The visit

August 7, 2018

Had another visit with Dad this morning and it was a good one.
He had just gotten up when I got there so when the caregiver
asked if I could take a look at his shower seat and fix it, we
did. Ended up a suction cup on one end came out and see couldn’t
get it back on. He’s ready for a shower now.

That done we talked of past jobs and some of the cars we had
and what we liked about them. I was surprised to learn he worked
at the same flour mill that I did, just a few decades apart. He
left because he found a better job and I left after the mill
blew up. I was taking a day off when the mill blew but it was
never rebuilt.

We talked of him driving truck for one oil company and my
building depots at other. And we talked of all the cars I
bought and sold during my younger years. It didn’t seem long but
when I looked up a couple of hours had gone by and we both had big
smiles on our faces.

He asked when we were leaving on vacation and where we’d be
heading this time. Since our youngest and his family moved to
Oklahoma we’ll swing by there and see where end up. Who knows?
After all the compass points in all directions. An added bonus
is it started raining so I can’t mow the yard and we have no
idea what’s on the agenda.

I do know we’ll stop someplace so I can grab a cheeseburger and
the wife can have her healthier alternative. So enjoy our first
Monday of the week as I know we will. Now I need some coffee
before I have coffee with my cheeseburger.
Comments are always welcome.

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Back in the day…

July 18, 2018

Had a great visit with Dad yesterday and we talked almost the
entire time of things that happened on the farm. Some before my
time, some I remember, and some I heard for the first time.

Of course the Great American Heat Wave of 1936 came up, which
is when the average temperature in Iowa was 108 degrees in July,
and set a record that stands today. It was even hotter than 2016
when the gloom and doom crowd cried ‘Global Warming’.

It was also the year the first tractor arrived on the farm as
the horses wouldn’t work in the daytime heat and all work that
involved the horses had to be done at night when regular folk
would be sleeping on their porches. They slept on the porch
because it was cooler than the house.

Then the winter of the same year came up when Iowa set the
all-time snowfall record of 42.9 inches and the average
temperature for the entire winter was 12.6 degrees and this
combination left over 100,000 Iowa farms isolated for seven
weeks.

We talked of the horse-drawn manure spreader that sat by the
barn and how us kids used to get in so much trouble playing on
the old machinery. My sister attracted a bull that got loose
while wearing her red sweater and I got stung by a nest full of
hornets that was hidden on the spreader. Until I found it.

We ended up with barns. Ours was red and Dad’s caregiver said
the farm she grew up had a white barn. And the memories of
painting the old barn came flooding back. For our red barn a
mixture of linseed oil and rust, mixed to perfection, ended with
a perfect red color.

Way back when there weren’t many paint choices and paint was
too expensive. I ventured that the white barn was painted with
a mixture of the linseed oil and lime. When home I checked and
it was milk and lime added to the linseed oil used to make the
white.

When paint became more available, and cheaper, many farmers
would choose red paint to honor the tradition. Don’t know if
paints back then sealed as good as the linseed oil and don’t
care enough to research it.

So our stroll down memory lane was actually walking the rows,
but we all had smiles on our faces when it ended. Enjoy our
Wednesday as it’ll be about a week before we get another.
Comments are always welcome.


Fond memories

June 19, 2018

The picture above is of the gift we got Dad for Father’s Day.
When he saw it we began a walk down Memory Lane that meandered
through 220 acres of the old farm. And it was quite a walk.

We talked of how much different things were back then with no
running water or plumbing in the house, a 60 foot walk to some
water from the well, and the upright piano in the parlor. Of
course a trip to the outhouse was about the same distance in the
other direction.

The down mattresses and feather pillows, the Hoosier cabinet,
the mudroom, and the big pantry were also talked about along
with the willow tree where we cut off a switch to get whooped
with when we misbehaved. And how the house was hot in the
summer and cold in the winter.

A crick (creek) wandered diagonally through the farm and we
even had a wooden bridge so tractors and other vehicles could
reach the other half of the farm on the south side of said
crick. The barn, the pig pen, chicken coop, and stable for the
horses, even the machinery shed which held the tools of the
trade.

Of course that took us to the John Deere Model A which Dad
claims had the power of a 4-cylinder and a distinctive pop. That
thing would idle so low us kids would swear it was going to just
up and die. It never did. Some today can’t imagine living like
that yet to us it was our little slice of Heaven here on Earth.

Enjoy our Tuesday as here on the east coast of Iowa we have a
few cool days ahead. Now I need some coffee to keep this smile
on my face.
Comments are always welcome.


Looking back

March 21, 2018

A friend who I’ve known for almost 50 years called today and we
took a stroll down Memory Lane. Talk of things we’ve done and
things we wish we had. And a whole lot of bench racing went into
the mix also. It was a nice visit but we knew it had to end and
we had to come back to the 21st century.

Before we entered reality again we were stunned at the sheer
number of cars and trucks both of us have owned in theses 50
years since we started driving legally. He always brings up my
Model A and Impala SS and I fondly remember his 46′ Ford Coupe.

