A Small Town Gal

Old Time Threshing

Mel BooneI don't think much about modern equipment. I mean, I'm pretty much surrounded by modern stuff all day, every day. Given enough time, what I use today will be replaced with something more modern.

At times I stop and think about how far we've all come. At some point, what is old was at one time the modern thing to use. I don't always think of that, especially when the item in question was new long before I was ever born.

At one time, farmers used horses to pull their wagons and farm equipment. Those same team of horses even powered the threshing machines. High tech at that time, it must have been far better that walking the fields and using hand tools and any other equipment at the time to thresh the wheat before the invention of a horse powered machine.

threshing with horses
Threshing with horses at the Western Illinois Old Threshers, Hamilton, IL. Photo by Mel Boone

Before long, those stationary threshing machines were being powered by a different type of horse power, the tractor. What a job to do with such a grand machine! I'm sure there a a few of the farmers out there that still remember horses pulling wagons of wheat to and from the thresher while the tractor or steam engine was supplying power the the  thresher.

No longer is the day of the threshing crews. No longer the horse, steam engine or tractor need to run the threshing machine. The combine has taken it's place along with it's air conditioned cab and GPS. Farming has come a long way.

My Handbag: It's Too Big

Mel BooneI'm admitting a sad fact today. I carry purse that is probably way too big and I think that I really do carry everything but the kitchen sink in it. Then again, maybe I do have the kitchen sink in it, if you count the bottle of Purell and eyeglass cleaner as sink worthy material.

I don't dare board an airplane with it. The purse may or may not qualify as check baggage. I'm afraid to set it on the scale to see how much the junk inside it weighs. I'm sure whatever that number is, it would scare a couple years off my life.

I should clean it out. You know, discard the junk that I just don't need to be carrying around with me and regulate what's left to a much smaller purse.  Of course I've been saying that for the last two months. As it stands, procrastination is sometimes my best friend and right now it keeps telling me to "just do it tomorrow."

large purse hanging from chair wall hook
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

I even have a paperback book in it. I carry it with me for the times when my step dad starts his long-winded Chatty Cathy routine with another person that is just as long winded. The book comes in handy providing 1) I can find it in my purse when I need it; and 2) my stepdad ends the conversation before I get done reading the book.

And so it goes with my life.

An Old Relic in the Modern World

Mel BooneOne thing about technology is that it keeps getting more modern every time you turn around. For every new gadget, there is a more modern one to take its place before you have time to blink. When I was a child, if you wanted to call someone, you used a landline phone. Then as a young adult, everyone just had to have a cordless phone  to talk on. Now, smartphones like the ones from Apple, Samsung, LG are all the rage. Even Google has a smart phone, right?

Our cars are no exception. We've gone from Stanley Steamer cars and Henry Ford's  "Tin Lizzies" to cars and SUV's that have touch screen control panels on the dash. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was hearing about Bluetooth and OnStar for the first time. I wonder what modern technology will be like should I live to be twice the age that I am now.

vintage car outside of shop
Photo by Mel Boone

With all the modern technology that we have now, I stood at a local auction site a few weeks ago and stood in awe as to what was there. What looked to be one of Henry Ford's "Tin Lizzies" has survived to see the 21st century. I don't know what year  it was made, but I'm guessing late teens or early twenties of the previous century. I wonder who bought it and where it is now. Whoever has it now, I hope he or she takes good care of the old car.

There's no luxury in that old car. Those who remember them when they were new may be few and far between now. I guess the old adage is true, they really don't make them like they used to.

Flowers in Bloom

Mel BooneIt's now May. Spring is here and flowers are blooming. I am so thrilled!

After such a long winter and now a wet spring, I find myself sad from watching all the flooding that is going on. So I try to take some comfort in going for walks with Jake and Buddy.  This is s the time of year when I find myself spending more time outside anyways and I try to enjoy every possible moment.

I love May. The flowers are starting to come up and bloom. Seeing the flowers grow and the birds singing really does put a smile on my face. It also brings back memories of both sets of grandparent and the various flowers and vegetables that they grew in their gardens. Ahh, to be a kid again, I wish I could go back in time!

