Updated: May 6, 2021
Didn't everybody have a barn to hang out in? Didn't everybody enjoy good home cooking? Didn't everybody have cows for friends? Didn't everybody have an outhouse nearby? Didn't everybody grow their own food and make their own soap?
It's obvious, of course, the answer is no. In the days of youth though, we tend to assume everyone lives a similar lifestyle and upbringing. What we experience doesn't seem unusual at all. Of course, I knew not everyone lived on a farm. It just didn't occur to me that there were people out there who had no idea what the experience was like. Even so, it has never been far from me that I am so blessed to have had the upbringing that I did, with the family I have, in the place I call home. In a lot of ways, it was similar to the Hamner family (TVs Walton's) only a few decades later.
A Morning In The Life
My earliest memories was before I started school. Day in, day out, it began at my Grandparent's house about 5 am. My Mom would drop me off though I am still not sure exactly how I got here, whether she carried me up the hill or drove up the driveway and brought me in before she headed to work. No doubt I was still asleep. At any rate, I wasn't asleep for long because work starts early on the farm. My Gran would rise first and start the scratch (cat head) biscuits. *Triangle shaped biscuits about the size of a cat's head. Straight away, in came my Aunt to tend to the next chore of the day, milking the cows.
"Don't stand behind her, she kicks"
Nowadays we have only beef cows but back in the day we also had a couple of dairy cows. One was young and feisty, she was a kicker. The other was an older gentler cow, I favored her. I loved tagging along with my Aunt, she was always doing something exciting and never seemed to mind having me around. We'd grab the milk bucket and head to the barn. I'd sit on her lap as she would try to instruct me on the art of milking, grab one of the teats and squeeze and roll until the milk came out. I never quite mastered it though. We didn't keep milk cows long enough for me to take in much practice.
Promptly, without fail, the roosters announce the sun coming up. We'd carry the milk inside and Gran would get a white cloth and strain it. She had set out a large jar of milk earlier from the fridge and once it was at room temperature, she would dip out the cream. Then I would be kept busy churning it into butter and she would put that in a wooden butter press which made a flower on the top and wrap it in paper. She would sell milk, butter and eggs to our local friends and family that would pop in throughout the day. The milk buyers would drop off a large empty milk can and pick up a full one.
With all that done, we'd finally sit down to breakfast. Our plates would be full of homemade molasses to sop our biscuits in. Papaw would have his bowl full of coffee that he'd drink from. I'd help Gran clear the table and clean the dishes. Papaw would head out to slop the hogs and to work the fields and my Aunt would head off to work. Me and Gran would go gather the eggs and feed the chickens. What a way to start the day and I wouldn't trade the memories of those days for anything else in the world.
Thanks for reading. Have a blessed day.