Thursday, February 16, 2012

Confession Time: I'm Addicted a blog called Diary of a Gold Digger.

I stumbed across it, very much by accident, while reading another blog to which I had become addicted.

It tells the tale of a woman, who finds the perfect mate with not-so-perfect parents. From time to time she shares snippets of her youth. It is with these posts that I relate the most. She is apparently very close to my age, because some of the stories she shares remind me of my own childhood in Alabama.

Today's post she talks about finding kittens in the hay shed at her grandparents farm. This could be a story from my own life! With the notable exception of her granparents' farm being a dairy farm and my grandparents' farm being a poultry farm, nearly all other details seem the same! Right down to the Hee-Haw overall shorts.

(me in the green, obviously, and Brother in the blue)

My brother and I spent each summer at my grandparents' farm in rural Alabama. We spent those days fishing, tending the cattle, chasing the baby chicks and frolicking in the shavings shed. (The hay barn was off limits.) There was Ole Mama Cat and she kept us in a seemingly never ending supply of kittens that would all grow up and run off. She'd give birth in the hay barn and before long there'd be kittens crawling all in the hay. Despite our best efforts, very few would be tame enough to catch. Those that we did catch, would later come tumbling out, looking to be petted and fed.

We had a duck take up residence in the shavings shed once. She had 12 ducklings and didn't take kindly to meddling children.

Have you ever been bitten by a duck?

They may not have teeth, but it hurts just the same.

She stayed on the next year, and laid several more eggs. My grandfather didn't really care for the duck, but he demonstrated that he was more than tolerable of her (or maybe less tolerable of the tortured cries of his granddaughter) when a snake invaded her nest and attempted to eat one of her eggs.

I learned early on that chickens were for eating and they didn't last very long off the farm. Each year I'd beg for a chick to carry home with me and each year, I'd be disappointed as my chick would become lonely and sick. I'd either return it to the flock or bury it in the flower garden.

When I was little, my grandparents had 3 garden plots. As time went on, they could no longer tend a garden, and I missed the steady supply of fresh produce that was once so abundant , I took it for granted.

The one behind the hay barn where my grandfather only grew corn. Rows and rows of corn, with a long post in the middle that my grandfather hung the body of a crow. Believe it or not, nothing is a better scarecrow than the body of one of their fallen brethren.

A large garden, down by the road. My grandfather turned chicken manure into the soil every winter. It yeilded the best produce for miles around. The most memorable was the cabbage heads as big as basketballs. Even today, long after my grandfather is gone, that land has the lushest, greenest grass.

A smaller garden by the "little house," my grandmother's term for the two room cinderblock building. They would retreat to it between chores and used it to stay the night when they caught chickens. It had a couch with a tv, a stove and fridge, a table for 4, a bed and a bathroom.

We'd go out to "find the cows" every day. My grandfather would count them and then go find any that were missing. Every spring there was a new herd of calves that would run and jump and kick up their hooves. We'd sell them off the following spring as yearlings, but there were always new calves to take their place. The never ending circle of life.

There was a pond on one side of the property and we'd spend the end of each day with a line in the water. I have many pictures of the crappie that we'd catch. The kids up and down the road would climb the fence and try to fish that pond and my grandfather would run them off. On weekends in the winter, my grandfather would take us dove hunting underneath a grove of trees. There we learned to be patient and still.

Like the "Gold Digger," some of my best memories growing up were on that farm. I hate that my children have never known that simple, easy-going childhood.


On a related note, here is this year's Valentine's gift from Darling Hubby.
He loves me so =)
I especially love the lion!

1 comment:

Class factotum said...

Yes! Those are the overalls! Only mine were blue! I guess they were a big seller in the early 70s. I'm guessing they came from Sears, as that's where most of my clothes came from.

Don't you feel so sorry for kids who don't have farmer grandparents? I have so many good memories of my time on the farm.

PS I am 48.