Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Journey! Work and Water! 6

Tools were made and born
Were hands?
Every farmer understands."

                      William Blake

Franny loves her bottle.

  The summer came, and with it more work. I had planted a huge garden so I could can and preserve for the winter. Trying to keep up with the weeds was a never ending chore. It was very easy to plant the garden, so I may have gotten carried away. Lesson learned.
 M helped in the garden by pulling weeds, really pulling vegetables, but she usually ate them too. It was nice to see the garden grow, and was worth the effort in the end.

 We were still milking Mary the cow, also feeding, and watering, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and pail feeding a few calves .Every day twice a day.

Lots of pigs. Cute.

(Old photo) Turkeys.
  I had seen a cute calf at a sales barn, she was a Guernsey cross. Her big brown eyes made me want to take her home. Mindy was her name and I paid $5.00 for her (no one wanted her).
 Mary's extra milk helped her thrive. We still have offspring from Mindy. All her heifers had heifers. I still name all of them. M used to ride on her back when they both grew bigger. Mandy (her g.g.g.g. granddaughter) just had a heifer calf, five months back. I named her Wendy.
 I was always carrying water, two five gallon pails at a time. Being vertically challenged 4ft.11in. I would walk on my tip toes, so the pails would not drag on the ground. Pump the water, carry to the animals, and then start all over again. The pump was behind the house, so this made for quite a hike. My arms and shoulders still ache to this day.
 My Hero would carry some down at night, but he was now working 12 to 14 hour days off the farm. I tried to do as much work as I could. He was exhausted and so was I.
  Laundry was a wringer washer, and a gigantic wash tub for rinsing, requiring a lot of water. First I had to fill pails and boil the water on the stove, to get warm water.
 The machine was outside in the wood house, it was closer to the water and the clothes line. Carry water in then drain and carry it out after finished. So much work.

  I now love my front loader, and running water.

 The old stone well kept up with most of our water needs. All the animals used enormous amounts of water. Sometimes we would have to wait a few days, as the well went dry, and the water, needed to seep back in, from where ever it came. At these times we would have to pump water at our pump house. I found the gas water pump hard to start. The pull cord not helping my arms .Another extra step.
 M would always toddle behind me, learning the tools of the trade. She loved the farm.
 This all was going on during the week. When weekends came around, we would load M into the truck with wire, rails, pliers and lunch then, go fix fence for our ever expanding, herd of cattle.
 In late July My Hero started doing custom haying, to bring home more income. The same time we were trying to do our own hay. It was very hard to juggle all this extra work.
 M was left with different family members during haying, and other family members volunteered to help, taking some of the burden off.  It is nice to have a large family at these times. We are very grateful for all our families help over the years. Their help got us where we are today.
 I loved the summer, it was warm. It was a lot more work, but we survived.
I knew this nice weather was not going to last. Fall was coming and there was lots of wood to get, then the cold, cold winter would be back. The chores would still be the same. The house had not changed. The snow would probably still be on the bed.



  1. Wow, sounds kinda familiar; hubby working tons, hauling water, weeding garden, animals to feed while toddlers trail behind...but with the haying, the cows, fence building and that laundry setup - well thats over the top, whew! I'm enjoying your writing and pictures as well. Emily

  2. Despite all your hardship, you gave M a very happy and healthy childhood.
    I bet you are glad for your front loader!!

  3. Susan yes I am glad for all our machinery I wish we had it a little earlier. M is a great kid we are very happy she turned out so well after what we put her through. Thank you.

  4. What a wonderful way to grow up. I realize it was lots of very hard work but what a wonderful work ethic she must have learned from you and your husband and family. I think you need to write a book if you haven't already! :)


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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