While traveling the backroads recently, I happened upon this cute little farm area. It sent me back many years to when my grandparents lived on a farm in the small town of Springer, Oklahoma.
My siblings and I were raised in the city and going to the farm was like leaving the country, even though it was only 100 miles away. This was a working farm where there were cows, horses, sheep, chickens and other assorted critters. My grandmother could go outside, find the right chicken and in a matter of moments, grab it, ring its neck and take inside to prepare for the freshest, best fried chicken ever.
We had fresh eggs, milk, butter and cream. Today all those food items would be deemed very unhealthy for us, but back then that is what people, and especially people on the farm, ate….and it was really good.
I remember one day I wandered down to where Gran was milking a cow. I was barefoot and managed to step into a big pile of cow poop. Fresh and warm it oozed between my toes and over my foot and I was aghast! I was hopping around and shaking my foot trying hard to get that stuff off. My grandmother, as calmly as possible without missing a beat, turned her milking towards me and sprayed my foot with warm milk fresh from the cow. Well, that just made it worse. I can still hear her laughing as I quickly made my way back to the farmhouse yelling for my mom to come and rescue me from this terrible fate.
Visits to the farm helped shape my life and reflecting on them gave me cause to ponder. It is a shame my children will never experience life on the farm. My grandparents are long gone and so is the farm.
I wish my children could experience the nights that were pitch black, but when looking up at the stars you could clearly see the constellations and an occasional falling star. The city is so bright one cannot appreciate how beautiful the heavens really are.
The nights are so quiet and yet terribly loud with the sounds of crickets, cicadas, frogs, coyotes howling and general rustlings. However, there are not cars, trucks, or sirens. It is a loud quiet that goes deep inside you.
We could go to the well and pump water, and it was the best tasting water. I can still taste how truly fresh and clean that water was.
Then there was always the outhouse. I was not a fan of using those facilities, but my grandparents did not have indoor plumbing for many years. My poor mom had to take me, no matter what time it was, because there was no way I was going out there by myself. There was that ever-present danger of the boogieman coming to get me, not to mention what might pop up out of the water and bite my butt.
I wish my children could experience life without all the bells and whistles. Our senses are bombarded all the time with something that glows in the dark. We have our phones, pads, laptops. My children have no idea how when a phone would ring, and you had no idea who it was until you answered it – and it was not a telemarketer.
I never felt safe, as my mother did, telling my children to go outside and not to come home until they heard her whistle. And when we heard that her whistle, we better get home fast. It is not safe for children to play up and down the block as we did as children.
We were city slickers and my children are city slickers and the farm is no longer an option. Very sad, because I wish my children had experienced life at a calmer, less frantic pace. There is not a chance they can even begin to realize that lifestyle, which is unfortunate because farm life is all but disappearing.