Looking Back on My Uncle’s Farm (Part 2)

red-herefordThe first good memory I remember with my uncle was about the age of 4. He had picked me up for the weekend, but we made an unusual stop at a place called Rinks. We went in, I followed him and it appeared that he knew where he was going. He stopped in the boot section, and I got my first pair of cowboy boots! YEE-HAW! Did you know that there is a difference between different kinds of boots? If memory serves me right, the boots with the points can get caught in the stirrups and you could be dragged by a horse.

I loved my uncle more than any other adult in my family. There is something you should know about my uncle, he just never gave away anything, there had to be something in it for him as well. He never cussed, never smoked, never cried, and he had to be up by O dark 30. His clothes were like uniforms, meal time was at meal time and if my scrawny little city butt wasn’t up in time to eat, I had to wait until the next meal. I always thought those and other habits were because he was in Patton’s Army.

I wore my new cowboy boots home to his house. I was a big girl now. When we got to his place we went straight to the barn and my attitude changed when I walked in to that barn with those boots on. I got my first instruction in horse saddling, okay, it was a Shetland pony. And my new boots got properly broken in with some manure. We got the pony saddled, I got a jockey’s leg up, and then he taught me how to ride the pony. As I was ready for take off, my mother came out screaming for him to get me off of it. I told myself no, my uncle would take care of her. Why was she even there?

I went down the hollar, where another family with kids lived. We began picking and eating blueberries. That doesn’t come off too easily. I got a bucket to go, and headed back to the house. I still had to let my pony free and brush her down. My uncle told me you could tell how much your horse was worth by how many times it rolled in the dirt, and the pony wasn’t worth much. My uncle would teach me many things about life. How to survive and how to barter. He taught me and showed me first hand things that I would never have learned without him.

He had a son that was twice my age, at least. I had 3 siblings. My 2 younger siblings didn’t know how to take my uncle, and I’m sure that my mom had something to do with that. My one older sibling couldn’t have cared less about being out of the city, he was a hustler.

Please stayed tune for part 3…

One would think that 100 acres of farm land would be easy to take care of for any 14 year old city girl, right? Yeah, me too. We all know the routine of getting up and hauling an ax and a sledge hammer to break the ice on the ponds each morning to let the cattle and horses drink. Then each day after getting home from school, changing into my “farm clothes.” My mom was a terrific city cook, but how I longed to have my aunt’s meals.

Thanks to Kimmer for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:

– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each

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