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|Playtime On A Farm - Pt. II|
Posted On 2009-06-15 , 4:51 PM
Free-style Playtime... and loving it!
Playtime meant hiding in the hayloft, seeing who could jump from the highest rung of the ladder, swinging from the big oak tree in the front yard, swimming in a creek after crossing a field with that ornery bull in it. (I used to have nightmares of that bull chasing me, but always woke up before he caught me.) The horses were "working" horses not riding horses. We'd chase the chickens and tease the pigs just to hear them squeal until we got caught doing it.
We used to play farm … really! The boys would make the toys from leftover wood scraps – the house, barn, sheds, tractors, fences, trucks, and animals. (While the boys were making the toys, the girls were helping in the kitchen.) When all was ready, we'd go to the shade of the cigar tree and scrape out an area in the ground to plot out the farm – making changes as we went along.
The big events were the holidays (4th of July), when we had company, or when neighbors came to help with a harvest (although we were already back in school at harvest time). There was a huge spread of food including smoked or canned meats.
The biggest treat for us was making our own ice cream. Have you ever had vanilla ice cream with grape nuts in it? Yum. Just as the cream mixture begins to harden add one cup of grape nuts to each gallon of creamy mixture (if you do it too soon the grape nuts soften). Finish the churning to mix, harden, and then serve.
While it was still light we'd have a watermelon seed spittin' contest. As it got dark we'd punch holes in the lids of old jars and catch lightning bugs (aka fireflies) and let them go when we got tired of that game.
Then we'd lie on the cool grass and look for the Big and Little Dipper among the stars. Sometimes we'd just sit on the porch swing and talk about tomorrow. Playtime on a farm in those days was free-style - sort of like recess used to be in schools. Playtime was not structured as it is today with league sports and online games. We made up our own games and rules and had fun doing it.
But it wasn't all feast and fun. The chores always came first. That'll be the next blog entry - slopping the pigs, milking the cows, and more.