Time travel isn't possible except in my own mind. So I keep replaying those memories and enjoying the beautiful flowers that I see dotting the landscape on my daily walks.

orange flowers blooming
Photo by Mel Boone

A Soft Spot For Strays

Mel BooneIf there's anything that I will be quick to admit to, the fact that I have a soft spot for stray animals will be the one that I will admit to first.  That's just the way I am. I can't help it.

There's not many stray dogs in the neighborhood, but there's always a stray cat or two that comes though every once in a while. It seems like there has always been a stray around where I live at some point for the 20 plus years where I currently live at. I've gotten to where I keep dry cat food on had all the time.

One stray cat show up, stays for a while and then leaves, not to be seen again. Before long, another one show up for a little while. It's like they've adopted a system that hobos used to have. An obscure mark left in an obscure place that means,"Nice lady lives here. Stop here for free cat food. Beware of the two terriers."

Some stray cats over the years have stayed for months on end. They literally became part of the family to the point that I had straw bedding in a pet carrier by the back door for one. A few more made the shed home making the seat and hood on my Massey Ferguson a bed along with the seat o the golf cart. I didn't mind. I figured if they were here then they were leaving any neighbors alone that were less than cat friendly. I was happy to see three of the cats laying by a neighbors back door several times. They had been feeding them too. I've even had two stray cats that got along with Jake and Buddy. Garfield and Buddy to daily walks with them. Another stray, Slick, enjoyed going for short rides in the van. When he got restless, I knew it was time to head back home.

stray cats on porch
Photo by Mel Boone

As it goes, the stray will leave and not come back. Once in a while, one will get hit by a car and somehow make it to my shed to die. It is unavoidable when you live next to a highway. I shed a tear for them, then grab a shovel and bury them in the back yard. I regret not making them a house cats, but I'm just doing good to live in a house where the owner lets me have the two dogs, no house cats permitted.

And so it goes. I guess I will forever be known as the crazy stray cat lady in the neighborhood.

Spring is Near

Mel BooneSpring is almost here. The grass in places is a little greener, and robins are everywhere! At any moment, I expect to see my tulips to start coming up.

After such a long winter, I am totally excited to see spring arrive. The days are starting to get longer now, and the temps outside are starting to rise. With that in mind, I'll be spending more time outdoors on my days off.

Jake and Buddy will be going on longer walks, too. They want to shake this cabin fever just as much as I do. Travels to area tractor shows will be planned. So that means the dogs will enjoy quite a few car rides in the SUV.

Before long, I will be digging in the dirt as I get ready to plant my garden. There's nothing better than enjoying the fruits and vegetables that I harvest from my garden every year. The produce tastes so much better to me than what I get from the store. That's just my opinion on that.

So as I look forward to the arrival of spring, I also keep others in my prayers. The long winter has some areas flooded right now, and the flood waters will soon arrive in other places in due time. So to those affected, I'll keep you in my prayers.


Photo by Getty Images/KaraGrubis.

Good Luck Charms

Mel BooneDo you have a good luck charm? I barely remember having a "rabbits foot" as a kid. I don't remember having any bad luck while I had it. Of course, I don't think I had any good luck either. It must not have been a very good rabbits foot, since I don't recall having it very long.

There seemed to be plenty of horse shoes around the farm when I was young. Of course, for several years, Mom had various quarter horses that she would ride, and since my grandparents had a farm, she saved money by not having to pay for boarding. A visit from the farrier always meant that there would be horse shoes, but I never got a chance to keep one to put on my wall for luck. However, the sight of one always brings back good memories for me of Dolly and Rusty.

I helped my stepdad in moving one of his friends years ago. What a stroke of luck for her to find not one, but two four leaf clovers in the front yard of her new home! I was and still am envious, and I'm still looking for my first one. For some reason, March seems to be the month that I try to look the hardest for that four leaf clover. I guess it's because I associate it with St. Patrick's Day. We all want a little luck of the Irish right? I'm lucky in a way perhaps, since a few of my ancestors came from Ireland. I've already got a little green in my blood!

All in all, I will always wish for a good luck charm. Do they really work? I don't know. Perhaps it's more of a state of mind. If you think positive, then perhaps luck is already with you.

Photo by Getty Images/AlexRaths.


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