REFLECTIONS OF AN OLD FARMER
3194 Main Street, Marlette, Michigan 48453
I'll tell you a tale that's full of joy
About life on the farm, when I was a boy.
Money was scarce and toys were few
So we learned to take care and to make do.
Still, life was good there on the farm, when I was a lad.
With my brothers and sisters, and Mother and Dad.
A few cows, chickens, and pigs
Gave us milk and eggs, meat, butter, and lard
And I didn't know that times were hard.
To bring wood for the stove, and water from the well
Was not fun at all - so I thought.
But what delicious meals Mother would cook on the stove
With the wood I had brought.
There was whipped cream on cake
Or an elderberry pie, she would bake.
And wild blackberries from the edge of the woods
There they grew big, plump, and sweet
In a bowl with fresh cream, oh what a treat!
To call Dad to supper, I'd go on the run
To ride up the lane on old Prince was part of the fun.
A clean, quiet stream flowed across the place
With woodland and pasture along its banks
And a bridge that was made with old, weathered planks.
'T was an excellent place for a small boy to fish.
With a stick from the bush and a piece of string,
What more could I wish?
Alone but not lonely, and with nothing to fear
Only the sounds of nature could I hear.
A stop at the spring on the side of the hill
For a long, cool drink, from an old tin cup
As we roamed the farm, just me and my pup.
Along the old stump fence we would prowl
To see rabbits or squirrels, or maybe an owl.
There were afternoons at the old swimming hole
In that clean, quiet stream.
Or following Dad in the field, as he farmed with a team.
A big sand pile to play in, and to farm just like Dad.
Or retreat to the barn to play tag, if the weather was bad.
There was a swing from the limb of an old apple tree
And hay rides and sleigh rides were common
On the farm, don't you see.
There were slow pleasant rides into town
With horses and wagon, taking grain to be ground
And watching trains going by was always a thrill
While waiting for the grain to be ground at the mill.
There were ball games in summer on fields of sod
And ice skating in winter, on ponds made by God.
Sliding down hill, through the woods, with shouts of delight.
And evenings at home with the family, were so right.
On a cold winter's eve, to the barn I would go
With Dad, to do chores, by the lantern's soft glow.
When the cows were all fed, and the horses too
How warm and peaceful and content was the scene.
So, I'd curl up in the hay, while Dad milked the cows
And sleep 'till Dad woke me, to go to the house.
But threshing day was the best time of year.
Even better than Christmas, with all its good cheer.
The barn, with grain was full.
Then came the thresherman with his tractor, a big Oil Pull.
I would stay close all day and watch And could hardly wait to be one of the crew.
Then after supper, when the men had all gone
I would climb to the cab,
And pretend to thresh, for an hour or two.
The years passed and I grew, as all boys do.
And, yes, I joined that threshing crew.
I traded my toys and farm in the sand
For horses and tools to farm the land.
And still, I remember these things with special joy
About life on the farm, when I was a boy.
I've had a good life, and for this I thank
God And I believe the Lord will lead me, someday
To green pastures and quiet waters
With peace, contentment, and joy,
Exceeding that on the farm, when I was a boy.
By Monte Shockman 5021 Peg Street, Boise, Idaho 83705
As I sat musing the other day,
Strange recollections came my way.
Of old gas engines from A to Z,
Named Abenaque to Ziegler you see.
How many of these companies have come and gone,
Since a workable gas engine first saw days dawn?
Associated, Cushman, Dempster and Stickney,
Cummins, Galloway, Hercules and Witte.
National, New Holland, Ideal and Jacobsen,
Ottawa, Jaeger, Gade and Lauson.
Massey-Harris, Field Brundage, Reeves and Sattley,
Sandow, Rock Island, New Way and Economy.
Nelson Brothers, Rawleigh, Olds and Foos,
StaRite, Stover, United and those Waterloos.
Some were named after animals, like Buffalo and Beaver,
Plus Deere, Eagle, Crab and Badger.
Others were known by letters, F&M, E&B, and R&V,
B&S, F&J and especially I.H.C.
Colorful names such as Brown-Cochran and White Middletons,
Alamo Blue Line and Gray Motor Company were other ones.
Some engines sounded like food and that's a switch,
Appleton, Bean, Burger, Coffee and Yes, even Sandwich.
The list could go on and on, my friend,
Of common and unusual, it seems there is no end.