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Monday, August 21, 2006

More from Michigan

When you get to the big chicken, you've arrived.

I very nearly brought this little guy home with me. I have had pet rabbits. My grandparents raised rabbits, but we don't talk about why they raised them or where the rabbits went. That was a long time ago in a lifetime far, far away...A lot of things changed on the farm around the time I was born, not the least of which was the addition of indoor plumbing. Seriously. My mother, who is not yet 60, went to a one-room schoolhouse. So did my aunt, and she's even younger. The schoolhouse was at the end of the lane (the country equivalent of a long driveway), so at least they didn't have to walk miles uphill both ways in the snow to get to and from class. (We are talking readin', 'ritin', 'rithmatic, and rural, folks.) Anyway, there is an Angora rabbit in my future...

I called this one Old Blue Eyes.

I was born in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. In fact, I am Pennsylvania Dutch. My mother and my grandparents speak Dutch (a dialect of German) and they used to speak it when they didn't want my brother and me to know what was going on. I can say one sentence in Dutch, which translates to "Can you catch flies?" I don't know why all Pennsylvania Dutch children are taught this phrase, but we are. I can't spell it, and if I tried to spell it phonetically, it would have what appear to be at least two not-so-polite English slang words in it. (Maybe that's why we are taught to say it as children; our parents and grandparents thought it was funny.) Anyway, I grew up in an area where a lot of Amish (and Mennonites) live. Getting stuck behind a horse and buggy on a narrow, winding country road was a common occurrence. I don't see a lot of Amish people in Chicago. (Okay, I've never seen an Amish person in Chicago.) Pennsylvania Dutch is not the same thing as Amish, although in Pennsylvania, the Amish do speak Pennsylvania Dutch. I don't know if the Amish in other states (Ohio, Indiana, etc.) speak a different dialect of Dutch. Hmm, I've never really thought about it. Now I'm going to have to research that. And don't get me started about the movie "Witness"...

When I was little, I lived on my grandparents' farm. Many days, twice a day, I hung out in the barn during milking time, sitting on a big pile of hay bales playing with the barn cats and the dogs, most of which were strays that found their way to our farm and were taken in. My favorite milk cow was named Daisy and she was beautiful. When I was five, my grandparents decided to sell the farm and move up the road to a smaller farm, so they sold off the livestock. Daisy was the first cow sold. I can still remember every detail of what the man wore when he came to get her, and I cried when he loaded her on the truck. That's my dairy fact.

Beef facts for your edification.

Wooden shoes. Really.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Glad you got to the fiber festival. We camp with a 4 inch air mattress, but I would love to replace it with an Aero.

Good luck with the spinning; I've not been tempted--yet.