Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Snowy and Rainy Days"

Howdy Folks,
Snowy and rainy days have a different feel about them for me than clear sunny days. Of course all days are beautiful, for their own reasons, but the "bad weather days," as we called them on the dairy farm where I grew up as a foster kid, are extra special for me. To me, they are cozy.

As a kid we had plenty of work on those bright sunny days. I would be busy hoeing thistles in the corn field, picking beans in the garden, mending fence, thinning hedgerows, maybe carrying water for wash day, or any of the other many tasks needed to be done on the farm.
There was plenty of work on snowy and rainy days, too. We still had to milk the cows, tend the horses, pigs and chickens, but the in between time, those hours when we would do the extra work, were a bit more relaxed.

Our barn was big old Pennsylvania Bank Barn with the milking stable in the middle, flanked by horse stalls, each with the splendid wooden feed troughs and hay racks above them, and box stalls for young stock when they weren't out in pasture. Between the horse stalls and milking stable was our feed room. Along the back wall were wooden slant topped feed bins for the loose oats and corn for the horses. One of my jobs was to keep the bins full. Sacks of ground feed for the milking cows were stacked along the side wall. I can still smell the blackstrap molasses in that ground feed. I loved that smell! So did the mice!
This barn is very similar to the barn to the barn on the farm I grew up on.
Back then, burlap bags were really made of burlap and no match for the enterprising mice who made certain nearly every sack had a hole of their own design chewed through it. On bad weather days it was my job to hand stitch those holes closed with a long curved needle and white cord. Some days ol' Bill (the man who raised me) would join me in the stitchin' party and it was kind of fun gathering there, working a little and talking. I suppose it was our version of a quilting party. Whether Bill was with me or not, the horses and cows were, and it was cozy in that feed room, and sort of a day off. There were other bad weather day chores, but that feed room, between the horses and cows, stitching up those sacks, well that's my treasure.

For a long time now, bad weather days, have not had much to say about my daily duties, but often they'll carry me back to that cozy old feed room between the horses and cows. I suppose at a young age I was conditioned to the gentler feeling of rainy days.
The Coffee Clutch family enjoying this rainy morning.
As Kessy, Tigger, Saturday and I enjoyed Coffee Clutch this morning, rain danced lively on the tin roof. And while my routine won't be stirred, my memories were.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

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