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Life on the Farm

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My folks were farm people, and we lived in Northern Minnesota. Although we didn't have acres of "farm" land, we still referred to ourselves as farmers. We raised pigs and chickens, we had a huge garden and there was a small creek on the end of our property that was loaded with fish. Life was good!

There wasn't an ounce of fat on my Dad, and while Mom was probably 10 to 20 pounds over on her weight, it wasn't because she didn't work hard. She either had bread dough rising on the back of the stove, or it was already in loaf form, sending out delicious smells from the oven. Our floors were wood, and I remember my Mom would get down on her hands and knees and scrub the floor with a brush. That takes a lot of energy. And when her work in the house was done she would be in the garden pulling weeds, hoeing or watering. In the fall there was the gathering of the produce and canning. We had enough to last the entire winter.

My job as a kid was to search out the nests the chickens had and gather the eggs. What a fun game it was for me! Up in the hayloft, I knew all the hiding places those hens had! And I can remember collecting a nice-sized basket of those large brown eggs every time. We had more than we could use, and we sold them to a local grocery store located about 10 miles from us. It gave us an income large enough to buy sugar, coffee, flour and other stuff we couldn't produce in our garden.

Looking back on it, wash day was not any fun for my Mom. The water had to be heated in big boilers on top of the stove, and our washing machine had a gas engine and "wringers" that we put the clothing through into cool water, where they were rinsed, then through the wringer again so they'd be ready to be hung out on the clothesline. Can you imagine today's stay-at-home Mom's going through all that to wash and dry the laundry?

We did not have electricity, we did not have running water, nor indoor plumbing! In fact, at night you could lay in bed and hear acorns falling onto the roof of the house now and then. That was because bears were climbing in the trees and they would knock the acorns loose so they would fall on our roof.

But the fishing was great in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and just before the week-end if we were have a "Fish Fry" my Dad would go to one of the lakes nearby, or to our creek, and he would come home with enough fish to feed everyone!

People do not live this type of life any longer; but I'm glad I had the opportunity when I was a child. I had no true "toys" other than paper dolls and coloring books, but in those days we used our imagination and we had no problem finding things to do. Many of the areas near our house had fences made of small poles -- maybe 4-inches or so across. They were wonderful to walk on bare-footed. I can't remember ever falling, in fact, I've never had a broken bone.

So here's to the "Good Ole Days" and anyone old enough to remember!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    When I was growing up I had he luxury of electricity, running water etc. But my family was large 5 kids...and my mom was a military wife who took care of all things on the home front while my Dad was overseas for long periods of time. They made a point in summers when he was home to vacation at a lake house (not fancy...definitely not luxury!) but simple pleasures of boating(no life jackets and we lived) fishing, swimming and never TV.Card n board games at night. Rain on the roof was always an awesome sound to fall asleep to! No laundry was done as there was no machine or laundramat nearby anywhwere. we as kids could've cared less and since we were in the lake all week even a bath wasn't a requirement. there was no shower! We would somehow cram all 7 of us plus extras up to a dozen ppl in a station wagon(seat belts....Nope, Car seats ...Nope) but laying in the back of the wagon seat folded down w a pillow listening to the bump bump of the highway below was such fun!
    Our best friends and neighbors had eleven kids. The Mom also babysat other moms kids. We usedto walk into the woods onto the abandoned monastery grounds and harvest wild grapes and apples with them...she canned and used EVERYTHING. grew her own food and hung laundry out all the time. Frozen jeans popsicles! and crispy towels! she would also mow her lawn and gardened and perpetually (so it seemed) be scraping and painting the house!
    All of us kids went out side and did not come home except for lunch and dinner. We were to busy playing in ponds, mud, running in fields playing manhunt, pick up games of whiffle ball or iceskating on ponds at the end of the street. Sledding on the most frightening hills (again with no helmet!)
    Thanks for sharing and bringing back those awesome memories...was soo much fun for us kids and for moms...sooooo much work!
    And guess what? nobody was even remotely fat! How bout that!
    1825 days ago
  • PROT358
    This blog made me so nostalgic. I haven't lived it but I can picture it. Thank you for sharing!
    1847 days ago
  • PSMITH3841
    Although I was a "city" kid, some of my cousin s were country boys......I remember the summers at their Dairy farm as being some of the best times ever.....I remember the fence type too. I took one of my worst falls ever off of one of those broken bones, but I was sore and black and blue for a week, not to mention the teasing I got from the cousins! emoticon
    1848 days ago
    Thanks for sharing a piece of your child hood! I did not grow up in that era or remember visiting relatives who had those things. Everyone was pretty "modernized" when I was a child. I hope you do not take offense , but the closest thing I came to when reading your blog was Little House on the Prairie and Laura Engalls! That is what popped into my head, lol! I did love that show and remember thinking how much simpler life must have been then. The air was cleaner, kids actually played outside and families were together not having late business meetings and so on! Great blog!
    1848 days ago
    I do remember the days of no running water, no indoor plumbing, (a chamber pot under the bed). LOL Doing laundry in a wringer washer and heating the water for the wash and rinse tubs. Thanks for the memories. Life is so easy now. Be thankful. ((Hugs))
    1848 days ago
    Great memories! It is sure nice to look back at those days when we were the kids and all was right in our world!
    1849 days ago
    My grandma had one of those washers and I helped her to do the laundry when I stayed with her we had electricity but we still had a Black and White TV and I played with paper dolls and Barbies a lot I had two sisters and we played house and DR and we had neighbors and in the winter we would make snowmen or snow houses and we would pretend we had a grocery store made mud pies ETC - I liked the good old days Kids now a days can't entertain them self's they have to have I phones and computers
    Thank goodness I grow up when I did
    1849 days ago
  • JUDY106
    Enjoyed reading your blog. I am so glad we don't have to work as hard as we did when we were kids and our mothers had to work even harder. It is nice to think of the heart warming memories but don't want the back breaking chores back. (LOL)
    1849 days ago
    yes they were the good old days i remember them well emoticon emoticon
    1849 days ago
    I grew up in town but I can remember one house we lived in had a large backlyard. My dad made a garden at the back so we could plant vegetables that my mom would can. We had a Bendix washer installed just off the kitchen and when they put it in they had to bolt it to the floor. It was so neat to watch it go round and round with the clothes tumbling inside. I didn't know it then, but we were watching something that would be around even now. Although they are now called 'High Efficiency' washers.

