Farm Collector

Iron Man Of The Month

DAYTON DAILY NEWS AND RADIO’S ‘JOE’S
JOURNAL’

UNION CITY, INDIANA

It is so long since I have sat down at my typewriter and turned
out any piece of work that this column is going to be a refreshing
experience for me. Spring has come to Wisconsin, and the warm days,
and the cool, are rather battling it out to see who can win. The
jonquils are opening their pretty faces and the small bulbs are
about through. The roadside, which I wrote about once before, is
beginning to show some results of my efforts. If once we get the
little bulbs started on the road banks they soon scatter their
little seeds to the winds and spread from place to place. This
spring I found a chiondoxia blossoming almost thirty feet from
where the other bulbs were planted. So here we have the start of
another colony of settlers.

Just for encouragement I took a small detour in our near-by city
of Waupun last week, and someone had done this same thing a number
of years ago. One whole side of the dooryard was blue with tiny
blossoms and it did the heart good to see it.

That was a wonderful day, any way I look at it. I had looked
forward to Friday for at least two months. An old friend came to
spend the day with me. She comes from West Africa and will be
returning there in July. Maude is an English teacher and has taught
for many years. In between her two experiences of teaching she came
back to our community and took care of her aged mother until she
passed away. Then Maude, at about sixty years of age, went off to
West Africa to teach English in a Mission School. Never have I seen
a happier person. She not only gave herself to the task but gave of
her substance as well. She was not sent by a human agency, but by
one much higher who knew how well she would live her life
there.

What a day of exchanging thoughts we had! And she left with me
her enthusiasm, and her joy as well. But also she left two King
Ebony carvings, the heads of an African boy and girl, which I shall
treasure all my life. As she prepares to go back to the continent
of Africa may God go with her.

She had come when I needed diversion, and I think the whole
family needed guests for a change. We can become so bogged down. I
was so engrossed in writing, (all long-hand for the book) that I
almost dreamed of it at night. There are some 53,800 words down, so
far, and most of this has been rewritten. I hope by the time I come
to write another column it will all be finished and sent off to
some publisher. It seemed so good to have a change, but I am still
berating myself for forgetting to put napkins on the table. I’m
sure they use them, even in West Africa, and I am duly mortified at
the memory of my thoughtlessness. I suppose none of the rest of you
do things like this. Well I do.

Perhaps we still revert to the days when we fed threshermen, and
around here it was unheard of to put napkins on the table for the
threshing crew. I think they used their red handkerchiefs for just
about everything. I had been living in the past so constantly in
the book that I clean forgot about the present. I shall put a
napkin holder back on the table so this doesn’t happen
again.

It is always of interest to an older writer to know how many
young people read a column or article. If I have many younger
readers I have a suggestion for you. I am sorry I did not follow in
the footsteps of my Mother in keeping a diary. In writing ‘Big
Foot Angie’ I have read and reread parts of her diaries. What
an interesting glimpse back into the past! What a heritage to leave
to your children! Mother never allowed her moods to show through,
nor is there anywhere an unkind remark about anyone. She wrote the
day’s events as they happened and this is where she left
it.

I suppose we keep thinking ‘but what I do isn’t
important.’ But I have come to the conclusion that what
everybody does is important. And perhaps, if we find through
writing down the events of our lives, that they are dull and
prosaic, we may do something about it. Maybe you can find a guest
from Iceland, or some other place under God’s sun. Who knows
until you try? I don’t recommend that everyone start out for
West Africa at sixty years old, but it is a thought. It keeps the
zip in life.

In March Yours Truly and her Good husband went on a tour of the
south and a bit west. We stopped in Kansas City, Kansas, and then
on to Dodge City where these two wanderers had the time of their
life. We went up to Boot Hill and took each other’s picture
under The Hanging Tree. If you ever get through there be sure and
stop. The replicas of the old store fronts are there, and a
wonderful museum. We slept in The Dodge House Motel and ate in
Kitty’s Kitchen. It was all perfectly delightful and I hope to
go back there some day.

We went on through the Mission Orange Country and this is
unforgettable. Settling down in Brownsville, Texas, was a great
relief from the winter cold. We stayed there only a week, but got
our feet in the ocean and baked on the sand. Made two short trips
over into Mexico and found the market places of great interest. And
I developed a real taste for kumquats. My husband it still trying
to pronounce it.

The International Orchid Show was held there the weekend we
planned to leave so stayed an extra hour or two to see what there
was to see, and it was something to remember. Of course, just as I
was to take a picture or two the film ran out in my camera. Met
some fine people and hope to see, some of them again. So the
adventure of life goes on. And to think it is an eternal thing! I
can’t wait. Can you? In the meantime get yourself a diary, and
even a year from now you will begin to relive your life. I might
even take my own advice. Who knows? Maybe life begins at my
age.

  • Published on Jul 1, 1967
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