Friday, February 23, 2018

Family Part5


Mary has more for us
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Veterinarian Shop, the shop was not there when this accident happened. He was turning around with the tractor coming home and out on the road (it was just getting dusk). Mrs. Langley was coming home from work and hit the side of the tractor, a big jolt, Dad was thrown off landing in the ditch. Mrs. Langley just had car damage, she took him home. He went for x-rays, had broken ribs, plus some front teeth knocked out. Later David helped get the tractor home. Dad was mad at David for some reason, said you can't drive a wheel barrow. David said at least I've got all my teeth, then Dad said you're just a smart mouthed kid. How funny!!!!!!

Dad was across the road one Sunday with his tractor, it rained and was very muddy, well he got stuck. The bad thing was his back wheels were over a steep bank by the creek. Mom & Shirley were frantic he would go over, tried to get him off the tractor. He told them to go in the house where they belonged, what a bull head. Chuck & I and our kids were just doing our Sunday visit, when we pulled in Shirley said try to get him off the tractor and call a wrecker to pull him out. There he sat with a big smile, but he was mad said ( I got to sell this place before it kills me. What a man!!!!

Chuck said I know a guy down the road (Larry Allan) who has a wrecker he'll come up and have you out of here in no time at all. Larry was available got the job done and everyone was relieved.

Butchering week was really hard on the farm - usually did a heifer and a hog but five or so months apart, always in the winter. One of the boys shot the animal Dad skinned and butchered it. Hung it from rafters in a garage or any building available so it would freeze, by the next day it was usually ready to go. So much was brought in at a time laid on the kitchen table and cut up, this went on for at least a week. It would either be pressure cooked, canned or fried. The lard had to be rendered, then the meat fried and put in crocks. It would be layered meat and then lard, very time consuming - the meat was only partially cooked -final cooking at meal time. We always had plenty of food. Many families went to bed hungry. Aren't we thankful for grocery stories.

Gardening was another challenge, getting soil ready, planting, picking & canning. No fun pulling and hoeing weeds in the hot summer time. Guess What - Mom and Dad loved it and looked forward to it every Spring. Tomato was Dad's passion - enjoyed potatoes, too. He would set out in the yard with a tub of potatoes cutting the eyes of each potato, usually 4 to 5 eyes to a potato, putting them in another tub to be planted. He would have all of us help. He never had a weed in his garden, did a lot of hoeing. Always took company to the garden to see how clean it was. When Dad became older and not getting around as well, he then would put a chair at each end of the row and rest till he started back.

Mom helped the boys milk cows every morning and night. They all enjoyed giving the cats a squirt of warm milk. Her day was unending cooking meals, baking bread, washing clothes the hard way, the kitchen was always a mess, heating water on the stove, very unhandy. In the winter especially bad, on nice days she would hang the clothes outside, they would freeze as stiff as a board. If the weather was real bad they were put over chairs in every room until dry. In the summer time the washer was moved outside and that's where it was done. It was a big relief.

Harvesting horseradish in the Fall was not too pleasant either. It kind of resembles rhubarb, but the leaves not quite that big. It was brought in and put on the kitchen table, being cut off above the root, chopped up in small pieces. It was very strong smelling and made your eyes water and burn. When the table was full we all had to go outside while it dried a bit, then it would be put in bags until mom could made the sauce up when she wanted to. She liked it strong. I don't know the process to make it up.

Mom enjoyed raising chickens in the Spring, usually bought (100). Had plenty for eggs and eating. Butchering them was another big day, usually did about 25 at a crack Laying their neck on a block of wood waiting for the ax. We kids helped, our fun was watching them jump around without a head. We would have a contest - which chicken jumped the furthest with out a head. Then came the hot boiling water, dipping each chicken in, then plucking the feathers ok, next was searing the pin feathers off over a hot flame - it was pretty smelly. Next was butchering, taking out all the insides, then soak in salt water, rinse, getting ready for a meal or pressure cook for later use. Us kids were taught how to butcher, so the job went quite fast.

