Missouri woman recounts summers spent playing in a little creek and picking black raspberries on her family farm
Although my sister and I were "town girls," we got to visit our aunt and uncle on their family farm for a week or two in the summertime. While there, we were allowed to play in the barn with new kittens or puppies and to gather eggs from the henhouse and barn.
There was a little creek in which to wade, so on a bright sunny day, we might take a picnic lunch, load up the old truck, and my sister and I would enjoy the cool water while our aunt and uncle fixed fences.
We girls had never tasted watercress, but one day we four gathered some near the edge of the creek. I didn't care for the taste of it, but the cool water felt good to my feet as I was picking it. We took the watercress back to the house for salads.
We were warned about the possibility of leeches, ugly little creatures that would suck our blood, so I was continually looking down in the clear water to see if I could see one before it latched onto me. I never saw one, though, for which I was very thankful.
On Saturday morning, we four would go into town to get groceries. One store sold bologna by the stick, so we would get a stick and then we'd have sandwiches when we got home. That night we would go to a movie in town. It cost only a dime for each person, whether they were a child or an adult. Before the main movie was shown, there was a serial, which ended in an exciting way to make a person want to return the following Saturday night and see more.
By the side of their garden, my aunt and uncle had black raspberries, and we enjoyed them as we picked them. Blackberries grew in the fields, which we also enjoyed. We thought there was nothing finer than berries heaped with sugar and lots of thick, creamy milk. We would watch as their many cows were moved into the barn and milked by hand. The waiting cats would catch a stream of milk, then drink from pans until their fat little tummies were full. We would go into the "separator house" where the milk and cream were separated by a machine. They sold cream in town in large cream cans, as well as eggs by the crates.
A huge rectangular concrete stock tank was used to water the cows. My sister and I enjoyed playing in the cool water. I'm sure we were not always clean, but the cows never complained about the "stirred-up" water.
Both my aunt and uncle are gone now, but my sister and I have many happy memories of fun on the farm.
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.
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