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Thursday, February 24, 2011

COUNTRY LIVING

As a kid I lived in the country part of the time, it was almost like camping out.

We used wood to cook with a wood cook stove that took some expertise to use. Understanding how much wood to use for the right temperature especially for something like cakes was very important.  Another important thing was being use to your stove for each one acted differently.

We had sunlight in the day and kerosene lamps in the night, and if we went outside we used a kerosene lantern. Lighting a lamp was different from flipping a switch and the light coming on, the first thing you did was clean the chimney for they always got sooty and the light was blocked from shining out. And then you filled them with kerosene.

Next came trimming the wick. This was an art and there was different ways of doing it. If it wasn’t done properly then it would smoke, and the chimney would get all sooty.

Not quite an expert, I would do what I saw others do and would trim the outside corners off and cut a small vee in the middle of the wick; this worked pretty well. There were cracks in the walls and this let some fresh air in, they worked especially well in the winter.

The front porch was a good place to sit and tell lies when company came over. It wasn’t something people planned to do; it just came out that way.

When it rained your shoes got really muddy and when we were ready to go into the house we scraped some of it off, but a lot of it went into the house and stayed there until it dried and was swept out.

The thing I liked the most after working hard was the eating. The food was great. I don’t know if it was really good or if we were just very hungry, in either case it tasted good to me.

We always had breakfast, dinner and supper, all big meals if we had the food stuffs. Say what you will those country women were able to really cook good under difficult circumstances.

I enjoyed the animals on the farm. Each one of the critters was different and had their own way of viewing the world. The chickens were friendly and would move in with you if you let them. The cows would eat and then bring it up later to finish chewing it; I never did understand how they did that but it was like enjoying your food twice.

All the animal family got along good except there was always a boss whether it was the chickens, horses, cows, pigs or the dogs; one was always the top one in their species.

I liked the dogs the best for they were just like kin folks whether we went to the fields or stayed home they were always with us, and were interested in what we were doing.

The one big difference in camping out and living in the country was you didn't go home, for you were home and that was all there was to it, like it or not.

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