The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES


| July/August 1973



What a host of changing experiences face us as we live out our years here on earth. And one is almost amazed at the varied interests embraced. One early spring day we had the delightful surprise of having John Kuchenbecker of Appleton call on us. Here was young man who already owned three steam engines A Case, a Russell, and a A.W. Stevens.

To have a young person talk with such understanding about steam propulsion was unusual. We much enjoyed his call. But in the back of my mind a problem was brewing that defied being put off any longer. There was something I had to do, and the propsect was far from pleasant.

The attic on the farm was our problem. It had an accumulation of many years of living tucked away in its dusty boxes, dusty trunks, and there were even a few things hung from the ceiling.

Everybody agreed that 'it didn't really bother anyone up there' but it was bothering me, for I knew it had to be done sometime. Three years had gone by since we moved. The young couple on the farm had every right to the space as the farm belongs to them.

But from the beginning I knew this dividing and sorting would put a strain on mental processes. It is a day when what we think is junk may be someone else's prize. What had sentimental value and what should be burned? I didn't care to inherit any of my own moths. I value the clothes in our new closets.

Armed with many empty boxes, a wet face mask to keep the musty dust from spoiling all my spring and early summer, and a bunch of cleaning equipment, I went to work. I knew the problem beforehand. It was wear the mask and save some disastrous coughing spells and a painfully throbbing head. The alternative was to wear my glasses and no mask. It doesn't work to try accomplishing anything through a fog of breath steam. How could I both see and breathe? Frankly, it got pretty bad. I have coughed for weeks, while asking myself over and over, 'Why do we save so much STUFF?'