The Ladies Page

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Raymond Laizure
Courtesy of Raymond Laizure. R.F.D,3,. Cadiz. Ohio 13907. This picture was taken 9 miles south of Cadiz. It is an 18 Hp. Garr-Scott engine and De Loach Mill. The fireman, Earl Dunlap is holding axe. He left for Arizona in 1925 and passed on a few years l


As the years begin to build a sizeable total around our
accumulative life people become more retrospective, it seems. The
good old days–the good old days– this becomes our cry of relief
as we face this day. And then I begin to wonder at how good the
good old days really were.

I have just finished reading Chet Huntley’s new book, THE
GENEROUS YEARS. He tells much of his childhood experiences as a boy
growing to manhood on a Montana farm. It is really a story of
survival with the elements as these pioneers came to claim free
land and make homes for themselves in this formidable land. And
lest you Montana dwellers think I am slandering your state, may I
quickly add that Wisconsin can be formidable also, especially in
January and February. As I write this column it is the first day of
May and the furnace is running right now. The men have put the
grain into the soil wearing sheep lined coats at times.

But through all the cold of our winters, each spring is
something to anticipate with utter unbelief. After thirty two years
of living in one place our garden is becoming a cheerful array of
color all summer long. One learns, and one plans. ‘Oh,’ you
say to yourself as you wipe your soiled hand over your itching
nose. ‘Oh! Those two blossom at the same time! They should be
lovely planted together!’ And then you decide which should be
planted in front of the other to make a pretty picture from your
kitchen window or a thing of joy for the passerby.

You gradually eliminate the mistakes you made in early ignorance
as you planted this and that with this and that in more enthusiasm
than good sense. Your patch of Bloodroot is spreading, the Jack In
The Pulpit is becoming well established, The Dutchman’s
Breeches are really showing up for the first time and the Vinca
Minor has finally made a blue and green carpet covering some choice
tulip bulbs. AND they are keeping down the weeds as I had hoped
they would. Hooray!

This is about the time I whisper a prayer of thanksgiving that
bulbs multiply for now I can count twenty five or thirty blossoms
on my Red Emporer tulips. I started out with three bulbs of R. E.
And, at last, there are large patches of beautiful jonquils from
what was one bulb of a kind in the beginning. Divide and multiply
works here also.

Each year there must be something new in the garden. This keeps
up a lively interest, and usually every year something dies. And
who can part with such things as the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart?
Someone gave me a fresh start this spring when they decided it was
time to move their old plant. Had I done this on time I would not
have lost my mother’s plant. The root began to rot from the
bottom and that was the end.

Many are the miles I have traveled on the footboard of that
engine. One time, I had low water at the top of a long hill, so I
unhitched from the tank wagon and backed down the hill and filled
up with water, then went back up the hill after the tank. That was
the best steaming boiler I ever had anything to do with.

Plants are like children, they need love and attention but also
discipline. Some of them will run all over the garden without
proper curbing. But I think they appreciate being kept in their
place. And plants need room, too, room to be beautiful so they may
feel the air around them. They respond to love, they thrive on

Some of my mother’s peony plants are still here, in the same
spot she had them. To have to dig them up would be a task I
wouldn’t want to think about. They are part of the good old
days. Some of her roses still remain and I cherish them. The one
lilac bush I played around as a child is still sending out lovely
trusses of flowers every year. They help to bind me to the past,
but I surely get a great sense of living out of the present.

My garden is one of ‘my things’ as the present
generation says. Perhaps our generation hasn’t been
appreciative enough of what is here now. If we give to our families
a sense of exhilerating interest in the here and now we will help
to bring the misguided ones back to knowing life can be a
tremendous adventure, not a bore to put up with as they live out
heir meaningless existence.

I know everyone doesn’t have wide open spaces around them
but I have seen lovely geraniums in wretchedly poor house windows.
I have seen a colorful pot of flowers hanging on a delapidated
porch. I carried a cactus root back from a shack in Kentucky. The
occupant was a happy person.

And my neighbors-Well I just can’t say too much for them.
Sure-they are human, but so am I. And as for antiques, I have them
too, and cherish them. But I will not hearken back to the good old
days and lose this day in which I live. And if this is such a good
day for me to live in, tomorrow, while it will bring its toil and
its pain, will be even better.

And above all to the Christian there is always the blessed
hope–‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered
into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them
that love Him.’ II Corinthians 2:9. Doesn’t this fill you
with a great anticipation? I can scarcely wait, but in the meantime
you can count on it I am not going to miss a thing.

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