Haibun Monday and we’re asked to take a “walk down memory lane” and share some of our memories, I tried to restrain myself, but I could have written pages and pages about life as it was then in our part of middle Illinois. Submitted to dVerse, March 1, 2021
My memories centered around the little farm which was home until I left for business college. In the middle of the vast flat corn belt of Illinois, our little farm consisted of a red barn, a corn crib, a machine shed, a chicken house, and a garage. My father was a tenant farmer on the 80 acres that comprised the farm. Our nearest neighbors were all half a mile away. Mother raised chickens and sold eggs, we had a half dozen milk cows and sold milk. Mother’s large garden provided virtually all our needs. Trips to the grocery were for sugar, flour, coffee and little else,
The downstairs was divided into four room. In the kitchen, Mother‘s cob-burning cook stove stood at one end, a cabinet, a sink with a hand pump which pumped water from the cistern which was used only for washing dishes, and bathing. Water for cooking was brought in from the well in the front yard. There was barely room for a small table. Next was the dining room which had a large table for company, a stove, a console radio, and a rocking chair for each of my parents. The other two rooms consisted of a guest bedroom, which was rarely used, and a parlor, which was used only when we had guests.
There were two bedrooms upstairs and no heat! In winter, mother would heat flat irons on the stove, wrap them in a piece of old blanket and put them in the foot of our beds. Going to bed was a quick trip up the cold stairs, climbing under a mountain of covers, and placing my feet on the warm spot provided by the wrapped iron. Should nature call, there was a chamber pot under the bed. I guess we were poor, but all our neighbors lived in like circumstance. Social life centered around our one-room school and the little country Methodist church about a mile away. Life was much as described by Laura Ingalls Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie”. I have fond memories of being loved and happy.