The Ladies page

Country Echoes

By MAE BABER R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin

Now that the snow is probably flying all around us can you
remember ‘October’s Bright Blue Weather?’ During
October I just had to mount my attic stairs and find the old Elson
School Reader, Book 1. There I found Helen Hunt Jackon’s poem.
Oh, what wonderful remembering I did. It took me right back to the
old country school, Mapledale. It is now somebody’s home and I
am sure they must be happy in it.

No doubt it had much warmer floors than we remember. They were
so frigid I can still imagine my chilblains itch on zero days. At
one of the school auctions in our vicinity I picked up a library
file for only a dollar. It works out beautifully for me and brings
a touch of yesteryear into my workshop.

Along side of this will go an antique bookcase I am refinishing
at a snail’s pace. It needs some more sanding and then the
finish. Then the books come down from the attic and I can have
October’s Bright Blue Weather any time I want it. When it is
too warm for comfort I can wrap myself in Snowbound. Ah, the joy of
books! and aren’t we blessed that when we don’t have the
ones we want in our homes the local library will surely find them
for us.

Our County Homemakers are using the theme Holidays in Other
Lands at their Holiday Fair this year and we worked up a pamphlet
on Holland. How wonderful it was to be able to acquire the needed
information from the Traveling Library which we can contact through
our local libraries. Ours is located in Madison. The books are sent
by mail and I believe some can be kept for a month. Then they are
mailed back and one has only to pay return postage. We obtained the
information we needed and the committee is now busy making an
authentic male and female costume and gathering Blue Delft china
and other interesting things. Other centers from the County are
using other lands. I can hardly wait to see that display.

If you should drop in at my house one of these days I might
quite possibly show you my one piece of Spode China. My! I am proud
of that! For 30 years I waited to visit Banff and Lake Louise and
in the shops in Banff I spied that beautiful bone china from
England. At the prevailing prices I came home with one $1.20 egg
cup. But it is a treasure at that and I pick it up with the
greatest care. Perhaps I don’t need to but until I find out how
rugged it is I surely won’t toss it around. I might even get
one of my chickens to lay an egg for you (they are quite
co-operative) and I would serve it to you Spode Style.

Two friends did come calling via my mail box. One of them was a
lady I met at the Mount Pleasant Reunion two or three years ago.
She wrote a delightful letter and I want to thank her. So – thank
you, Mrs. Folkert Harms of Minonk, Illinois. The other lady, Mrs.
Laurence Lynas, Elwood, Illinois tried the potato roll recipe and
has passed it on to her friends. That is one way of making potato
rolls roll all over the place, isn’t it? She also wrote of
their Steam Show there.

It would never do to finish this column and not tell you a bit
about our interesting trip. How can I ever forget the flowers at
Banff? Their colors had an amazing quality, derived I believe from
the long, cool days and the very different character of the sun in
that far northern land. One couldn’t define it, but all of us
spoke of it. It had a persuasive brightness without the glare we
experience here. At ten o’clock at night it was still daylight.
We couldn’t bear to go to bed. We might miss something. And
then there was the pool at Radium Springs where the water emerged
from the rock at the unbelievable temperature of 114 degrees. It
filled a huge pool and this was one place where I wore my swim suit
without embarrassment. There were much worse figures then mine, and
definitely. It was quite revelatory to see them troop out of the
lovely bath house. They were folks of eighty and perhaps even
ninety. I felt like a school girl.

How the weariness soaked out of one in that huge bathtub! My
husband and I grinned at each other in sheer delight. Our daughter,
Mary, chose the pool that was only eighty degrees. She hasn’t
begun to develop our aches yet. Dan stayed at home to practice
football. We all shook our heads as if to say, ‘He is out of
his mind.’ But he made the team and to date they haven’t
lost a game, and that with only one more to play. So, of course, we
have become football fans as well. What an experience it was to
telephone him from Calgary, in Alberta, Canada and have him answer
on the barn telephone. He talked for a few moments and then I heard
Squeek Squeek as Dan said, ‘I have to run Mother. The milker is
falling off the cow.’ Isn’t it a wonderful world we live
in?

As we stood between the mountains and feasted our eyes on the
bluest water I have ever seen; drank from refreshing springs and
mountain streams I could only say, ‘O Lord, how great Thou
art.’ Mary had her cornet along and we stopped on top of a
Montana hill where there was nothing but broad fields in view.
There she practiced as we refreshed ourselves in God’s great
distances. It was food for our souls as we drank in all of the
beauty, Glacier, Kootenay, and Banff National Parks, the mountain
sheep, antelope, elk, right on the roadside. Even a wandering Black
Angus was serving lunch to her offspring in the middle of the
road.

Yes – I waited thirty years – but Oh, how I hope I can see it
again. Not only that, are we saying, but next time – On To Alaska,
is our theme. When I think of our lovely earth -what about heaven?
And I remember ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love Him.’

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment