Monday, May 8, 2017

Did I ever mention that from age 10 I grew up on a farm?  After I completed the 4th grade my folks moved from the city to a rural area outside of Tacoma, Washington. They bought 10 acres (ok it was a mini~farm) and my dad's dream of becoming a farmer began.  Now my mom was raised on a farm in eastern Washington, so I imagine she wasn't as excited as my dad was that summer of 1952.  After he was sure all the fences were in order, the first thing dad bought was a Holstein milk cow from some friends of theirs at our church. When Daisy came to us she was pregnant, so before long we had two Holsteins. I don't know who decided but someone in the family thought since the first cow's name was Daisy, we'd stick with the flower theme.  
 When Daisy's calf was born (dad took a home movie of that event of course) it was a female and we named her Lily.  We all loved them and my dad got the bright idea of raising Holstein's, so he started buying 2 or 3 day old Holstein heifers at the auction.  At first we used Daisy's milk in a bucket with a large nipple on it. But eventually, they needed to drink like big cows and that job fell to me.  I would put the milk or water in a regular bucket, put my hand in their mouths and then pull their face down into the bucket. They would suck on my fingers thus sucking up either the milk or water.  Eventually they would get the hang of it and they could drink from the trough provided.  I also had to learn how to milk Daisy. My dad worked swing shift on the railroad and so he milked at noon and midnight because of his working hours. Often in the summer, if he had an opportunity to go fishing I would be called on to do the noon milking.  I remember the first time, I was so nervous that my legs were shaking so bad I could barely stay seated on the milking stool. Daisy kept looking back at me, giving me her gentle moooo (it's ok Linda you can do this.) 

All together we had 12 of the little darlings. All named after flowers. I remember Pansy, Dahlia, Petunia, Marigold, Aster, Gladiolus, Primrose, Rose, etc.   When they were old enough, dad would have they Vet come and do the artificial insemination thing. So when they were for sure pregnant, they could be sold as a two for one deal just like we got Daisy.  We loved them all dearly and believe me they were pampered pets. We fed them, loved them and treated them like rock stars.  We wanted their new people to end up with a tame and gentle cow.  
My dad with Dahlia. And below, my brother with Lily.

I might add that we always had a beef steer,  chickens and pigs plus a giant summer garden. All summer mom was busy canning and freezing. Plus taking care of the daily milk which had to be run thru the separator.  She also made our own butter.  My paternal grandmother and her dad, my great grandfather  also lived on the property..so we all benefited from the farm. 

5 comments:

Jeanie said...

That was fascinating to read Linda. I think you should write a follow up entry soon. Keep up the good work now that you have begun again.

Jeanie

Susan Murphy said...

How interesting Linda,you had quite an upbringing, I really enjoyed learning more about you.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a great post! Life on a farm is a lot of hard work but very rewarding! Nice to see a new post from you!

Jimmy's Journal said...

Good Post Linda. Nice to see you back at it again!

Jimmy

Sybil said...

That was a lovely blog to write Linda, it was so nice to be able to actually..."see" your childhood escapades.....hard work but fun I'm sure xxx