Quirks of farm families of years ago. [Christian Talk.]

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

How many have heard of "sweepin the yard" of long ago days? By takin an ordinary kitchen broom and actually sweepin the yard. This is done only on the yard thats bare and devoid of any grass or flowers. Just plain ole dirt that has turned to dust==from the bazillion [more or less] footsteps of farm kids playin in the yard. By sweepin the dust and loose dirt into piles and removin that dust and dirt somewhere else. Usually a hole was available to move the dirt into that would hold it. Beneficial in two ways--first the dirt was outta the way from the yard and second--it filled up a hole that was a plague to all who tripped or turned an ankle while slidin through it.

When the dirt piles were rather large and all the dust and dirt was stacked into those piles-- a scoop shove was used to move the dirt. The old bare, hard packed yard was slicker'n a babys butt. Why ya'll could even square dance in that now clean yard without fear of gettin you'rn shoes full of dirt!

Don't spose the young whippersnappers and city folks have ever heard of this common practice of long ago farmsteads. It may've been kinda odd but it was done just the same! Makin apple cider and sour kraut was also considered a "normal" farmstead chore with lasting effects. Seemed that cider that had turned "hard" was really sought after by yound boys who just wanted to get a cheap "buzz" without resorting to "store bought" booze. Elderberry wine, grape wine and even dandey-lion wine were also considered to be worthy of consumption by young farm boys. Heck anything and everything that was capable of fermentin was fair game.

Sourdock, grape vine and corn silks made just purty good "smokins" too. Cheap and plentiful as was the [brown grocery bags] paper used to roll'm with or the homemade cob pipes to smok'm in.

Now, for all the city folks who thought we were just dumb ole country hicks---well maybe we were and are. When was the last time ya'll ever brought home a motherless baby coon or squirrel and raised'm up to be one of the family? Even if that family was sweepin yards, smokin cornsilks and drinkin homemade wine---with a KICK!

Treat ya'lls neighbor well. Could be that shortly ya'll jest mite need some help from'm.

"I would that thou wert either hot or cold-but because thou art lukewarm I will spew the out of my mouth"! --Jesus Christ.

ole hoot. Matt.24:44

-- hoot (hoot@pcinetwork.com), July 05, 2001


Along with the motherless coons and squirrels, how about a skunk? When the last-born of the Gibson family (his nickname was Wokus because "he's woke us every night since he was born") was about 4 years old we acquired a young skunk whose mother had been killed by dogs. Little Joe Sapp was really tame. Dad didn't approve of descenting him, in case he ever decided to live like a normal skunk. Little Joe Sapp often went to the big town of Noble with his family. Frank--er, Wokus-- would walk into the general store with that skunk sitting on his head. You should have seen the people scatter! He never threw scent as long as we had him. Of course, when he started backing up and stomping his front feet, someone would quickly pick him up by the tail so his feet were unable to touch anything. We had heard that a skunk can't throw scent if his feet aren't touching the ground or other solid object. By the spring when he was a year old, he began staying away for a day or so, gradually lengthing his away time and decreasing his time with us. He stayed outside, unless Frank brought him in for awhile. In late spring he finally left for good, perhaps for a family of his own. I have often thought of Little Joe Sapp during the 50 years since I knew him. Frank has been gone for 1970, my dad since 1983, and two other brothers drowned in 1957, another brother's wife died 10 years ago. Our big old hillbilly family has been reduced to an ancient mother (88) now living in town, four aging brothers and me. Eldest is almost 71, Hoot is the youngest. The old farmstead looks nothing like it did when we were growing up, all the outbuildings, the old farmhouse, most of the fencerows are gone, and the deep well with cold sweet water was ruined by nearby oil wells. Time marches on, the old time hillbilly large families are a thing of the past, swallowed by mega farms that only a rich man (or corporation) can own. I know we can't live in the past and I don't want to, but I surely do appreciate the way we were raised and the many, many memories. I think the old gospel song "Precious Memories" about sums it up. When I get to Glory, the old farm won't be there, but I KNOW Pappy, Joe, Bert, Wokus and Eloise and countless others will be there to welcome me Home! Thanks for bearing with me--those who read through--guess I just got a little homesick for awhile and had to share some of the good times. God's blessings!

-- ruth in seIllinois (bobtravous@email.com), July 06, 2001.

Thanks, Hoot. I'm new here, but sure enjoy your posts! Keep them comin'. Jenny

-- Jenny (homeschoolinmama@yahoo.com), July 10, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