from The Old Stone House
One summer my mother surprised us (my brother and I) by telling us that we were to go on a weeks visit to the country with my grandmother. My grandmother had been wanting to see her sister. She lived with her daughter (our aunt Jenny) and her family. Although we didn't by any means, live in the city (we lived in the suburbs) a trip to the country sounded great!
My Aunt Jo and Aunt Jenny lived on a chicken farm. In the morning, Aunt Jo (my grandmothers' sister) took me with her to the chicken coops to gather the eggs. She showed me how to gently move the hen and reach in and take the eggs. We put them in a basket and brought them back to the house. Later in the day they took me downstairs and showed me how to "candle" the eggs. The egg was held up to a light and they explained that if you saw a spot in the egg, it was no good. They had a board with different size holes in it. This would determine which carton the egg would go in, small, med.,large or extra large. I
thought that this was great fun and was excited when they sent me off by myself to collect eggs the following morning! Well, I went to the chicken coop and was gathering the eggs but when I went to take an egg from one hen, she started clucking and chased me out of the coop!
I ran back to the house to tell them what happened. They just laughed and said, "That crazy hen thinks she is going to hatch a chick." I felt sorry for the hen and said," what if she is hatching one?" They told me that wasn't possible because they had no rooster. I asked them why they needed a rooster to have baby chicks. I was about twelve years old at the time and I don't think they were expecting to explain "the birds and the bees" to me, or in this case, "the rooster and the hens!"I went home still wondering about that.
One afternoon, my Aunt Jenny went up into the attic and brought down a doll that was hers when she was young. The doll was life sized and very old (and breakable!) Her name, I believe, was "Bubbles" They told me to sit down in a chair and placed "Bubbles" in my arms. I could tell that this was a real honor bestowed on me, and I was very flattered.
My brother and I soon became friends with some of the other kids that lived near by. They told me about blueberry bushes and I ran back to the house and got some containers and off we went to pick blueberries! I loved picking blueberries and wanted to go every day. My grandmother and my aunts never wasted anything. Those ladies baked blueberry pies, blueberry muffins, blueberry pancakes, and we had blueberries on our cereal every morning! We sure kept those ladies busy in the kitchen that week! Looking back now, I fondly remember the week spent in the country with my grandmother and my aunts.
I hope you all will enjoy thinking about the summers of your youth!
Have a great day!