Sunday, June 24, 2012


How many of you remember the old song "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true.  I'm half crazy all for the love of you"  Actually that's the chorus to the song 'Bicycle Built For Two.'  I used to sing this to my kids and I taught it to my grand kids when they come along. (I wonder at ages 20 & 21 if they still remember it?)

Well, there was a reason this song was important to me as I grew up.  In June 1952 my folks moved from a 2 bedroom house in the city to a 10 acre 'farm' 3½ miles away. I was 10½ having just completed the 4th grade and my brother was 2 yrs old when this move took place. 

My dad was born in Idaho into a railroad family. They eventually moved into eastern Washington and when my dad was about 9 his parents divorced. He and his younger brother went with their father to southern California and his younger sister stayed with my grandmother and her family. My dad stayed with his father and step mother until he was 16 when he ran away and came back to Washington state to live with his mother.  He even went to Hollywood High School for a couple of years. 

My dad once told me he had always had a desire to 'live on the land' and not in the hustle bustle of southern California. So this 10 acres of land was always in the back of his mind. The property had a raggedy old house on it (heated only by an oil stove in the living room area) and my mom set about to make it a home.  And that she did.  I can remember ice on the inside of my two bedroom windows in the winter but my bedroom walls were painted pale pink with wallpaper border filled with roses. By the time I was a junior in high school a new, roomy house had been built by my dad and front of the old one. 

My parents had some friends from church that owned a dairy farm not too far from us. I don't think it was that first summer but by the following year we had the first of many farm animals.  She was black and white with a sweet gentle spirit.....she was our Holstein ~ Daisy. 
Daisy was rather small for a Holstein, so she was in no way intimidating to any of us. We all fell in love with our Daisy. My mother was raised on a large hop farm in eastern Washington, so she was used to farm animals and the work that goes along with living on a farm. So once dad built a fenced in area next to the old chicken coop she filled it with chickens.  And soon a HUGE garden area was plowed and in the Spring of 1953 she planted the first of a yearly very large garden.  That's when I learned to weed. Oh , I hated that. 

My dad worked full time as a train dispatcher for the Milwaukee Railroad and for as long as I can remember he worked swing shift....which was 3:30pm to 11:30pm.  Now most cows are milked in the early morning and then 12 hours later in the early evening.  But because of dad's work schedule Daisy was milked at noon and midnight.  By the time I was 12, dad had taught me the procedure for milking a cow. There were times, especially in the summer when he wanted to take a day and go fishing so it became my job on those days to do the noon milking. I remember being so nervous the first time but when Daisy looked back at me and mooed softly I knew everything was going to be ok. But that's also when I started singing to her as I milked. I sang "Daisy, Daisy give me your answer true."  Having a cow is a huge job....there's the milking, then it has to run thru a separator and then bottled.  Then you have to wash  and dry the separator. Mom would skim the cream off our milk for butter (which she churned).  Back in the 1950's it was ok to sell raw milk to the neighbors. And we did.  I can remember neighbor kids coming down our long drive way pulling their wagon with bottles rattling.  Other's came by in their cars to get their milk all bottled and capped by my mom.   Our dear Daisy produced enough milk for our family and many others.  She was loved by many.   


Marie said...

Loved this post Linda. I used to sing this song all the time when I was a child. I loved it! I am old enough to still remember the sound of milk bottles being delivered in the morning . . . that layer of cream which was always on the top . . . and the way it froze in the tops of the bottles in the winter, popping the caps off!

Thanks for a lovely post!

Jan said...

Yes that was my lullaby as I rocked my four 'babies' then my Grandchildren too ,I was about four when a lady would take me delivering milk from churns,on a little pony and trap ,people would have the milk in jugs ,what a lovely post ,it evoked some lovely memories for me too Jan xx

Maria said...

What a great story, Linda! Funny but I used to sing that second verse to my husband all the time...the one that goes "Harry, Harry, this is my answer true..." LOL, it was always cracking us up....
Maria from Seattle

Linda :) said...

I find myself singing that song in the shower ever so often, don't know why it just pops into my head... I remember one summer visiting my grandparents farm and helping my grandmother make butter from milking the cow... wonderful post... :)

The Brown Recluse said...

I've never heard the song...but you tell a tale of a wonderful childhood.

I understand raw milk help autism...that's what I read anyway.

I wonder why your dad ran away.

Lori said...

I can remember singing that song when I was a kid. Loved this post Linda!

Barb said...

Old songs are the best songs. I really enjoyed this post. I'm glad you're blogging again.

Sybil said...

what a lovely story thanks for sharing in our mad hurry hurry world it is good to be reminded of these slower days,,,as for Daisy Daisy it is so funny as since i got wee Masy the puppy i have been singing it to her !!! LOL