While getting my art degree, I took some ceramic classes. Although I did not pursue being a potter, it has become a valuable skill to have. I have made artifacts for my archaeology units. I have made items for my Bible museum. I have made …
Month: July 2015
I am always experimenting with different painting techniques. Sometime I like the outcome, sometimes I don’t. This was one of my discarded paintings I gave a second chance. Working in some pointillism gave the picture some new life, which it desperately needed. Sometimes my finished …
My husband was a music teacher for many years. One day a student came to him and said, “Mr. Adams, everyone says you will buy anything. Is that true?”
“Well, I might. What have you got for sale?”
The student shared that their mom and dad was making them sell their pet calf which was now a two year old cow.
That evening we drove out to their farm. Their mom and dad came out to greet us. My husband explained why we were there.
We soon learned that the kids had begged for a pet. Their dad finally agreed they could raise a calf. As the calf grew it was getting harder to be a pet. One stormy evening their mom and dad had went out for the evening and left the kids at home. The kids decided the calf would be scared in the rain and storm. They brought the calf in the house. When their parents returned the kids and calf were lying on the living room floor watching tv and eating popcorn. That was the day their parents said it was time to sell the calf.
We bought Sally and brought her home. She was a most unique cow. We became quite attached to Sally. There are many fun stories to tell about her. I am planning on Sally being the main character in my next book for children.
We are so accustomed to the modern conveniences of indoor plumbing, speedy transportation and now communication in the blink of an eye. When we look at the timeline of history, we could say we’ve only had them a few short days.
During most of my grandparents lives they did not have any of those things. Transportation was horse and buggy. Communication was the postal service and running water was at the creek.
Many families kept a rain barrel out to catch rain water. I still remember the old rain tub that used to sit by grandpa and grandma’s house. We were not to play in it and waste the water. The rainwater was soft and could be useful in many ways.
My grandmother was 18 inches around the waist when she got married. She was a very tiny woman. She always had beautiful long black hair. Most of the time she braided it and wrapped the braids around her head. She would use the rain water to wash her hair. It made her hair really soft. We didn’t often see her hair since she wore it up all the time. Occasionally we would get to spend the night. She would take out the braids before bedtime. I loved to feel her long, soft, thick black hair and watch her comb it out. it had beautiful waves from being in braids all day. Even as it began to gray it was still long soft and thick. And she still wore it in long braids wrapped around her head.
During the late 40s many small farms had some milk cows. My grandpa had several on his farm. To my suprise, they were herfords. His best milk cow was Old Helen. When she had a calf, Helen could feed her calf and still leave about a gallon of milk for grandpa.
Mother and daddy also had milk cows. They had some Guernsey and some Jerseys. They sold milk to the milk plant located in Warsaw, Missouri. The milkman came everyday. Daddy would have one or two cream cans full of milk. The milkman would load daddy’s milk in his truck and leave him one or two new cream cans for the next day’s milk. There was no refrigeration so I’m sure daddy had to milk just before the milk truck came.
We didn’t sell milk when I was growing up, but we did always have a milk cow for our own milk. Sugar Babe was the milk cow we all learned how to milk on. She was very gentle and easy to milk. But she was a bit persnickety. You had to get on just the right side to milk her. You could anticipate getting swished by her tail a few times while you were milking her. And you needed to keep one eye on her hind leg, knowing that at any moment, sometimes reasons unknown, her hind leg would fly up and kick your milk bucket over. Oh, also she wouldn’t stand still unless her feed bucket had plenty of good stuff in it to eat.
I’m sure many of you who are reading this story have at one time or another milked a cow and could share your own personal account of the experience. Cows do pretty much have their own personalities and their own little quirks, thus making everyone’s experience unique.
Going to grandpa and grandma’s house was always fun. I loved the drive there. They lived on Kolb Hollow Road. It ran between Climax Springs and Macks Creek. It was a gravel road, more like a wide path. The huge trees on each side spread their branches across the road making a living tunnel. When you reached their drive it opened into a grassy hillside with a little lane that led to their door. Grandma would often be at the door waving to us. I’m sure she had heard us coming. The guineas never let anyone drive up without announcing their arrival.
The little kitchen was not very modern. There was no indoor plumbing. The water bucket sat on the counter with a big dipper in it. We all used the same dipper to drink from. In the middle of the living room sat the old wood heating stove. Around the room was a sofa and two big chairs. One chair was grandpa’s. We all knew that was grandpa’s chair. Beside it sat his spittoon. On the table near his chair was an old radio. It usually wasn’t on while we were there, but I’m sure grandpa had a regular time each day he listened to it.
We spent most of our time outside playing under the huge trees in the yard or swinging on the front porch. The reflection of such a peacful and beautiful setting warms my heart and reminds me how blessed I have been. As I stand at the door waving and welcoming my grandchildren I hope their memories of visiting our house will one day warm their hearts.
This painting is not a picture of my grandparents place. But it so reminds me of the landscape down Kolb Hollow Road. It is an oil on stretched canvas. It is an 11″X 14″.
This painting hangs at my father’s house. It is one of the paintings I did when I got out of college. It was inspired by a photograph I had seen. I was teaching at Macks Creek at the time and it reminded me of some of the areas around there.
I love the streams that flow near Climax Springs and Macks Creek. They were the swimming holes and baptismal places all the years I was growing up. We enjoyed swim parties and family picnics along their banks.
I love the clear gravel bottom of these streams. You can see all the rocks and critters in the water. My favorite thing to do is go fishing there.
After I got married, John and I would go fishing in these streams. We would clip our stringer and bait case to our pants. Then we would walk down the center of the stream casting our line to the side. We could catch a good mess of fish in no time. Most of the stream were less than waist deep so it was easy to wade through. And of course we enjoyed a delicious meal that evening. Great memories!
There was always plenty to do on the farm. During the school year there was morning chores and evening chores. During the summer there was often all day chores. Cutting and stacking wood for the heating stove was a priority. That would be our only source of heat for the winter. We also cut sprouts to help keep the pastures cleared. I remember I had just gotten my new glasses, which I really didn’t want to have to wear glasses. I felt like everyone would laugh at me. I hoped they would just go away. I was helping my brothers chop sprouts when a sprout flew back and knocked my glasses off. We couldn’t find them anywhere. Now I really wanted them. I was afraid they were lost and broken. I felt bad I had not wanted to have to wear glasses. We finally found them. I was so relieved.
Gardening was another important summer responsibility. Daddy would plow out the garden spot in early spring. To no ones surprise, dozens of rocks had grown over the winter. It happened every year. Of course it was our job to pick them up in preparation for planting. Daddy always said it was time for us to practice some good P.R. That would referenced “picking up rocks.” We did get lots of good P.R. It was probably some of the best training we got. Some patience, endurance, physical strength and team work came from our effort.
So glad we were able to raise our sons on a farm where they could get some of that good P.R. training. This painting was inspired from a picture of my sons helping their dad gather our winter wood.
We have taken several vacations over the years, but my favorites were those at the beach. I loved the splashing waves, the ocean breezes, the beautiful views and the warm sunshine.
We would say, all of the places we go and the things we do make up our life’s journey. And every journey should be journaled. As I journal each day I have a heightened sense of why I do things and how I do them. I have come to understand that our journey is not the places we go or the things we do. It is the character of our life, the contibutions of our lives and the communications of our lives that make up our journey.