The Pattersons owned a farm in Hagerman Township, and scraped a living from the small herd of cattle, their garden, and whatever work the family could find: logging, housekeeping etc. During the depression years, times were particularly tough. The family seemed to eek through with enough to eat, but maybe not the most fashionable of attire was at their disposal.
Mom married Dad, a returning veteran, on August 2nd, 1947. She and Dad bought the family farm from her parents, and there raised their four children. Mom was two months short of 40 when I arrived in 1961. I'm sure it wasn't the most welcome of events, at her age.
However, she made the best of it and I have many fond memories of Mom. Growing up, as the youngest of the brood, here are some of my fav's:
- picking wild strawberries. Most people wouldn't bother themselves with the tiny tasty gems, but we always picked several quarts each year. We enjoyed them fresh, Mom made jam, and the remainder were frozen to be enjoyed in the cold winter months.
- weeding the garden. Mom always grew a magnificent vegetable garden, but along with fertile soil, and abundant crops must come copious weeds. Mom and I spent many happy hours slaying lamb's quarter, creeping charlie and chickweed
- baking apple pie. I'm not sure why, but one particular May 24th sticks in my mind. It was a warm sunny morning, Dad, my brother and I had made the yearly trip to get the bull from the neighbour, so that we would have new calves the next spring. When we got home, Mom had made fresh apple pie. She was an excellent cook - her tarts and pies were among the best in the area.
- reading out loud. When Dad went away to plant trees each spring with the ministry of Natural Resources, Mom always had us on the bed at night, to read stories. I particularly remember all the Thornton W. Burgess books, when I was little, and the Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe when I was older.
- quilting bees. Mom was a part of a circle of ladies who made their own quilts and got together to quilt their masterpieces. Often I would get to walk from school to one of these homes, and not have to take the bus. Several of the ladies had grandchildren my age, and thus they had comic book collections that I could read, until Mom was ready to go home. Of course it was always fun to keep one ear on the gossip session going on around the quilt as well!
- letting me skip school on occasion. I can recall a few times in public school when Mom let me stay home from school, just because something was going on at school that I didn't want to attend. Of course it also happened when there was something I'd rather attend away from school, such as the spring and fall cattle auction. Mom realized my education was far more developed by attending these events than learning the 3R's in a stuffy classroom.
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.