Monday, May 29, 2017

Till the cows come home

sook (definition)
  1. A call for calves. (Scotland) 
  2. A call for cattle. (U.S. Dialectal)
  3. A call for cattle or sheep. (Newfoundland)
"Sook, sook, sook". Dad stood in the barnyard calling the cows home.

If you are a farm kid, you knew the sounds of calling the animals to the barn. "Soooooey, soooey", pigs came in. "Shooopeee, shooopeee", sheep found their way to the barn. Farmers all over the world had their own way of calling the animals home.

Dad called the cows, Cyril called the pigs, and I called the dog and cat. Pretty easy to tell what was being called by the sounds used to call the critters. I decided to do some research on calling cows. What I found was that the roots of calling the cows began with sounds similar to yodeling in the Scandinavian countries. When Dad called, it was more like a melody.

In St. Gallen City in Switzerland cows are called by "Ho-ah" repeated in varying pitches. Other areas pronounced it as "Hoyah, Hooyah, or Hooah". Rather like various parts of our country pronounce certain words in different ways. In parts of Norway, herd calling is called kulning. It is indeed similar to yodeling and developed for long-distance sounds that bounce off the mountainsides and echo through the valleys.

Now we cross the ocean. "Bossy" seems to be a common call. Boss is from the eighteenth century and was sometimes pronounced as buss or buss-calf, a name given to an unweaned calf. One theory is that bossy could have come from Latin bos for an ox or cow. Words came over with our immigrant ancestors.

I ran across one lady in my online search who was from West Virginia. Their call was "Come Bossie, come boss". Another was "CuBoooosss! Hup!" Hup!" In Michigan, a call was "Kubas kubas, hup hup" thought to be from Dutch heritage. Another from North Carolina was "waaarden-waaarden um-bashay!"

I loved researching this topic. I found recalled memories from farm kids who grew up with those calls echoing across the fields. We all seemed to have the same thought, "If only I could hear it one more time."

"Sook, sook, sook". Just one more time, Dad. Just one more time.

Monday, May 8, 2017

All my moms

Looking into her face, I said, "Who are you? I don't believe I know you." She didn't answer. Hm.This might take some time. After all, I had known her for months.

The woman waited. She knew I would come, and she waited. On visits home, I could not go by her driveway without stopping. I needed one of her hugs. She watched over me and cared. I loved her more than she knew. Her name was Doris Lavy.

Her laugh brought a smile to my face. Her tears welcomed me into her arms. There were probably more childhood days at her house than at my own. Time with her was priceless and gave me precious memories. Her name was Margaret Stager.

She sat by my bed after my surgery. There was no book in her hand. Her attention was solely on this young woman who was still out of it. She took me into the family with loving arms, and beat the socks off of me at Rum. Her name was Anna Drake.

The names are many. Alma Hollinger, Alma Lea Gilbert, Pauline Aukerman, Betty Johnson, Leah Rhoades, Freeda Anderson, Kate Loxley, Bess Fisher, June Deardorff, Welma Johnson,  Lena Linder, Peggy Graham, Jennie Miller, Susie Miller. Just a few of the many women who helped me through my lifetime. Each hold a place in my heart.

Moms. Those who birth us. Those who watch over us. Those who are part of our lives, so much so that we fail to notice. Then one day we are older and remember with deeper feelings.

She placed a cool hand on my head when I was ill. She made me laugh and sometimes angry. She taught me to love and to care about other people. She held me in her arms when I came to visit. She thought of me every day. She was my mother. Her name was Ruth Loxley.

Moms. They come in all shapes and sizes. They come to us through birth and sometimes through adoption or marriage. They come to us in the form of neighbors and church ladies. They even sometimes come as a dad in the role of a mom. Maybe even a grandma. All of us who are moms and have had that wonderful love given to us know how important it is spread that love around. Mom power.

So who was this familiar face before me? I had her beating on the inside of my body for nine months with a foot in my ribs most of the time. She didn't look like that baby I imagined. She had coal-black hair and lots of it. She was so tiny, and her face turned red when she cried. No matter how we come into a family. There is a time of getting acquainted. I got to know this little girl. Her name is Stacey. When her brother was born, I asked the same question as I tried to acquaint myself with this little guy. After I waited that nine months for another dark haired baby, I was given little blond. Oh, well, never know.

Mother's Day. A day to remember. A day to honor those women who in one way or another created the you that you are today. Those wonderful ladies who hold our hearts. I have lost many of those dear people. I treasure those who I can still hug and love. Happy Mother's Day to you who touch the lives of others. Thank you, to the women who touched mine. Mothers' Day.