Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wild Child

  See this little girl?  Doesn't she look demure, ladylike and sweet?  Crooked bangs that her mother  cut.  Curls done with hard rollers she had to wear to bed.  A red taffeta dress with lace at the neck with a black ribbon round her neck.  Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  Never in trouble, straight A student.  Okay, some of the things I wrote are true.  I'll let you decide which ones.

  Suffice it to say, growing up with brothers and an older sister who acted like your second mother  and living on a farm and being the second to the last of six children makes one creative, resourceful and shall I say sneaky at times?    I roamed our small farm without anyone telling me where I could or couldn't go.  I think my mother was getting tired of raising kids and was glad to get me out of the house at times.  That was alright with me.  I loved playing in our big red barn that use to be a tomato factory.  There were always baby animals, calves, pigs and kittens to play with.  I collected eggs, fed the calves with the milk bucket with a nipple on it, layed in the swing on the front porch rocking back and forth while I read all afternoon. 

  Sometimes Mom would ask me to help her set the table or do the dishes or iron some clothes or bake a cake, but most of the time I got to stay outside and play.  We had a rabbit house where my brother raised hundreds of rabbits so there were always baby bunnies.  I loved going in there and looking for the tiny rabbits nestled in the fur bed the mother rabbit had made in the hutch.  My brother raised them for meat so we didn't make pets of them. 

  There was always something happening on the farm whether it was planting, harvesting, milking the cows, feeding the hundred chickens Daddy kept for eggs and meat, watching Daddy chop off the heads of the chickens we ate. I'm sorry I threw that in, just wanted to know if you were paying attention.   I knew how to defeather a chicken with the best of them and when I got older I learned how to dress a chicken and no, they don't look good in pink. 

   Because I grew up with brothers, I was quite the tomboy.  I wanted to do everything they did.  When they played basketball in the haymow, I wanted to join in.  When they went on hikes, I wanted to go with them.   I will have to tell you about one of our hikes one day that ended up with a walnut fight in an old log cabin.  Two of my brothers played basketball so I wanted to play basketball too.  I practiced free throws in the haymow until I could hit one hundred of them without missing.

   Growing up on an Indiana farm in the 50's and 60's was an ideal way to grow up to my mind.  That little girl in the picture above has lots of memories to tell.   Bye.


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