Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chariots and Hogs

Again I pick up the Everson Farm Manual learning of a time that was not mine to live but was, in part, my history, that of a family living back a lane on Neff Road.

If you cannot read the journal, please click on the photo and it will enlarge. I don't want you to miss this piece of the past, a way of life, a way of making do, a way of building a future from what was available. I will spend some time in this journal. This is in part, the history of Neff Road.

Last night I watched a program on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) regarding an archaeological dig in England. The history rich site is the location of the rebel tribe encampment lead by the first woman warrior, Boudica, two thousand years ago. I am always fascinated by digs and the history uncovered. One small item that had been found was a golden ring. The ring was used on chariots. Someone created the small ring that was used for the horses reins. When I read the first entry on this page, I equated it in some way to this ring that was found on my TV last night. Someone was creative enough to come up with an idea using the hog ring. I'm sure the hog was glad to give up the nose ring, and, progress was made with what was at hand. A gold ring and a hog ring.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't expect the hog ring to show up in a national museum some day. But we are people who create, who change the way things are done, who use our imaginations, use trial and error to make changes for the better.

The bucksaw under the fence to keep hogs from digging makes me cringe, yet I could easily see Dad not particularly caring about animal rights and glad to have an idea that worked. Ouch.

I want to run out and get a fountain pen so I can try it on cherry pits. Mom always aired out our feather pillow in the summer sun. No wonder the pillows got thinner and thinner. I love the suggestions for screens and old hoes. I smile at some of the entries, cheer others and remember the old fruit cellar, barn and garage with each entry.

We farm kids are truly a part of that history. Rekindled thoughts of tin cans holding bolts and nuts, boxes of bits and pieces of worn out items saved for 'just in case'. The fruit room full of empty jars and plastic tins. We didn't have rubber gloves for hurt fingers, but we had rags for handkerchiefs and bleeding injuries. We didn't run to town to buy a remedy. No, we looked around the house and barn. That's what we farmers did. It was not out of necessity; it was out of our history, a history rich on Neff Road.

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