Our grandparents died before we could enjoy them. The Whiteads shared theirs with us, Grandma Stevens and Holder, they were famous for their angel food cakes from scratch. They gave us a lot of attention just like we really belonged to them.

We would pick wild plums and grapes in the summer, Mom would make Jelly. In the Fall we would pick up walnuts in Whiteads valley. It was a family thing. Usually just the mom's and kids went - Dads to busy.

My brothers would cut a Christmas tree down from the pasture each year. We didn't get hardly any presents but didn't care. Many families were just like us. Mom would make popcorn balls, we would shell the corn, sure hurt our hands as it was sharp. When she started having grandkids did the same for them.

We had a lot to look forward to when we were told we would be going to the movies, didn't happen very much. Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers was a big hit with us, always cartoons & the newsreels. We each bought an all day sucker and they lasted that long too.

Always in the Spring Shirley would suggest we walk to the top of our steepest hill and look for May flowers plus seeing the view, could see for miles. She did this till she got ill with cancer. All the grandkids enjoyed the flowers and walking the hills with Shirley, it was really fun. I do want you to know we walked the hills, summer, winter and fall. Whenever my family came home for vacation, they had to hike the hills before they went home. We all miss this very much, such enjoyment and didn't cost a thing.

Grandpa was noted for not having a drivers license and he didn't think stop signs were made for him, consequently he received many traffic tickets. Chuck spent a lot of time with him and saw him get many. When they got home he would take Chuck in the garage and say (this is what I do with them) throw them on the ground and pee on them, with a smile on his face. Chuck never got a ticket but I'm sure if he would have, Grandpa would of come to his mind. Its always something to laugh about. Chuck spent a lot of week ends at the farm going to farm sales and eating Mom's good cooking. Mom always said, she enjoyed riding with him because he tried to miss every pot hole or mud puddle. She said her sons tried to hit all of them. Chuck would take grandma to the grocery store, she would not ride with Dad, if she did they would come home in a big fight over his lousy driving. This is always something to laugh about.

To be continued...

17 comments:

  1. You’ve made me homesick for a life I never lived. This is the best piece. I hope you put the best of your blog into a memoir. If I still taught, my students would read this post.

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    1. I now live about 15 miles from my in-law's farm. It is a great place to be and they are a wonderful family. This blog is the memoir. I write it for my family and am thrilled that others read it too.

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  2. My mother was that kind of gardener. Overplanter! Because she was a canner, too. It was just what she did.

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  3. Jilda's grandmother and grandfather didn't have a license either. But then, neither of them ever owned or drove a car. They walked or rode a mule.
    It was a different time.

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    1. I know my mother-in-law could handle a wagon with a team of horses. She preferred to stay home.

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  4. This is so interesting, every bit of it. I guess my favorite today was the butchering part. That is so far from my city kid experience, and I've often wondered about it.

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    1. As with many families my own family also butchered and dressed their own meat. I hated rendering day because it smelled so awful even though we were outside all day.

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    2. I'd love to read a post about rendering day. And how does one dress their own meat? Curious.

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    3. I will include what I know when I post about my family.

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  5. All our vegetables are in a garden that is hand dug and hand hoed and it is not easy in any weather! My mother had a drivers licencee but she never passed a test - it was just a formality in her day LOL. She was in fact a good driver and was still driving right up until she passed on at 87.
    Have a good day Diane

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    1. The garden my father-in-law dug was huge and he tilled the soil with the tractor. All weeding was done by hand.

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  6. The lifes sounds very different and yet similar as in many other places.

    I enjoy reading.

    I don't think I am able to write this.

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    1. It is an inside look at my husband's family. I find it fascinating. I hope when I finish my family it will be just as interesting.

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  7. what a fascinating life ,almost led the same with little less hardships ,my mom was very fond of having chickens and we had lots of at home ,chicken would hatch eggs for almost 22 days and almost 24 or sometime 18 chicks born ,this way mom grew her bunch of chicken ,she was lucky to have so many and it was said by her friends who were envious to her

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    1. It seems Moms are the same all over the world. Is it not wonderful?

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    2. Moms are moms no matter where they are.

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