Friday, March 20, 2015

Early Spring

March 2015
From the root-cellar
the last of the winter squash
still succulent
the poem you wrote recalling
a grandmother's hearty soup

Sap drip-drips
from the grandmother maple –
the tin pail
my six-year-old hung,
how slowly it fills

Mud season –
in tux and stiletto heels
we admire
our convertible
stuck in moonlight

so slowly into thawing soil
all those tales
inherited by a sleepy girl

Through fog
the weightless light
of apple blossoms
a white-throated sparrow
calls me deeper

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Memories from the Farm, 30's & 40's

Richard Purington has shared some memories about growing up on Woodslawn Farm in the 1930's and 1940.

Page 1 of Memories from the Farm, 30's and 40's may be read below. The entire 22 page document may be read or downloaded here

A slide show of scanned family photos from the 1930's and 1940's

Memories from the Farm, 30's and 40's
by Richard Purington

Spring 2014

House and barn

The buildings were continuous (New England farm style) from the house to the woodshed to the icehouse, then an old outhouse with three holes, which we never used because we had a flush toilet indoors by then. Then the buildings turned ninety degrees and there were two carriage sheds going out to where Bunny’s clothesline is now. There is nothing left now past the woodshed.

This east-facing section was used for sheltering wagons and other farm equipment. There was an icehouse in the northwest corner section of this structure, at the west end of the woodshed. Cousin Ellen Purington Miller remembers ice being cut from Uncle Reuben's pond, the Wilson Homestead pond, to be stored in this icehouse and others.

When Walt was not very big, he climbed pretty far up a maple tree, one just west of the old carriage shed, what is now near the doghouse by the clothesline. He got up all right but couldn't get back down. I think it was Roland Mather, a cousin of Agnes’ born in 1907, who climbed up and retrieved him.

In the old farmhouse, before Herbert put in the heating system, cooking and heating were done by the wood stove in the kitchen and the wood hot air furnace in the cellar. It had a large register in the living room and on a cold morning it was one of the two places to get warm. The other was next to the kitchen stove with your back against the hot water tank and one foot up on the ledge by the ash pan.

The water tank was copper, about 16" round and five feet tall. It stood upright close beside the stove and had a piping loop that ran thru the firebox. Water was heated there and circulated back to the storage tank. This, plus a teakettle on the stove, provided hot water for baths and dishes.

At some time we acquired some darts and had a target on the kitchen door. I mis-aimed once and put a dart in the thin copper tank. While attempts were made to patch it, I think it always had a slow leak after that.

The upstairs rooms had no heat. Those in the back were especially cold. I slept in the Northeast corner room and if water was left in a glass, it was ice by morning. Soapstones or flat irons were heated on the wood stove and wrapped in towels to take to bed for warming. We had a little dog named Henry who used to go upstairs with me. He sat on the bed and scratched while I got ready for bed. Then he went under the cover and right to the foot of the bed, serving as a foot warmer all night. In the morning he came out and resumed his scratching while I got dressed.

Download the document to read more sections:
Farm Work 
Relatives, Neighbors, and Friends 
The Wilson Hill School 
Fun on the Farm 
Fun off the Farm 
High School 
Memorable Times