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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Diary Of A Central South Dakota Farm Woman - December 1936

(Editor's Note: Here starts the diary of a woman living on a farm in Beadle County- She will give readers a peek at the daily routine, the joys and sorrows, the work and play of an average Central South Dakota farm family. Other farmers will recognize in it the story of their own lives. It will help give city dwellers a better understanding of the problems of their brothers and sisters on farms.)


Monday: Fourteen, degrees below zero this morning! Rather hard on little toes and fingers that had to walk to school. Our youngsters were ready and waiting when the bus that carries them to high school came along.

I washed this morning and hung everything out. All but the heaviest pieces dried. I think if it continues cold I'll begin hanging things upstairs to dry and on the porch. Lucky is the woman, who has a light, warm basement on wash day in the wintertime.

Canned sausage this afternoon. Instead of cold packing as one does with most meat, I packed this in pound coffee tins and cooked in a slow oven. When done the lard nearly covered it, so I put on the covers tightly and put away. It will taste mighty good with pancakes in the spring when all our other meat is gone.

We caught all the chickens that were roosting other places than the henhouse tonight and shut them in. The four of us got at it and it wasn't so cold a job as we thought. I held the flashlight, Dad caught them and tbe children carried them in. Jerry insisted he had school work a mile high to do and Jane had a headache but I noticed that both the work and headache disappeared like magic after we got in. There was time and energy for a rousing game of monopoly. Be true to me now, memory o' mine, was I ever like that?


Tuesday: I'm horribly late but nevertheless I baked eight fruit cakes today, about a pound in each cake. We are invited out for Christmas dinner so surely these will be all right for New Year's. Ironed, baked bread and scrubbed the porch floor. Should be doing some mending tonight, but I just didn't feel "patchy".

Bought a book Saturday for a Christmas gift and since I've wanted this particular book for so long myself, I'll have to read it before I wrap it and give away. It's "'R You Listenin' " by Tony Wons. Our entire neighborhood used to listen to his broadcasts a year or two ago. Some mighty good advice and I have his philosophy of life. If our club women ask for suggestions on a study book again I think I'll suggest him.

Jerry wants a watch for Christmas! I wonder if we can manage it. Of course he's sixteen, a man of the world now! Done with childish gifts. His father suggested we get him a shaving outfit of his own and did that please him. He's bean waiting years for the first sign of a whisker and at last the day has come. Jane insisted it was only "fuzz" and then the battle was on.

RH Note: This series: Diary Of A Central South Dakota Farm Woman, continues for I year or so. I thought I would start posting the installments and see how it goes. If people like to read this column (from 1936 - 1937), and I don't get sued, then I will try to post them all. It is a bit of work to edit out all of the "copyos" so I'll get to it as often as I can, if there is interest.



Kay said...

It looks like a great read to me. I hope you keep posting diary entries!

Stacey said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing!