I Remember When…

Being a young woman in the 50’s wasn’t an “equal” time.  Damn, I was devastated when I learned that I couldn’t pitch for the New York Yankees. I survived that disappointment and many more.   I tilted at some windmills and others I just accepted or worked around.

Life on the farm was hard in many ways, but in others it was fun.  I never understood that “woman’s work” was inside when I had to work outside too!

Yes, living in the country meant that you got up earlier to walk the proverbial mile to the school bus and then 8 long noisy bumpy miles to school.   Usually we arrived before the school was unlocked, which meant we stood around stomping our feet to stay warm.  It wasn’t so bad for the boys as they wore dungarees.  Since we were “ladies” we were not  allowed to wear dungarees.  After much protests we finally were allowed to wear pants to school, but had to take them off during classes.

All summer we worked in the garden, helped haying, and fed animals .  We had chickens and even though it was fun gathering eggs, the hens often took offense at us stealing their eggs and pecked us.

Our well was only about 30 0r 40 feet deep and was located about that far from the house. Every summer it ran dry.  We always had a bucket of water by the pump to prime it or you wouldn’t get water.  We kept a couple of metal milk cans to haul water for us and our animals, when the well went dry, we loaded the milk can in the back of the car off we went  to our back-up water source.  It was an artesian well not far from the house.  It was really just a hollowed out place in rock only about 3 or 4 feet deep.  It never went dry and the water was clean even though it had no cover over it.  We caught a small fish and every year dropped it in the well, as long as the fish was swimming we drank the water.  Doesn’t sound sanitary, but I am still alive.

This is a picture of me with two of those cans:

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That’s Mon and Dad priming the pump.  BTW the milk cans were empty.  I was strong, but not that strong.

There used to be a row of Maple trees across the road that every year we tapped for the syrup and cooked it to make Maple Syrup.  I can almost taste those big thick pancakes with fresh home churned butter and smothered in real Maple Syrup.  We did a lot of fishing on Moor pond in the background.  Bass and Pickerel in the summer and winter.

One summer I swam across the lake and back. My brothers were bragging about them swimming across it and I took the challenge and started my swim.  Mom was mad (and probably worried about me drowning) that I was swimming alone and she sent the boys after me with the boat and told them to make me swim back.  That was the one and only time I swam it.

I learned many things the hard way.

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