The Old Farmer's Daughter has little tidbits of useful knowledge from the old days worked into stories of life on the farm, Growing up on a family farm, farming and housekeeping in the 1950s, Barns farms and the farmhouse, try to post new story every Monday....
This Old Farmer's Daughter recalls staying over with a friend
in the back yard. Our little tent was right up against the back of the house.
In the middle of the night she woke me up and said someone was prowling around outside our tent.
We did not sleep well the rest of the night.
Of course now looking back I am thinking it was her Dad checking on us.
Another upset was caused by a big canvas tent, 8 girls, and a rainstorm! Can you guess where that is going?
The young hostess was warning us, we'll be fine, just don't touch the sides of tent or it will bleed! Well with 8 girls, air mattresses, blankets, pillows, etc it wasn't long before we were floating in an inch of water!
We all ended up trooping into the living room in the middle of the night
I remember The Old Farmer taking me out to the garden after a heavy shower. It had been dry for several days. He says "Do you think that rain helped the garden?" Of course I did, it rained hard! He reached down and flicked off the top of the soil and only the top 1/8 or less was wet, the rest dry and powdery!
The weeds are winning the garden wars and The Old Farmer works overtime hoeing in the evening and on his days off. We all do. Sometimes on a hot summer evening when working up a sweat and we were all hot and tired The Old Farmer would load us up in the old Chevy and we would head around the corner (a country corner of about 1 1/2 miles!) to the ice cream stand. We thought it was a treat for us, which it was, but also that big milkshake was a big treat for him too : )
The Old Farmer, and most of the rural folk, were active in the volunteer fire department.
Whenever the siren went off they all hopped in their cars
and headed over to the fire department
to see where to go and get the trucks on the road. Day or night.
But this story is about the summer program for children.
Mothers would drop us off in the morning.
We would find our friends and get into the toy room.
This farmers daughter and her friend would get the pogo sticks
and play on the front sidewalk.
Organized activities were braiding vinyl cord into whistle lanyards
and making plaster bowls in stone parking lot,
decorated with strategically placed stones.
Twice a week we got to go to the local swimming "lakes" or ponds to have swimming lessons and fun. We had to have a buddy for safety and periodically the leader would blow a whistle and we had to hold hands with our partner and hold them up. Hopefully there was never someone
without a partner. Happy to say this never happened in my experience.
There also was a church program for two weeks in the summer.
A long bus ride would deliver us to a centrally located church.
We got religious instruction and discussion. And mass. The older kids played ball.
The younger may have raced and played tag. And we juice and cookies.
The Old Farmer's Daughters would enjoy sneaking off to the corner store for a snack we would savor while sitting on a ledge on the front of the stone church.
Childish delight at the city park, laying on a blanket.
As we grew older the delight was in our own explosives!
Playing at home. Spinners hung from the trees. Sparklers running around the yard.
And strings of firecrackers going off. Or set under a tuna fish can to see it pop up!
And The Old Farmer's inner child would come out. M-80s were played with by the adult men in the family, the children could watch. The Old Farmer decided to see what would happen if he put one in the old metal paper box.
POW! It blew it go smithereens. The back blew out and the seam split open. Oops!
And not to be outdone by the adults the cousins spent the afternoon throwing the little firecrackers into a hollow in the tree. Several made a sucessful landing.
Later that evening smoke was seen coming from this majestic old maple tree! Hoses were brought and the water followed where the firecrackers had been. In the hollow and down the inside of the tree. The tree survived this trauma and to my best guess is still living today.