To the Editor:
When I see children at play, I wonder what childhood memory will stand out for them when they reach adulthood.
My favorite is a series of spring and summer visits to a farm owned by friends of my parents in the 1930s. They did not realize what happy memories they created for me so long ago.
We usually awoke to the crowing of the barnyard rooster. Mondays were laundry day, without the modern conveniences of an automatic washer and dryer. The agitator in the washing machine was operated by a lever of some sort. The washed garments and linens were put through a ringer into a galvanized tub of cold water for rinsing and then the ringer process repeated once they had rinsed them by hand.
I “helped” by following behind their daughters, handing them clothespins as they pegged the wash on the line. When gathering eggs, I was taught to distract the sitting hen with one hand and quickly grab the freshly laid egg beneath with the other. I often got pecked until I mastered the deft art.
In the morning and late afternoon, I accompanied one of their daughters to a nearby pasture to bring the cows in for milking. One time I ran ahead and spread the two pieces of barbed wire fence apart for my companion to crawl through; she just stood there, mouth agape. I later found out that it was an electric fence, and the reason I did not get a shock was because I was wearing crepe-soled shoes!
Milking time was a favorite time, when the cats and kittens gathered round waiting for a squirt of milk into their open mouths. I often was given a cup of milk, still warm from the cow. Today’s health nuts would be horrified at that!
Picked strawberries soon ended up in shortcake, but many more strawberries found their way into my mouth than into the container I was to use. The family never made me feel I was a nuisance and always praised me for my efforts.
I came across the following quote recently: “When you remember a past event, you are actually remembering the last time you remembered it, not the event itself.” I do not agree. I remember it with great fondness and clarity. I hope children of today will have such happy memories.