Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Monday when it rained we hung out in Mesa, and stopped over at my parents for awhile. My mom is reading a memoir by a man who grew up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota, not far from where she grew up. At one point she asked me: "What do you remember about the old farm house?" (It has been torn down for many years.) So, because Mom asked, this is what I remember:

  • grandma's huge strawberry patch, the biggest part of her large garden

  • fresh tomato juice served in the colorful rooster pitcher, when we had breakfast in the dining room

  • grandpa coming up from the basement. he was the only one who ever went down there, as far as I know

  • the way you had to take a step up from the kitchen into the dining room.

  • the slanted roof on the kitchen (actually, I think the floor was kind of slanted too).

  • taking baths in the kitchen sink

  • grandma's upright piano in the living room

  • the "girl's bedroom" upstairs, with the dressing table and walk-in closet

  • when the phone rang, and grandma would say "it's not our ring." How strange!

  • my aunt telling me scary stories one Christmas Eve at bedtime, so I would not get up in the middle of the night and look around for presents

  • the front porch

  • the doll carriage I found, and the kittens I gave rides in it

  • the time we drove down Highway 71 and went right past the farm! My grandparents had moved into town. My aunt and uncle now lived in the farmhouse. I was six years old, and it was a traumatic experience.
Then my mom offered a few memories: taking baths on Saturday night (that's right, once a week); her mom canning preserves and tomatoes; no indoor plumbing (they did not have the toilet and shower in the basement until she was in high school). I hope she writes a memoir. I would like to know more about what it was like to grow up on a farm in the 1930s and 40s.

I always used to say to my mom when I was a little girl: "I wish we could live on the farm!" I loved to visit so much. She replied, "You don't have any idea what you are asking." Now, I think, I would like to know.


Rowan The Dog said...

Hi Diane, I am just checking in and getting caught up on your posts. Sounds like a great week. I am so happy for you.

Barbara B. said...

Were you heading out to the wheat fields on that tractor? :)
Great picture!

Diane said...

I think it was corn

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

oh the ladies in boonieville could tell you of the days when they were first married in the early 30's and sold a dozen eggs for 6 cents! and how when times got tought they'd go to the fields & collect cow pies & corn cobs to burn in their stoves for heat...

all the stories would be a terrific read!

dust bunny said...

Great picture.....good memories, too.

Grendel said...

Hi, Diane,

I Want To Live on the Farm. Can I? Huh?

I Like John Denver.

Robert Rouse said...

I grew up on a farm. In my opinion, every child should grow up on a farm. I had the world as my playhouse. There were acres and acres of open space for flying kites - with not a single telephone line or tree in the way. There were haylofts and swing ropes. Nice cool ponds for a quick dip in the summer and frozen ponds for skating in the winter. We had apple trees, pear trees and cherry trees. Vegetable garden, strawberry patches, grape vines all around. There was the chicken coop where one of my chores was to gather the eggs from the nests. I recall my grandmother churning butter and using that fancy pasteurizer for the fresh milk.

It was a much different time. Our church would hold the annual Easter egg hunt at our place. I could leave the house at 7AM during the summer and not return home until time for dinner - or supper as we called it back then. No one ever worried about me. I miss those days terribly.

Jiff said...

You remember a lot!
How wonderful!
Thanks for sharing!!!

Diane said...

robert - I LOVED your memories. sometimes I think that too. but, farms are disappearing, which is another post.

FranIAm said...

What a lovely post. I of course, grew up in an urban suburb of NYC and in an apartment. So I love the thought of growing up on a farm.

David said...

when I was a kid we had several relatives who had farms. I loved visiting those folks. There was always so much to do.