When I was a child and would visit Grandpa and Grandma on their farm, we'd have fun, but I noticed that while we were having fun, the farm work they had to do got done. We would pick green beans, gather pears, or hunt the cows that had calves.
Times don't change very much. Our granddaughter, whose teacher teaches phonics and urges creativity instead of spelling, wrote the following story for her second-grade English assignment:
"Yestur day I stad with grampa and gramma on their farm. They said they had work to do but I could help.
"I helpd them burn a naro strip of ded grass around ther garden. The cat and us checkd the big bales of hay for mise. We plantd flower bubbs and unyun sets. We cleand grammas utilaty room and grampas tak shed. Grampa has lots of sadles, sadIe blankets, bri¬dles, halters, and even spurs. We tore down ther old bruder house bekase they don't raise chickens any more. We walkd to the spring at the back side of thar place and cleand the sand and junk out of it so it'd run clean. We pickd up cans and trash that drivrs had throne out on the rode. We made yest bred and I got to help need the dow, but gramma made me wash my hands real good first.
Gramma used her pinking shears and cut me a bandana from materiel I chose out of her scrap box. She told me about when daddy was a boy and what he ust to do. We fed the horse and all the caves. Gramma calls them baby darlins. We cookd grampa ham and beens for dinner and we had winter unyuns out of his garden and the bread I helpd make. It was a good dinner and I helpd fix it. We checkd out grampas trees in the orcherd. Grampa will have pears, apples, cheries, and peachs this summer. We pulld grass in grammas irus beds and she let me take one home to plant. I like to go to grampa and grammas howse."
And the cycle goes on, each generation teaching the next how to find fun in working, enjoying each other and still getting done what needs doing.
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.