Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Farm Fun - Summer's Spent

Growing up rural, I had a wonderfully free childhood. We lived 12 1/2 miles from the major town in our county(population 1600) and 2 1/2 miles up a gravel road from the closest town(population 200).

The county road that bisected our 200 acres had a lot of traffic. It was the entry to the Wallowa Whitman High Lakes. Vehicles with tents, campers, and horse trailers traveled up and down the road from June until September taking campers, backpackers, and horse packers to the campsites along the road and to the trail heads leading to the high lakes.

My California cousin who was five years older than me, spent many summers with us. Several summers we set up a  fruit and lemonade stand on the road. We sold plums, apples, and pears grown in our orchard and lemonade from concentrate. I don't think we made very much and it was mainly the neighbors who bought from us.

My parents both worked in the main town so we kids got up on our own, made our breakfast, did our chores and then were allowed to do what we wanted until I had to have dinner ready when my parents returned home and we did our evening chores. Chores consisted of weeding the garden, mowing the lawn, taking care of the rabbits and chickens. Also cleaning house and laundry.

After the chores we usually saddled up the horses and rode sometimes taking a lunch over to the sand bar where we swam in freshly melted snow.
My dad's barn where we stacked hay and the mountain
we rode our horses on.

During the summer we also had to help change irrigation pipes in the evenings or if we had hay down help with the haying. One of the fields we hauled hay out of had a steep incline to get to the county road which we had to take to get to the barn where we stored the hay.  My older brother was driving the tractor and my younger brother and I were on the hay as we started up the incline. The tractor died and the load pulled us backward down the hill. My brother managed to jackknife the load and keep us from rolling into the river. My dad came along with the loaded one ton truck and pulled us up the incline and got the tractor running again.

Those are just a few of the fun things we did during the summer months as kids.

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