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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

SPRINGTIME MEMORIES ON THE FAMILY FARM

by
Laurean Brooks



As a child growing up in the country, I have many fond memories of the days my siblings and I spent exploring the woods and wading streams. I especially have sweet remembrances of the pets we made out of farm animals. 



When I was seven, I doted on a neighbor's half-grown Guernsey calf and named her Dusty, while my sister made a pet out of their Holstein bull she called Cloud.




In tears, we soon left Dusty and Cloud behind when Daddy bought a farm a few miles down the road. It was there our uncle brought us a half-dozen bantam chicks. I claimed a little red hen, Sandy, which I taught to jump on my shoulder to eat corn from my hand.




Besides two dogs of questionable heritage, we soon had a cow, a pony, chickens, and a pair of goats. My older brother bought two pigs to add to the mix. He named them, Porky and Ham. With each spring, came bursts of new life. While the fruit trees blossomed and the locust trees gave off their sweet fragrance, baby chicks pecked out of their shells to venture out into a new world protected by their clucking mother.




One spring while the baby chicks hopped around their Mama, a new addition to our farm animals made his appearance. “March” was the first goat born on our farm, and by far the cutest little creature I had ever seen. The little white goat and I immediately bonded. I claimed March as my own and named him for the month in which he arrived.


A fallen Catalpa tree in the barnyard became the perfect prop for us to compete for “King Of The Log.” I couldn't wait to come in from school to play our game. March and I spent countless hours winning and losing the crown.


I would climb up on the log and yell, “I'm the new king of the log!” My coronation lasted about five seconds before March butted me off with his surprisingly hard noggin. Before I could pick myself up, he sprang up on top of the log to announce himself as the victor of the coveted title. After a playful struggle, I regained the title. But only for a moment. March nudged me off the log again. So, the game continued.





Those childhood days have drifted farther from me with each subsequent sunrise and sunset, but I would be fibbing if I said I didn't yearn for those simpler times and special moments on the farm. Rural living is a busy life and the chores are never-ending, but greater are the rewards.

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19 comments:

  1. I know farming is hard work that never ends, but I believe that life is really good for children. I don't know about the childhood of all the blog members, but I do know Paty Jager and Jacquie Rogers are country girls, too.

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  2. Been on a farm for 54 years and would not change a thing!

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  3. Caroline, I believe if we had more children raised on farms, the number of folks on social programs would greatly decrease. There is something about learning hard work early, that instills a good work ethic. Working and caring for animals also nurtures parenting skills, I believe.

    A shout out to Caroline Clemmons, and our fellow blogger/country girls, Paty Jager and Jaquie Rogers. You go, Country Girls! I wonder how many more we have here. Let us know if you are one.

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  4. T Fordice, I agree. But, I would not be completely honest if I didn't admit (when I thought the work was too hard), that one day I was going to be a City Girl. Lol. By the time, I was out of high school, I was proud to call myself a Country Girl.

    A coworker jokingly told me of an incident when her nephew from the city came to visit their farm. The boy, about 12, wanted to ride their pony. After they helped him mount, he looked the horse over and asked, "Where's the handlebars?"

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  5. We bottle fed an orphan colt and also had a bunny. I barned tobacco, chopped soy beans, and picked cucumbers to be sold to a pickling plant. Great name for a blog!!

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    1. Hope Dougherty, we chopped corn rows and worked three gardens. Bottle feeding an orphan colt sounds like a fond memory. Thank you for commenting.

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  6. I grew up on what I considered a farm - a few cows - one was a milk cow, chickens, cats, dogs. I loved it. My husband, who grew up on a farm with LOTS of cows, hogs, and row crops, makes fun of my "farm heritage!" LOL! I wouldn't take anything for the experience! Loved your memories, and thanks for sharing them!

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    1. Regina Merrich, why does Todd make fun of your farm heritage? You are still a country girl, born and raised on a farm.

      Thank you for commenting.

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  7. Enjoyed the post. I grew up on a working dairy farm where summers were filled with sweet-smelling hay which had to be baled and stored in the barn's mows. It's hard work, but you get the best of the fresh open air and summer breezes, fields and streams to play in, and the songs of the birds in the trees. I miss it.

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    1. I miss it too, Judy Ann Davis. I open my windows when the weather permits, just to awake to the birds singing in the morning and the tree frogs chirping at night.

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  8. Fun post. I enjoyed spending part of my summer with my cousin on my grandparent's form. We loved playing hide and seek in the corn patch. They didn't have an indoor bathroom so we took our baths in a washtub in the barn. Lots of fun memories.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful memory, Ann Ellison. We took our baths in a washtub too, before we had indoor plumbing.

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  9. Enjoyed your post and the pictures! I love visiting my brother at the farm, but there is erratic cell signal, NO WiFi, internet, etc. so it takes some planning for me to get away to that kind of country for a few days. *LOL*

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  10. Joan Reeves, I know about the erratic cell signal. We have wireless internet, and must, oft as not, tramp out to the front porch to get a cell signal. But, for me it's well worth it. Thank you for dropping by to comment. I appreciate everyone.

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  11. Laurie what wonderful memories your post instilled in me. I have so many stories. Mom named our Holstein cows beginning with "R". Rosie was the leader and Mom went to milk her one morning and Rosie saw Mom's broken arm in a sling and she was so scared she ran to the back pasture. Mom had to wear a sweater over the sling until it came off. I still have some records of gallons of milk they gave. Thanks, Laurie for a great trip back to my childhood farm in the late forties and fifties. We had twenty-one acres.

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  12. Larry, it's strange that Rosie was scared my your Mom's broken arm. I wonder why. I'm glad you droped by to share your own memories of life on the farm. We had 20 acres. Almost the same as yours.

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  13. Beautiful memories, Laurie. Though I didn't grow up on a farm, I was a country girl and helped to do things I'd rather not -- such as, fertilizing the garden. When I asked Mom what that lump in my hand was and she said, "Horse manure," and she explained what "manure" was...well, I knew gardening wasn't for me!

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  14. Bwahahaha! Miss Mae, I learned early about manure. We shoveled out the chicken house and spread the stuff on the gardens.

    Thank you for stopping by to comment. It's always good to hear your take.

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