    I enjoyed my life as a child in the city as much as as I did when we lived in the country. I think a lot depends on your family's attitude toward life in general. Mine was pretty upbeat. Always see the good not the bad. emoticon
    1849 days ago
  • LIS193
    Thank you for sharing your lovely memories with us!
    1849 days ago
    Sure enjoyed reading about the good old days. I have G K s who have a hard time believing all my stories. I was born in 1938 and the electricity lines were strung in the early 30s in our farm area. Didn't get running water until 1952. Still remember the first time I turned that faucet on and the water came out! Us kids all helped every Monday with the warsh, that's how we always pronounced it. Did ironing, killed our chickens and plucked the feathers, still remember that awfel smell, and when some older killed and helped butcher our own beef and pork. Always had a big garden and when my brother and I would start fighting Mom would send us to the garden with hoe. We were very poor in $ but always had much to eat. Neighbors visited, helped each other, always attended church, Sat. Night bath, had to smell good for church . Oh what memories! Sure glad you posted. Skeeter emoticon
    1850 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/23/2013 5:34:37 PM
  • DALID414
    I may not be old enough to remember the Good Ole Days, but everything you described reminds me of my childhood experiences when visiting relatives in Mexico! I loved being able to roam free ALL day long. We'd return home when we got hungry, ate, then back to roaming! Great times, thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    1850 days ago
    Wonderful to read about your sweet memories. I too was raised on a farm but we did have the modern amenities of the 1960's.
    1850 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/23/2013 4:21:13 PM
  • BERRY4
    I don't quite remember the "no electricity" or "no running water". I do remember my great aunt had an outdoor hand pump for water! And we live on a small farm now.

    An "old-timer" told me once when my firstborn was @ 2yrs old, that my kids were blessed in ways I had not a clue! He said they would learn things that today's young people have very little (no) access to know about. And I believe he was right!

    That 2 yr old is just now 20. He is paying his way to a local Univ. & working part time. Just yesterday he presented a "solution" to his employers and they "bought" it and will pay him to set it up for their company. -- I really do think that his experiences bring him to a place that not too many other kids in our acquaintance have any clue about.

    My kids have had to work and earn their way. For the "extras" they wanted, they worked on the farm in our u-pick operation. They have learned to work with customers and learned the value of the $. In many ways, they have a foundation for success in life because of the farm!
    1850 days ago
  • -VIXEN-
    What an amazing picture you painted with your words. I totally enjoyed your trip down memory lane. :)
    1850 days ago
    I remember those washing machines, or very similar when I was first married 40 years ago this August. We did have electricity but my first washing machine had to be filled with buckets of water from the tap, then it was heated by a gas ring below the tub. When it was hot enough the soap suds and washing went in and it was rotated by electricity. I then switched it off and fed the soapy clothes through the mangle on the top, turned by hand. While the next load went in I rinsed the first load ready for the mangle to be free. I couldn't mangle the rinsed clothes until all the dirty washing loads had gone through. It used to take most of Monday morning. I must say I prefer my current one! but maybe it is one of the reasons I was slimmer in those days. emoticon
    1850 days ago
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