Lazy Summer Days at Grandparents’ Farm

Spending lazy summer days at their grandparents’ farm was great summer fun for these kids.

| July/August 2012

  • Baby Chicks
    Grandchildren enjoyed tending the baby chicks at their grandparents’ farm each summer.
    Beth Van Trees/Fotolia

  • Baby Chicks

Summers were a special time for my sister and me in the late 1940s and early ’50s. That’s when we got to spend time with our grandparents at their farm.

Those lazy summer days meant waking up in the big feather bed then going downstairs for a breakfast of Ralston’s cereal. (First you add about a tablespoon of real cream and plenty of sugar; and stir that in; then, and only then, was it time to add warm milk “straight from the cow.”)

Rainy days were made for sorting through Grandma’s button box, cutting paper dolls from the Sears catalog, or mixing flour and water to make a paste for craft projects. Evenings were spent in the little living room, with Granddad in his rocking chair by the window and Grandma perhaps scraping apples for us. Brushing Granddad’s thick grey hair earned us each a nickel. Then it was a bowl of cornflakes before heading upstairs to bed, where we listened to the quiet night sounds through the open windows while drifting off to sleep.

Summer fun for kids: Exciting adventures around grandparents’ farm

Long, lazy summer days provided plenty of time for all sorts of adventures like climbing the cherry tree in the backyard, gathering eggs, going with Granddad to haul water, climbing and sliding all over the big old barn, and walking down the long lane to pick up the mail.

There were animals to tend as well, including Granddad’s milk cows, a baby calf we named Cherry Pie, hogs, and the new little chicks Grandma purchased each spring. After the boxes were carried to the special little brooder house and the lids were removed, fluffy little chicks poured out like waterfalls. Grandma said to watch them and notice that each time they took a drink of water, they lifted their little heads up to thank God.

Grandma’s big kitchen had a black wood-burning cookstove, and water came from the kitchen pump. There was a bucket with a dipper on the side porch, readily available whenever you were thirsty. A little room on the back porch housed an “almost real” toilet with a large bucket-type tank that was taken to the outhouse and emptied occasionally.

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