The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

My chores growing up

 

October 13, 2017



Growing up in Ekalaka and Carter County, I always had a lot of chores to do. I first milked a cow and retained the milk, at the age of 4 and that was pretty much my job from then on. We always had a milk cow and sometimes more than one. One time my Dad brought home some goats and I had to milk them. That didn't last long because they were hard to milk and none of us liked the milk. We even had a cow at our first house, in Ekalaka. we kept her in Chapman's pasture. Often, I had to pump water for her from a very hard to pump well.

When we moved to our second house in Ekalaka, which we called the Odis Harkins place, we had 152 acres to keep the cow, sometimes cows, and usually lots of horses. We had a windmill and a big stock trough so I no longer had to pump, Hooray. There was lots of work to do at this new place. I had to chop, split and bring in wood and coal. At first we also had to go out to the pump for a bucket of water. I hated it when Dad would yell at me from his bedroom window, “Bill, Will you go get a bucket of water?” as I was on my way to get a bucket of water. After a while, Dad put a tank on the second story and ran a pipe from the windmill over to it so we had running water in the house. We also got an electric pump jack on the pump when the REA came in so we were not so reliant on wind.

When I was in High School I would stay in town playing ball of some kind with some other guys for as long as I could get by with. I had to be home before dark to see where the cows were to bring them in. There was a spot a little ways from the house where you could see almost everything on the 152 acres, unless something was in a little patch of forest. This night it was getting dark and I couldn't spot the cows. I looked everywhere, but no luck. Finally I went back to the house and there they were, in a low roofed shed that I had gone by in my haste. I was so relieved to find them.

There were the unpaid, expected chores and then other chores which Dad usually paid me a little bit for. I have told you in the past about digging the hole for the outhouse. There was a small pasture near the house where Dad put up a little bit of native hay and I always helped. Every once in a while we built fence and I helped with that as well as digging the postholes beforehand.

We were always expected to work in the garden and Mother always had a big one. I helped plant the potatoes and then helped harvest them. Hoeing the garden was a constant chore. Each of us, as kids, were assigned rows and I swear, by the time you got to the end of the row you had to start at the other end again.

I liked doing all this, the only thing I resented was that, when I was sick with a cold or something, I still had to do my chores, but when my sisters were sick, I had to do mine and theirs also. Fortunately I wasn't sick very often. A few times when I was really sick my Mother did them for me. Of course there were other things to do like sorting beans and peas from the garden, picking chickens and churning butter. My sister, Bertha, claims that she did all the churning but I assure you, I did my share. Actually I liked it.

I enjoyed all the chores I had to do back then and have fond memories of them.

 

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