| June/July 1987

Old mother with little yellow fuzz balls

Paul L. Haug

R.R. #1, Box 63 Avoca, Iowa 51521

A short time back I was working for a very dear friend of ours, Raligh Woltmann. Raligh has farmed, just out of our town, with his father, ever since he was a small boy.

We got to visiting, as we nailed corrogated tin roofing on one of his buildings. It seems the building we were repairing had a cement floor and Raligh told me that many years ago, when the floor was poured, it was done with a hand mixer and a 8 HP Nelson gas engine. When the local contractor moved from job to job this big engine was pulled by a 6 horse team. He also asked me if I had ever heard steel wheels being pulled through the fresh snow on a cold winter morning. It seems, with the great weight of the engine, the wheels fairly screamed as they were pressed into the snow. It was also common that they could be heard a mile on a clear, cold morning.

I had never heard that, but recalled my dad's wagon, which he called a 'lumber wagon.' It also had steel flat faced wheels and he also farmed with horses. Now and again, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to go with Dad into town, 6 miles away. I can recall how cold it was and how our wheels squeaked as they rolled through the snow. We only made the trip once a month in winter.

We spent the afternoon, as we worked, telling stories about different sounds and smells that one no longer experiences.

How long has it been since the reader walked to country school? I recall my eight years of 'formal education'. It always seemed amazing how our fathers managed to locate the country school house north west from everyone. In the early winter mornings it was always so bitter cold to walk facing N.W. Then, like my friend said, 'It was always warmer at 4:00 when we walked home, with that wind at our back.'