Looking back I honestly don’t remember it being a slower pace
as we’d get together after work and wrench on each others rides
until the neighbors complained, lay down for a few hours sleep
and go back to work the next day to afford the go fast parts. I
do remember stores closing before it got dark out and not being
open at all on Sunday.

This was before computers, FM radio, and putting something
together with a store-bought kit. Telephones had dials and we
were told children were to be seen and not heard. If we did
something wrong we got a whooping and going to church was not
an option.

Even with all that we managed to survive and get old enough to
collect Social Security. So enjoy our Wednesday and remember,
we’re not old we’re classics. Now this classic needs more
coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Post Christmas thoughts

December 26, 2017

I know this post is late, but it’s a beautiful day and I’ve
been outside enjoying it. White fluffy love from above covers
the landscape and the temperature just hit a balmy 5 degrees.
The only downside is I have a song stuck in my head.

I’ll try the ‘Happy Birthday’ trick and that should fix the fly
in the ointment. We hope your Christmas was a special as ours
turned out to be and we heard at some stores the Valentine’s
Day displays are up. But we still have the spirit.

We even took a trip down memory lane to past winters and the
things we did in our youth. My stroll involved ice skating for
miles on frozen cricks (creeks to the city folk), and sledding
down the steep hills in the area. One particularly snowy winter
we even built and igloo in the back yard and spent hours inside
amazed that it didn’t crumble down on us.

The lady who follows me around still calls me crazy, but who
doesn’t go outside when the wind chill is below zero to take
pictures of icecicles dangling from the eaves? If that makes me
crazy I thank God he’s allowed to be me. And Him and myself
have no problem with that.

I just don’t see the sense in trying to be someone I’m not. So
enjoy our first post Christmas Tuesday as I know we are. Now, I
need more coffee as I am a quart low.
Comments are always welcome.


Looking back

July 23, 2017

Since it’s Sunday lets take a stroll down memory lane to a time
when things were simpler and morals were etched in stone. When
we were just wee little ones the family would always take a
Sunday drive after church.

The old 48′ Chevy would kick up dust on the gravel roads while
the folks talked with myself sitting on my mother’s lap. Oh my
God! Today they would be in prison. No seat belts, to child’s
seat, no air conditioning. That’s child abuse.

If you remember these rides you remember being dressed in your
Sunday finest, even as a toddler. These outfits even included a
hat and in the summer heat with all the dust could become quite
uncomfortable. So I’m told I’d take mine off and somehow manage
to toss it out the window.

Dad would stop the car, back up, and get out to find the hat
as Mom would scold me for losing the hat. After a few episodes
of this the hat was removed when I got in the car so I couldn’t
throw it out.

Then one Sunday I was put in a hammock that stretched from
window to window over the back seat and gently swayed as Dad
navigated the bumpy gravel roads. I would not recommend trying
that today. When the ride was over our treat was home made ice
cream after washing our face and hands at the well pump. And
everyone would drink out of the same tin cup that hung on the
pump!

Back at the farmhouse we’d change back into our work clothes
and gather in the parlor. Entertainment was an upright piano
if anyone there at the time knew how to play. If not it was
stories or Canasta until supper. And back then we ate supper as
a family. A good excuse was needed to miss supper and an even
better one to skip church.

After supper someone had to do the dishes and since the old
farmhouse didn’t have running water that meant another trip to
the well. Some water was then heated on the stove and poured
into a galvanized tub. When the last dish was dried the chore
wasn’t finished until to pan full of dirty soapy water was taken
outside, emptied, and rinsed off at the well and brought back
in.

There was no internet and the crank telephone was a party line.
No air conditioning meant looking for shade until things cooled
off after sunset. It was a different time that some would say
was a hard life. But we survived. And when we reflect upon these
times it brings a smile to our face.

Enjoy our Sunday as tomorrow some go back to work.
Comments are always welcome.


Sometimes I wonder

May 11, 2017

We stopped over to visit Dad while nurses, doctors, and others
came in to do what they do. It seems a mystery to hospital
staff why Dad hasn’t regained the use of his right arm yet. Tests
and scans have been done and studied that tell them what is not
the problem.

And I thought of an incident years ago in a country doctors
office that was in a town of about 100 people. My brother and
I were playing in the hayloft and I ended up with a pitchfork
all the way through my foot. He ran and got Dad while I held
the pitchfork and waited.

Dad climbed up to the loft, carried me to the car and then
into the doctors office with the pitchfork stuck. The first
thing the doctor said was “that doesn’t belong there”. Then
he felt around my foot, asked if any of the prodding hurt, and
handed me a thick leather strop.

The strop went between my teeth, the doctor pulled the
pitchfork out, cleaned the wound good, bandaged me up, and
told me stay off it for about a month. Today I wonder. Would
the doctor have to notify the police for possible abuse?
Surely a CAT scan and ultrasound or some such tests would be
ordered.

A surgeon would remove the implement before another doctor
would treat the wound, then surely an orthopedic specialist
called. I know it’s called progress but many a day I think
there was nothing wrong with that leather strop.

So enjoy our Thursday and if you’re looking for something to
celebrate, Minnesota became a state on this date in 1858. Now
I end this to seek a few tacos for nourishment.
Comments are always welcome.