PONDERING ON THE PAST

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R. R. 5, S. Daisy Lane, Danville, Illinois 61832

Since it is raining here I thought this a good day to do a little reminiscing back to the days gone by. I think I enjoy the Iron Men Album about as much as my husband. When I get it from the mail box I know that nothing will move him from his chair until he has read every word. When I was a little girl my Dad and Mother worked at a country elevator. I remember how the steam came out of the exhaust on the roof and the good sound it made. Then too, it was run by oil. Boy that engine sure looked big to me! When it was threshing time our place was a busy place. The light they had was oil lamps and some times it was way in the night before they got all their weigh slips in order. The teams of horses and mules would line for a good two city blocks waiting to get on the scales. There was one team of mules that just hated the elevator and going up the ramps to the bins. When we saw them coming nothing could get us kids out of the house. Them lop eared mules would run away every time and break down the clothesline. They had what they called a north and south ring and when it came the day for the rig to move by our house we girls had a game we played. As soon as we saw it coming in sight we would run in the kitchen and get the box of crackers down from the shelf go out on the north side of the house and get that good home churned butter out of the box. The box was buried down in the ground with just the lid showing and this is how we kept things cold. Some times they put the milk in the well and I bet it was just as cold as it is now in our fancy no frost refrigerators. To get back to the crackers and butter we were allowed so many crackers and buttered them then stacked them one on top the other. Out on the big front porch we ran and sat until the rig got to a certain place and then we were allowed to start to eat. This was the rule-the one who had the last cracker and butter left got to have the first glass of butter milk the next time Mom churned. Boy what I wouldn't give for a good cold glass of butter milk. When the threshing was over the north and south rigs would have a get together and the whole family would go. There was home made ice cream and those good home made cakes, with good butter and cream and eggs. One year I remember that the man who owned the elevator decided to have a watermelon feed for both the rigs. Watermelons - you never saw so many! They just stacked them in the garage and put up saw horses with grain doors on them in front of the door and you could have all you wanted. They had a hay rack there for the rinds but you can guess how many rinds was in the hay rack. One other thing stands out in my mind as how the older boys would get up on the ramp leading out of the elevator and throw seeds down the older girls back. How they would giggle. I was only about ten years old so it was funny to me. We went back to the old home place the other day and all is torn down and just doesn't look the same and even the vard looks so much smaller now. Wes said it looked big through my small eyes back then. It is pouring down now and good for all the crops. Thanks for letting me bend your ear and now I think I can get my work done.