“Hey plowboy, where were you yesterday?” a high school friend asked. I was given that name after spending a day on the farm using a tractor and of course plowing fields for use in the fall harvest.
“Oh, the usual,” I replied kind of embarrassed at the title. While most of my friends were having part time jobs in stores and factories, my dear dad had me working the farm. The school allowed me that privilege during planting season, if you want to call it a privilege. I wasn’t being paid for it all, it would feed that family of six when we harvested. We lived in the city of 17 years and went to the farm of often to visit my dad’s aunt and uncle, the sweetest people on earth. My great aunt always insisted on serving coffee with cream and sugar every time we went there. One week she ran of cream, eventually I didn’t use cream, the she ran out of sugar, I got accustomed to drinking coffee black, I did that for many years. My dad always drank tea and encouraged to the same. Now as a an adult, tea is all I drink. Then my great aunt and uncle passed away. We had to take over of the farm our selves, Dad had inherited all the property including the farm equipment.
It was a dirty job working on the farm, but it kind like a second home. One we discovered a break in at the house, the antiques were stolen, the place was trashed, dad was really upset. He decided to remodel the entire interiors home for our family of six to live in. The old house was in bad shape. Someone need to stay there while a lumbar and remodeling stuff was on the premises, I volunteered. During remodeling I slept in my soon to be bedroom. I drove to school every day then back to the farm at night. It was rather creepy at night with mice running around the rooms, winter settled in I was cold, even in a sleeping bag. One morning my mother asked me I had been cold that night, I told her I was. The temperature had dropped to a minus 40 degrees that night. Ah, frozen tundra.
A lot challenging work was put into the home tearing apart walls of ancient plaster, but I ended up with nice bedroom. I had my own bathroom and plenty of privacy. We had moved from the city of Bismarck, ND to the farm. My ancestors left behind several chickens and rooster that woke me up every day, ugh. But still it was always peaceful there. We were 15 miles from the city with a nice country drive with view of the nearby Missouri river, I loved to come home to the quiet and my mother was always fun to be with. Dad had been in auto body repair for many years in town, he lost his job in town because would not cheat on the customers. He eventually built his own body shop on the farm, it is there to this day. His customer loved coming to the farm to have their cars taken care of. I worked in the body shop for a year so see if I like it, I didn’t like that kind of work. I was photographer at heart.
We did plant oats and wheat a for couple years and did our own harvesting in the summer out of school. Hot and dirty work, that was when I inhereted title, plowboy. My dad bought 12 head of cattle, they were like pets to us, I took care of one steer everyday and when it was sold my dad gave me the money for it, much to my surprise. Some how we ended up with a horse given to us. I loved that horse. When we weren’t working I would ride about a mile from the farm, drop the reigns and let it find its way home. I loved singing while riding, it was real joy in my life.