by 50's Child
Adventures on A Farm
|My grandparents were born and raised on a farm, and this was the only life they knew.
They had 6 kids all born at home as it was the way of the times, especially if you were poor and lived in the
country. They had a small farm that had been in the family for years and left to my granddad for his family.
Picture the Little House on The Prairie and you'll have a pretty good ideal of how people lived back then.
The nearest neighbor was several miles down the dirt road and the only time you saw them might be
at church on Sunday.
If you were lucky and the crops were good, a once a month trip into town was a big deal.
Grandpa made good use of the 60 acres of land, growing cotton, crops of corn, beans, all kinds of vegetables
for canning. The cotton was sold, but everything else was grown for food.
The food was all natural, grown without chemicals, the hogs, cattle, and chickens were all important
to the survival of the family.
Farm work was hard and my grandmother spent most of her time cooking and cleaning.
Big meals were eaten three times a day, and the people were never fat.
Women back then were cooks, mothers, and doctors. You didn't go to the doctor with every little thing like people
do in todays' time. If the home remedies didn't work, you most likely died. It was just the way things were back then.
All of the kids worked in the fields back then, according to my mothers' stories of her childhood.
They really did walk to school several miles and never gave it a second thought, walking bare foot until the
weather got cold and then they got new shoes for school.
By the time I came along in the 40s', not much had changed except for cars. Grandpa still plowed with his
plow that was pulled by his mules, with him walking behind it.
The farm still had a well for drinking water, an old pump in the house by the sink for inside use.
When we went to visit, you had to use the old outhouse. There was no modern toilet.
The huge fireplace in their house was one of the things I remember the most.
When it was cold, we slept deep in big thick feather beds, under lot's of quilts. Of course my grandmother made all of them, too.
The rooms were so cold you had to stay under the cover to get dressed and then we would run fast to sit in front of
the big old fireplace. It was the only warm place in the house besides the kitchen, which had a wood burning stove to cook on.
At night it was so dark you couldn't see your hand before your face. They had electricity, but mainly for the bulbs hanging from
the ceiling, with wires going everywhere.
You could hear the wolves howling at night and all of the other sounds of nature. Needless to say, no one went to the
out house at night.
Several years passed and their old house was just not safe. By this time, it had been in the family at least a hundred years.
My dad and uncle had built a simple frame house years before and now empty, so it was moved to Grandpa's farm and
they finally had a decent house after all of these years. By now, they were in their 50s' but grandpa still refused
to give up his plow and mules. He kept his farming natural, and even had bee hives for their honey.
My parents had moved to the city about 150 miles away, but driving back to the farm when we could, was a real treat.
One summer when I was about 9 or 10 years old, my cousin and I spent a week on Grandpa's farm.
Things were really different for a city girl like me, but my cousin lived in the country, so she was right at home.
We got up early, cooked with Grandma, and then we got to "play farmers".
The chickens had to be fed, and then we gathered their eggs for grandma.
Grandpa took us with him to the barn and showed us how to milk the cows. Some of the milk was put into large cans to be sold, but the rest was used for butter and their own drinking. Grandma let us churn the butter, which gave me a greater appreciation of
my food source. I am lucky enough to have that old churn in my collection of memories.
Grandpa had a crop of potatoes to harvest, and my cousin and I worked in the field with him, or should I say we made an attempt at working. He had the mules pulling a large wooden platform of some sort, and we rode on it with the cloth sacks for the
potatoes. When grandpa threw them on the platform, we put the potatoes in the sacks for storing.
Then the potatoes were stored in a root cellar as were a lot of other crops for safe keeping.
At the end of the day we were tired, but it was a good kind of tired. We had fun probably because we didn't do this every day.
Since the weather was hot, and we were covered in sand, we took our baths out on the back porch in a big wash tub.
Good thing it was hot, as the water was cold. Didn't take me long to get clean.
Before my week was over and I had to go home, grandpa picked some big watermelons, and they made homemade ice cream
for us to enjoy.
That was not only the best week of my summer, but the best week of my life.
Too bad we didn't take pictures so we could look back and laugh about our adventures.
I have pictures of my grandpa and his mule pulling the plow on his farm and so much more.
I look back on the past and remember those wonderful times which will never return,
ONLY IN THE CORNERS OF MY MIND.