The Ladies Page

The time of summer Steam Engine Days has come and gone once
again, and this year, somehow, I missed every one of them. At the
time I am writing this there are still some being held. Could it be
we will get to at least one, that is, together? For someone who
likes to see the Old Steamers chugging away as much as I do, this
seems regrettable.

It seems Yours Truly has not chugged so well herself this year
but things are on the mend. The information from a varicose vein
kept me most uncomfortable for a long time and then seemed to
settle in a nerve or a muscle. All together there has been about
six months of grabbing every available rest period on my back so
that I could do what must be done. So, it seemed, it would not be
the most advisable thing to spend hours on my feet visiting the
Iron Horses at work, and at play.

One of the days when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself a
wonderful surprise came through the mail. Someone had taken an
interest in my wanting Wild Myrtle in my yard and sent me a nice
root from their back yard. I have thanked them personally, but
‘Thank you’ again. It is growing very well. Next Spring
will be a great time of anticipation to see it blossom. People can
be so nice when they take time to be that way. It is these little
things that take the rough edges off just a little.

Right now the last of our children who visited us are spending
their third day on the road toward Idaho, and home for them. For
two young children, six and eight, these can be long days. Just
before they left I found a little red box, a so pretty one, and put
the broken bits of colored glass from our kaleidoscope inside,
secured it with a rubber band, and gave it to them, along with some
other little ‘hold in your hand things.’ You wouldn’t
believe how happy they were with these. And you wouldn’t
believe what a warm feeling it left around my heart, a sort of
parting comfort that helps to bridge the miles again.

It was a wonderful thing to have all six children back under our
roof. For four days there were nine of us, for four days thirteen,
and for two hectic, wonderful days there were seventeen people
around our table. Threshing days were back again as Father steamed
up the Minneapolis Engine and everybody had rides and pulled the
whistle cord. That even helped drown out the teething baby who
picked this particular time to cut his eye and stomach teeth. He
didn’t like anybody but his mama, and not even she too well.
The last day the teeth were through and he felt much better.

We could all be seated around one table, on the front porch, as
we still had Grandma Baber’s old extension table in storage and
it proved every bit as adequate as when the threshers came with
their powerful rigs. The old snapshots were hauled out. Piano duets
filled the house with music again. Password was the favorite game
with our still naughty boys teasing our exasperated girls as they
did in their growing-up years. In fact, one night when we took off
to sleep in the barn, things were going so lively that the man of
the house said, ‘Really, Mother, do you think it is safe for us
to go out of the house? We want a house left when we get

I shook my head as well as he, and said, ‘Goodness, Alfred,
they’re grown-up young men and women. We ought to be able to
trust them now.’ And believe it or not, nothing was broken, and
even teething Brian stayed asleep through the uproar. But the next
morning I learned that the future in-law who was here from New
Jersey had gotten real peeved at our third son. They had nearly had
their first fight in almost two years of courtship. I laughed right
out loud.

‘Good,’ I said, ‘I’m glad she has enough spunk
to come up against you. Young Man.’ But all was peaceful and
calm next morning. Breakfast was simply hilarious as they reviewed
the events of the previous night. The girls claimed that the boys
were showing the words through the cupboard doors. They had them
written on paper sacks they snitched from my kitchen drawer. It was
all clean fun, but to us the office in the bam was a wonderfully
quiet haven when things became too involved.

So, by car, four when back to Kansas, by camper, four went back
to Idaho, and by plane four went back to New Jersey. What a far cry
from the way we traveled in Steam Engine Days. As I remember it all
it seems so incredible that in about three hours from the time we
put them on the plane they would be a thousand miles from us

Watching these enormous jet airplanes lift off of the ground at
the Milwaukee airport I felt a small shudder pass over me. To think
of the power it takes to lift these tons and tons of varied
material up from our troubled earth is overwhelming! And man with
the imagination of his mind has done this. Then what of God’s
infinite power? Surely the surging flow of it should thrill us
beyond all comprehension. And all man can do is riot and fight on
this wonderful earth. If only all men could step into the will of
God and be willing to be what God wants them to be what a
transformation we would have in our world. And if only each father
and each mother would build a good Christian home to bring up their
children in, be it humble or grand, we would have no social

You may say, ‘Well that would be Utopia.’ Yes, of
course, that would be utopia, and what a wonderful state it would
be. ‘He is not willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance.’ II Peter 3:9. God surely does not
want us killing and fighting each other, we are His creation, and
can become His children if we so choose. Let us all pray that
God’s power, rather than man’s power shall rule us before
we all destroy ourselves in hate.

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