Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 38th Installment

watch the lambs play. Because we were underfoot, the workers would give us several bum lambs from dead ewes, rejected lambs or lambs removed from ewes that had triplets. They figured this would keep us busy and out of their hair. We would bottle feed and care for them for a month, then pasture them to breeding weight (about 8 months) and sell them, keeping one for mutton in the freezer.

         We never really had a horse, but it was a horse that caused a lot of excitement and dread in the family. Linda wanted a horse, and we kept one for a neighbor for a while, but her desire to have a horse was cut short. I recall what Edith told us about our sisters and horses. Linda and Vicki were hired to baby sit for a neighbor, and Linda had driven the Ford Fairlane several miles to their house. Vicki stayed in the house while Linda went out to the neighbor’s horse corral. She decided to try a bareback ride and straddled the horse from the fence. All went well until the horse started to crow hop, and Linda bellied off. She lit wrong on one foot and broke her ankle badly. The bone broke through the skin and in fact she nearly broke her foot completely off. Linda was screaming for help and Vicki heard and came out. Between screaming and crying Linda got Vicki to run to the neighbor’s house and call Edith for help. When Vicki got to the strange house, she was so flustered she couldn’t find the phone. Turns out it was a white phone on the white wall. She bailed out of the house and into the car. She was just eight years old but had driven a few tractors, how hard could a car be to drive? Luckily, she started to figure it out. She raced home, down the long driveway, into the yard and was out of the car without totally stopping. I saw Vicki run to the house and out came Vernon and Edith. They shouted at me, “Watch the place!” and they raced away. They didn’t come back for a couple of days. Russ and I took care of the farm and waited. For about a month after the accident Linda was on bed rest, then on crutches. The bed rest was marvelous for Russ and me because it was a break for us to have her out of our hair. The crutch time was not so good with her constantly poking us with one of her crutches until I felt like ripping off one of her arms and beating her with it.

Farm kids drive young; everyone knows that. Linda, Russ and I would drive any vehicle on the farm and on the highway. I started steering the spud truck down the sack rows when I was seven years old. The Old Man would start the truck down the field in compound low with the manual

500 more words tomorrow

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