Sunday, December 13, 2009

Road to memories

As I sit here trying to type, a cat is at the front door wanting in. With four cats, there is one wanting in or out continually. When it is really cold, sometimes one will want out and when we open the door and it feels the cold, it will either step out and turn around and run back in or sometimes they don't even go out. But it has to be really bitter cold/wind for that.

Anyway, this road to the barn reminds me of other roads, other barns, other times and places. But mostly I think about our barn. It sure seen a lot of life. Just the normal day to day chores of feeding the pigs, and we always fed Old Bob, our old horse a little extra every day. I think it was corn ground up with some kind of sweetening added to it...maybe molasses? I don't really know what was used--I just know it smelled good.

And how many of you know that pigs will eat coal? Honest to goodness, they do. A few times during the year, I would have to get a bucket and gather it full of smaller pieces of coal, the various sizes of crushed rock. I don't know how mom knew they ate coal...and I don't know what it supplied for the pigs but they ate it like the pigs they were. Totally enjoyed it. And I know mom thought it supplied something they needed. And I have heard a neighbor talking about his pigs and thinking something was wrong, and mom told him to feed them coal.

And in the summer, two or three times a week mom or I, or both of us would cut a big armload of what we called horseweeds and carry them and throw them in the pigpen to the pigs. I have been trying to find a decent picture of what we called horseweeds but can't. What is listed as horseweeds in a google search is not what we called horseweeds. I just had a thought googled ragweed, then clicked images. It came up as giant ragweed. That makes sense because of the flower head--it is similar to regular ragweed.

In the summer, my sisters would usually come home for at least one visit...and soon as they got in my nieces and/or nephews wanted to go to the barn. The one thing I remember them really liking to do was to shell corn for the pigs. It was an added bonus if we happened to have a calf that we were keeping in the barn! I didn't realize it when I was a kid, at least not at first, but a couple of the nephews would try riding the calves if they were any size at all!

That is just a few of the memories that flood my soul when I see it is no wonder that I love them.


Judy @ daily yarns said...

I love this picture Rose...It feels like I'm standing right there.

Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of barns and the animals kept in them or animals in them when I went in. I liked to sit on the big work horses' back and pretend I was a knight. lol

Lowell said...

Love the barn. Love your commentary even more. I can identify with some of it, having had a few of the same experiences...but always as a visitor...I never actually lived on a farm.

Pigs eating coal, though, that's a new one!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

What neat memories, Rose. I don't know a blooming thing about pigs--but there's one thing I surely did not know.. I didn't know that they ate COAL.

I grew up in the coal-mining areas of Virginia (as you know)--and we used coal for heating.

If walls could talk, I'm sure that all barns could tell some great stories.


EG CameraGirl said...

Wonderful memories. Growing up on a farm must have been hard work but worth it. You turned out so well! ;-)
Seriously, I enjoy your farm memories.

George said...

I can now understand why you like barns so much -- they bring back many memories. I never knew that pigs would eat coal. Thanks for the education!

Neal said...

Yeah, pigs really like coal. Remember when we gave the cows nubbins.... How many people do you think knows what nubbin is? :)

Mary said...

Laughed about the cats...mine are the same and out. A cat is never happy with what side of the door it is on. Great barn photo and enjoyed the memories you wrote about it. I've never heard of feeding coal to pigs! I wonder why? When we visited my Grandmother's farm, I could hardly wait to head to the barn. Something about barns certainly calls out to young kids, except if they have to work in them probably. I loved sneaking up into the hay loft...we weren't suppose to. And just roaming around looking at the animals and everything else that was there.

Rose said...

Neal, I wondered the same thing...and Glen wrote me talking about feeding nubbins to the cows and Old Bob.

Caron said...

I know about the cats even though ours don't go out.

This post makes me see in my mind what you describe.