Farm Collector

The Ladies’ Page

Country Echoes

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

As I start to write this morning New Year is just six hours old.
What a challenge this youngster is! Surely we are somewhat wiser
than we were a year ago. The shock of our President’s
assassination (I had to get the dictionary out for that one) surely
should have brought us all a little closer to a feeling of
repentance, thoughtful meditation. The sorrow wore off rather
slowly and well it might.

But life goes on and tonight the house will really ring with the
voices of the younger generation. Our Mary is having a slumber
party, and, having stayed awake through these before, I am not too
eagerly anticipating the night. We invited them to come in the
middle of the afternoon hoping they may be talked and giggled out
by midnight. Ten girls with all their vacation experiences take
some doing.

And just to prove I am a glutton for punishment – on Friday I am
having over twenty Choir and Bible Class members for a ‘Down on
The Farm Party’. These youngsters range between ten and
fourteen in age. And what a nice group they are. I have as much fun
as anyone. I invited them between four in the afternoon and eight
in the evening. At my age one can’t risk two late nights that
close together.

Spring is going to have a real ‘zing’ in it for me this
year, at least I hope so. A new road was built past our house last
summer and I took advantage of the loose soil and naturalized the
roadside across the road from the house. I would estimate I planted
some four hundred bulbs of several different kinds and colors.
About one hundred thirty of them are crocus. I had a few on the
roadside for quite a number of years but they had rather run out.
It was so dry when I planted them that I could hardly dent the
ground. One day in desperation I borrowed some hose from the
neighbors, and added it to ours, and what a wild time I had with
all those leaking connections as I watered the roadside. When a car
would come along I would dash back across the road feeling like
some kind of a nit-wit. Believe me I got some funny glances from
passerby’s. I am surprised they didn’t send a paddy wagon.
I hope the spring redeems my unseemly behavior. The bulbs are
nicely covered with snow now but I can almost sense their
anticipation of spring along with mine.

In the meantime I have some walls I want to wash and some
drawers to clean out, and a book I would like to write, and, – and,
– and, -. I never had so much trouble typing as I am having this
morning. Maybe the year is too new and it is too early in the

Our young man, John, who left for the army in March is in North
Carolina now, – Fort Bragg. We have another paratrooper in the
family. He has his wings but seems to spend most of his time having
other soldiers fire over his head while he figures out range or
some such thing. We haven’t seen him since June. It doesn’t
sound as if he will come home until summer. Our Ensign son-in-law
and daughter are moving to Philadelphia and one son lives in New
Jersey so half of our family will be on the east coast.

It is getting time to cook up some oatmeal for breakfast. Have
to have something warm to combat our zero temperatures. We had
thirteen days in December when the mercury went Down Under. It is
blowing back from the south this morning and my forty year old
house just ain’t what she used to be, but then, neither am

Last week a door was closed that should have been left open to a
study room we have upstairs and two night blooming cereus plants
which I have been raising for about six or seven years were badly
touched by frost. I had hoped for a blossom next summer. Now I
expect I will have to wait for several years again. I shed some
tears in my frying pan that day. Now that the frost is coming right
into my house I shall welcome spring all the more. Happy planting
to you all.

  • Published on Mar 1, 1964
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