It was the butt end of the dustbowl, and my newly married parents decided to try farming. Actually it was my father who longed to farm.
My mother gave it a try because she was in love.
It was doomed at the starting line.
My mother was a town girl. Raising banty chickens, the onery little bastards of the barnyard, did not warm one cockle of my mother’s heart. They attacked her legs when she left the house to pump water.
Her sister Lucille visited often, and the two of them devised an unlikely plan of defense involving a broom. When they went outside for water, the banty roosters attacked. Lucille screamed, dropped the broom, abandoned my mother and fled to the protection of the house.
There was other livestock. Pigs were mentioned. Maybe a milk cow or two.
My mom became pregnant with me on the farm. She longed even more for town, where there were double cousins abounding. The farm, if not in the middle of nowhere, was within a stone’s throw.
It wasn’t all bitter herbs and banty chickens. Sometimes my parents listened to the radio while cuddling side by side on the couch. Dad,in later years, said this activity was “very rheumatic.”
One day my mother, heavily pregnant, fell while my dad was out working, She was still on the floor when my dad came back to the house. That must have been terrifying for them, and gave my mom one more reason to hate the farm.
When the war began, the great doomed farm adventure ended. But even into old age, my dad tended an enormous garden. His tomatoes were legendary. And every month, an issue of The Farm Journal was delivered to the house.
I am absolutely positive my mom never read a word of it