The Ladies Page

Country Echoes

| January/February 1970

  • Cow

    Leroy Quandt
  • Russell Steam Traction Engine

    Leroy Quandt

  • Cow
  • Russell Steam Traction Engine

So many unexpected things have happened at our house this past week. One day I had extra people for breakfast, dinner and supper. Yes - we are still old fashioned enough to have dinner at noon and then a meal called supper when our crew finally appears. In the morning the cow tester ate with us, at noon a friend and her little two-year-old daughter, in the evening a nephew, wife and two little ones. The nephew was to leave for Vietnam soon afterward. As I write this he is on his way. They were both so cheerful it was unbelievable.

At Edgewood Acres great changes are taking place. Mr. and Mrs. B. are building a house to retire in. There are many trips to lumber yards to pick out just the exact doors, the right windows, the kitchen counters which will be both decorative and practical. As we skurry around day after day (and especially when I have three unexpected meal additions) our thoughts go to a busy house builder, Johnie Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder lives in Waupaca on Raber Street. His good wife proudly told me that he has built over a hundred houses. Think how happy he has made all these families. His face shows that he takes real pleasure in his work. During all this time John was saving butternut wood and keeping it in reserve for their own home. So on Raber Street in Waupaca there is a house with butternut woodwork which I want to see some day.

It was the 27th of September that we visited a steam show just outside of Waupaca. It is a beginning for Johnie Schroeder and his steam companion, Joe Kuester. They have a collection one might envy if one was given to envying. We went with a neighbor couple, Earl and Lillian Jacques. This was one of those unexpected things, too. I expected to clean up my house, but, of course houses can be.

When we drove off Highway 10 here was the reunion in the nicest little natural arena you could hope for. Several little boys were busy telling one and all where they could park their cars. How important and how cute they were. They had short sticks in their hands and looked as official as the parking men at the county fair. And they had such nice smiles. You just loved them on sight.

A big, swaying truck followed us in and as soon as they were parked they began unloading four head of oxen. These were followed by four huge wooded wheels, ox yokes, a tongue for the wagon which was made of a thin log and all the other pieces necessary to build a wagon right on the spot. The men wandered off to see the engines but Lillian and I stayed put to see the whole thing put together.

As the operation progressed the axles of the 120 pound wheels were cleaned with a blunt knife, and finished with a hank of twisted hay. Then fresh tallow was applied and spread around for lubrication. The wheels were about the size of old fashioned land rollers sawed in half. They were possibly even a little wider than that.


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