The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES

Content Tools

BRANDON WISCONSIN RR-2 53919

As snowflakes again become our companions, and our world is pure and white, we enjoy recalling all that the summer season has blessed us with. There are potatoes stored away, carrots, squash. The freezer is bulging at the seams with strawberries, raspberries, melon balls, rhubarb. What a comfortable feeling it is to have a part in such abundance.

One day the man at our house brought in two beautiful ears of corn. Each one of these contained about nine hundred kernels. And did you know there is never an uneven number of rows on a cob? Such goodness and such mercy can not be understood. From one kernel of corn comes all of this! We like to teed the squirrels in winter so he picked up some left-over ears at the farm.

We had a gratifying melon crop this year and I learned how to handle this as well. You cook up one cup of sugar and one cup of water until it boils. Then you cool this syrup and add the melon balls, watermelon, muskmelon, honey dews, whatever you have.

Let this stand for several hours, and then use them fresh or place in the freezer. They are delicious as sauce and great in salad, plus being beautiful. I had more fun than a child with a cherished toy as I dug and twisted with my new 79c ball-making gadget. Isn't it exhilarating to try new things?

A first-time experience in September was eating our noon meal in a cook car. The New Rockford Steam Show, held in North Dakota, was not blessed with cooperative weather in 1975. As we left home the forecase was not encouraging. But we had a good time in spite of this deterrent.

The roadside sumac had begun to turn to fiery red and as we traveilled through Northern Wisconsin the trees were torches of color against the sky. The sun, however, was shy that day. He seldom showed his face.

As we drove into more productive agricultural country we noted wheat, still to be combined, large potato fields, soy beans, pinto beans, even some corn. There were hundred acres fields, and some even larger, producing millions of sunflower heads, which nodded to us as we drove by. I expect some of these are used to feed our winter cardinal visitors. At least, I like to think so.

We came upon acre upon acre of sugar beets, some of which were topped and awaiting lifting. This was a new concept to these old farmers. When we raised sugar beets they were lifted and then topped by hand and thrown into piles. Migrant laborers did the work. A sweet memory came back to me of the day I offered two Mexican girls some of my roses as they finished their day's work. They were so pleased.

As we kept driving west we spotted the shelter belts which were also new to us. Yes, we had heard about them, but now they became reality. Row upon row of tall trees, shorter trees, large shrubs, then smaller shrubs were all uniting in graduated rows to keep the precious top soil from blowing away. In part of this area the ground had been given a winter top cover to further aid their efforts and to tuck it to bed. It made both of us feel so good inside to see the soil being cherished and preserved now. There were many years it was robbed and exploited. In the first years of our marriage I remember the dark days when Dakota dust penetrated, even to Wisconsin. I hung a wet sheet over my screen door in an attempt to keep my new home clean.

Soil is such a valuable thing and has so often been misused. It is the old story of taking our blessings for granted and thinking there is no price to pay for them. But back to our trip.

The second night out we slept in Carrington, N. D. Forty-eight years ago five Wisconsin young men slept in this same town on their way to work on a threshing rig, and from there to follow the crew into Canada. My husband is the only one of those five men who is living today. He was the youngest of them., but nevertheless it makes me cherish him the more.

On that trip he slept on an army cot out under the stars. The other men spent the night in a Model T. Coupe and Touring Car. So it was a real memory trip for him. A bit sad, I expect. We, of course, had a comfortable room in the Le Claire Motel. It was somewhat costlier sleeping.

The first trip he took there I was seventeen. I got a lot of teasing about my sweetheart being gone so far away. Wasn't I lonesome? All in all we dated for seven years. Nowadays some young people can't wait for each other for a week.

The rest of the account of this trip will have to wait for another time. Eating in that cook car was an experience. I want to give it room. The comments by the 'old threshermen' were something else. Nostalgia was sticking out all over the place.

Here, at home, we've just had a blessed weekend at our church. We had some wonderful meetings after a twenty-four hour vigil of prayer in the building itself. I had the incomparable joy of being the chairman of the prayer effort and it really paid off. God lives up to His promises. and His integrity is beyond question. It is too bad so my people choose to live their lives without Him, when all they have to do is come.