RURAL REFLECTIONS: Spring into spring
Spring means so many things, and it means different things to different people.
For us in Oregon, this spring has meant enough rain to float an ark. And for this farm kid, spring is full of delightful memories.
In early spring, our small number of sheep grew in size. The ewes gave birth to darling little, wooly lambs with long tails that seemed to know how to eagerly wiggle as soon as they were born. So often, a lamb would be abandoned by the mama and had to be bottle fed.
Winter wheat began to push through the ground. Fields that were brown and barren turned green. A lush green. Maybe they seemed greener, because we had seen mostly dismal shades of colorless scenery all winter. Now the fields were eager to bring forth this crop that would help the farmer get through the year.
Here in Oregon, we have fields of red clover. The hills are covered with a breathtaking red.
It was a time when our tobacco beds were steamed in preparation for the tobacco seeds. The old steam engine huffed down the road and up the lane to our house. The tobacco beds were steamed to sterilize the soil. We got to pull the chain for the whistle.
Mom was looking at the chickens a bit differently than she did all winter, because now she could kill some to fry up for hands or feed her family Sunday dinner. Off with their heads!
She hung them by a leg on the clothesline, while my friend Brenda and I watched. Yep, entertainment.
Dad plowed the garden and the seeds were set. The age-old rhubarb plant on the corner was as robust as ever. I could almost smell the pie in the oven.
Since we started school in August, we were out in May. The days were warming up, and my feet were anxious to exit shoes. Bible school would soon be underway, as well as 4-H projects. Mom loved 4-H. Her daughters, not so much. We were a family of the arts and not the home "arts."
Dad was itching to get into the fields to plow and plant. It was time to see that all the equipment was oiled and ready. Work in the field would be continual until fall The barns were cleaned from wintering animals. Manure smell filled the air. Before too long, Dad and Cyril, our next door neighbor, would be shearing sheep.
Ah, yes. Spring. Truly, it is my favorite time of the year. And, as with every spring, my thoughts return to the farm.
I have sprung into spring.
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