Friday, June 20, 2008

I Don't Hold Taters I Hold Corn

This time of the year always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in the country. Summers were full of activity daily, and a lot of it involved the entire family. We had a small farm without a lot of fancy machinery, so most of the work was done by hand. Making hay is hard work anytime, but since we didn't have a baler it had to be put up by hand, which involved a lot of work from everyone. I was one of the youngest, so it was usually my job to tramp down the hay as it was thrown into the back of the truck, making more room to put more hay. This was fun and not much work at all - for the first few loads. After that, the hot sun beating down combined with sweat rolling down our bodies and hayseeds all over us making us itchy usually forced my little sister and I to whine until we were given another, easier job like watching everybody else work. But overall I remember hay-making as a hard but enjoyable family experience. Not sure my older brothers or sisters remember it that way, since they had to do most of the work.
Another part of the summer routine was working in the gardens on a daily basis. My mom would cart us kids out to pull weeds, get water or pick up rocks. We usually kept three or four gardens going at a time - I have no idea how my mom managed, since it was mostly her doing the gardening along with all the other housework, which was no small task in a family with nine kids. Dad plowed the gardens, but he worked two jobs most of his life, so that left mom and us to take care of the planting and weeding. Of course later on when it was time to do the picking was a fun time too. I remember once when my younger sister was holding a basket of corn and was whining she wanted to go back to the house. My mom told her to hold her taters. She said "I don't hold taters I hold corn". She was about three or four then. I guess I remember it because it was funny to me at the time, me being about six or so.

My kids will remember their summers as going to the pool every day, or Boy Scout summer camp, or Cedar Point. For me, growing up on the farm stands out in my memory when I recall my summertime as a youth. Often I wish times could be that simple again.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

Happy first day of summer! I'm amazed at how much this time of year brings back so many memories. Here's hoping this summer is a great one! Love your post.

7:09 PM  

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