Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween, What May We Dare!


Leaves under our feet in the cool night air
Full moon in the sky, what may we dare? 
Brooms are flying, beware beware! 


The farm was on a rural country road with neighbors few. 
All the Old Farmer's children would go out together
looking around warily. There were about 7 houses in 1 mile uphill
and 3 houses in the mile to the north. It was a long trek with small reward. 

Then the fire department held a Halloween Party for the children.
There was apple bobbing and a Parade of costumes for different age groups.
One year the Old Farmer's Wife made a costume out of old draperies.
Shades of Scarlet O'Hara. It was a heavy red brocade.
A cane was spray painted silver and a bow tied on. The finishing touch
was a stuffed sheep toy with jingle bells in its ears! 


This costume was a prize winner that year! 
In later years we might go to stay in the suburbs or city
with a cousin and really cashed in on the candy :   )
But the lights of the city do not compare with memories
of the dark country roads!



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Monday, October 24, 2016

Lets Wind up the Sketches of the Barns with Barn Number One


(ONE WEEK TO ALL HALLOW'S EVE)

 Barn Number 1
Where we spent most of our time as kids. 
Ladders and beams and straw and slides.


This barn was built up against barn number 2. 

One time the Old Farmer's brother was chasing us kids.
We knew the barns like the back of our hands and ran down the stairs 

to the basementof this barn with our uncle hot on our heels
A missing step was leaped over and on we went.
The Old Farmer's brother went right into it! How lucky it was
that he suffered nothing more than bruises.
After a few weeks of the step not being fixed (we were all used to it)
my uncle went down there and fixed it himself!

The hand shaved rungs on the ladders were a treasure when I look back on it.
There was a grainery in the corner and straw bales to the ceiling on the other side.
We had real hay rides back in those days with the young men stacking the bales on the wagons and us littler ones riding along dodging the bales being tossed about.
We built straw forts. And straw tunnels. Sometimes a barn cat would
get back into a crack through the straw and have her kittens.


There was a great slide that was the board cover over the stairs,
We would climb up and slide down over and over again. 
Slivers were a hazard of this practice, use your imagination!
We would climb the beams and access the loft door into 
the second floor of  barn number 2. 
Children would make their own fun and used their imaginations!




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Monday, October 17, 2016

Barn Number Two Battle of the Yellow Jackets

Barn number 2
This appears to have been the first barn here. 
(Refer to picture in The Three Barns)
It has a standard roof, not gambrel, and the loft door opening
on the right side that was built inside the barn next to it at a much later date.

This barn was a wonderland of old junk.


The main floor was the big storage area. Under the "junk wall"
was a work bench. Well the work bench was under more stuff.
You could weave your way through the floor to some barrels full
of old beer bottles, all different brands and sizes with
the original paper labels. On around a bit more was the old stairwell
with no stairs in it, there hung horse collars, hames, leather net. 
A little farther on was the old rocker 
and beautiful door leaning up against a post.

   
Newspapers were piled just inside the door to be recycled
when enough were accumulated.
 
One year yellow jackets decided there was a perfect nesting
place down inside the papers. They became somthing of a nuisance
when trying to go in and out of the doorway.
The Old Farmer and his brother devised a plan of attack.
After dark (we know bees to not fly after dark)
they crept down to the barn, The Old Farmer with a can of spray
and his brother with a flashlight to pinpoint the target area.
They soon found out that yellow jackets will fly up a beam of light
from the flashlight! Plan foiled!






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Monday, October 10, 2016

Barn Number Three

Barn number 3

The main floor had the expected drive in for equipment in the center front.
 It was not much used when I was young. To the left had been hay/straw storage. 
To the right was an open area with some scattered bits and pieces 
of equipment scattered about. 
The back right corner was a chicken room. It had a window, 
a long pole roost on one side and some metal nest  boxes on the right.


 I remember a cat sitting outside the door which had a mouse hole 
waiting waiting waiting
 for a chicken or chick to get close enough to grab. 
Don't think it ever happened tho, Chickens are no dummies!

The downstairs was the real action here. The Old Farmer raised hogs for many years.
This was a cash crop as well as food for the freezer. 

The only fencing required for the outside pens was a single wire strung 
about 1 1/2 foot off the ground. This had a low electric
current running through it. We had a bit of fun with that by holding a piece
of grass and touching the wire! 

We loved introducing our city cousins to this uhm...jolt.
The grass and weeds had to be kept down under this wire to keep
the current from running into the ground. The Old Famer and his son
would use a sicle for this purpose.


One day the Old Farmer wanted to drive the pigs from one pen to another. 
 He put us children at the corners to make sure they went around the right way.
I was a bit hesitant as I was still quite little and the pigs were quite big.
Told to not worry, hold out my arms and they would go the right way.
Well, they did go the right way, but my foot got stomped in the process.
I guess I was too close to my work! Yeouch! 



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Monday, October 3, 2016

Three Barns

The Old Farmer had 3 huge barns.
They were referred to as barn number 1, barn number 2 and barn number 3.
So if going down to feed the pigs, the Old Farmer would say I'll be down in #3.
Or if going to rummage around looking for something
he would say I'll be out in number 2.


This numbering system came in very handy one winter day
when he did not return in time to eat super. The Old Farmer's son
went down to the indicated barn and found the Old Farmer on the ground
by the well, unable to walk with his back "thrown out". 
The story is he lit his pipe and laid there, knowing help would come soon.
This is the kind of man he was. 
He was helped back to the house and rested several days to recover.


Barn number 2 looks like it was the first barn there. 
It was smaller and had an opening high on the right side
 that had been a hay loft door.
Barn 1 was built attached to number 2.
There was no access between them on the main floor,
 but you could access each from the basement,
 or if you were bold and acrobatic 
through the hay loft opening from the beams on #1 side.
Or you could climb the "missing stairs" in a stair well opening 
on the main floor of #2.

Everything was hand hewn beam and ladders and wooden pegs.
We would get up on the beams and run around careless of the danger.
More on the barns later!


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