Rainbow Ridge News

If you look around the neighborhood, you will see where some yards are full of leaves waiting for the most of them to fall before being raked or blown off. We have some who bag the leaves and others who use the mower to break them up for light mulch. Dan Stillings worked on the leaves at the church, Saturday and then got out Monday and ran the mower over leaves in the back yard at our house.

When I got home Monday morning after my fitness workout, I did some cleaning in the flowerbeds in front of the house. It was the perfect day for such activity. Just cool enough to make working outside comfortable. It reminded me of how we liked to have days like this (cool, dry, sunny, and not windy) back sixty years ago when I would work outside with the family picking corn, picking up walnuts, or helping bring in fire wood. A lot of this work was done in the evening after school and on Saturdays.

There were always lots of regular chores on the farm. When we got off the school bus this time of the year, we had to hurry to get things done before it got dark. Each of us had our jobs and took turns on some of them. One of those jobs was to feed and water the chickens, gather the eggs, and bring them to the house to the basement where we put the eggs into egg cases. We first had to draw some water and carry that to the chicken house. We kept fresh water in waterers in the chicken house all winter and some in the chicken yard at other times. Feeding the chickens meant going to the corncrib and getting some ears of corn that I would run through a corn sheller.  We also had bags of chicken feed in the old brooder house. We always kept feed in the chicken feeders, because even though the chickens could scratch around for bugs and things, that was not enough. The eggs were often sold at a grocery store. There would be enough to pay for the chicken feed and what was left was traded out in groceries. If we did not get many eggs there was not much money for groceries. We always had canned goods in the basement, but we needed to buy sugar, salt, flour, baking powder, yeast, lard, etc., and laundry products.

Another chore that was sort of fun was to go after cows. That is, it was fun on nice dry days, but no fun at all when it was really cold or raining. You always hoped that the cows would be at the gate when you went to the barn and most often they were, but if it was raining it seemed that the cows would get under some tree as far as possible from the barn. But on the nice cool days you might pick some persimmons to eat on. They were good after a frost. I would always take our dog, Fido, with me to get the cows. All you had to do, when you found the cows, was to send him around them and he would bring them in.

Not so much fun was carrying buckets of water from the well at the house to the barn. You had to have a lot of water. For one thing you had to wash the udders of the cows before milking. Then afterward everything had to be washed. This was okay on nice warm days, but was bad in the winter. We did not heat the milk barn, although with twenty or more cows in it at a time they gave off enough heat to make it bearable.