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The Great Depression: Life on the Farm


I'm glad you want to sit and listen to some more stories today. I'm still tired from playing Hop Scotch yesterday! I've thought of a few more things we enjoyed doing, so here goes.

I could roller-skate most any time, but there were only a couple of weeks a year for ice-skating. If it rained very hard and then got very cold there was a low stretch of yard that would fill with water and freeze. My skates were just blades that I would fasten to my shoes. Your shoe-skates are much better. However, I had a swing that was better than yours! It was tied to a limb of our apple tree. You could swing so high you felt like your toes would touch the sky!

I spent a lot of time riding my bike. One summer, our town held a big race. The course ran from the center of town to the school and back again, which was less than a mile. I decided to use my brother's bike instead of my own. There was not rule against it. Boys' bikes simply went faster and I wanted to win. It's fun to win once in a while. I think all my girlfriends were much more interested in looking pretty. I must admit that it was difficult to look graceful on a boy's bike. In those days, girls did not wear slacks, only skirts. Oh well, at least I won!

On nice days, I rode my bike to school instead of taking the school bus. That way, I could stop on my way home at my Grandma's. She always had homemade cookies for me, and we worked on crafts together. I especially liked stringing little beads on threads to make pretty necklaces. Some days, I just watched her make quilts. Through the years, she had already made two for each of her grandchildren. I still have mine. I've been saving them for my two daughters.

I remember one neighbor who became an especially good friend. I was always welcome at his house. He had an old horse that he taught me how to ride. That horse was always willing to go for a ride, but when he had had enough, he headed back to the stable. It didn't matter whether I wanted to quit or not!

From there, I went to play on my friend's streetcar! That's right .. a real streetcar. It didn't go anywhere, but I could run up and down between the seats, pull the cord, and ring the bells.

Sometimes when I came back past the house, my neighbor would be sitting on his porch. Then I knew I was also welcome to go inside. He had so many music boxes in every room. I wound one after the next till that house was filled with music. My favorite was in the bathroom. It held the roll of toilet paper. When you pulled the paper out, it played "Happy Days Are Here Again".

I was so sad when my special friend died. I went with my mother to pay our respects and told his sister how much he had meant to me. Then I asked her if I could have one of his music boxes to remember him by. My mother was quite shocked at my bold request. The lady explained that the music boxes were very valuable, but when I said my favorite was the one in the bathroom she just laughed and said I could have that old thing. It wasn't worth anything. I sure didn't agree with that. It meant so much to me that I still have it!


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