  Then I'd remove the balance of it and replace with the fresh meat and put more course salt in it. The stink of meat stored in salt was unbelievable.

The milk was straight from the cow, healthy milk no taking anything out of it, the cream stayed in the milk and the only time anything would be changed was when it was put in the separator to get the water from it for the making of butter milk.

Coming from the farm to live in a city was a shock.  In this world today the shock would be even more  unbelievable.

Part 2 next.

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