By Doris Schroeder
I must confess it is getting rather difficult to distinguish the seasons by the weather at this time. Here we are entering the month of June wearing heavy coats and raingear to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and still wearing long sleeves in our daily living as well as alternating between the furnace and the air conditioner at home. Looking at the calendar, I see we are only a little over ten days from the 2lst and so it is almost a summer afternoon.
It’s true the grass is greener than it has ever been, the garden is producing like a tornado and my hubby has more energy than he has for a long time…but it is getting hard to keep up. We look forward to our son and his wife coming in a couple weeks and I hope to be ready for them.
I need to keep in gear in order to get everything done. It is very hard to do, however, when I hear things that want to keep my remembering and creative juices going. My niece told me about a movie called McFarland that was on and that it was filmed in California. Then yesterday I read in the paper that it is now on tape and I certainly would like to see it.
You see, when we lived in California in the early forties, our abode was in McFarland and I have enjoyed a lot of memories connected with that little town located about 25 miles from Bakersfield. I can remember many summer afternoons in that little township. When John and I visited it in 1990, we could see it had changed a lot, since now it was inhabited mostly with fruit pickers. When we lived there, there were all types of people represented from many different states across the U.S. .
I loved the house we lived in. It had a huge fenced in yard, with a lot of California in it. We had a small grape arbor for a few plants that rew all across it. Some evenings my parents would carry out the kitchen table and put it under the light bulb and Mom would cook supper and carry it out. Our relatives of that day would dearly love to come over and we kids always had a fun time.
We also had a fig tree from which Mom would make jam, an almond tree, a pomegranate plant and several oers. My girl friends Billie Rae and Cordia Ann Moreland and I would sit up in the branches of the almond tree and plan out our lives, scheming all sorts of adventures for the future. We even planned how we would make money, although at the age of a second grader, it was only by selling pop bottles we found and sold for two cents apiece.
Downtown we had other businesses that were interesting. My favorite was the outdoor fruit market where Mom always bought me some green grapes. There was a Schneider Drug Store owned by the father of one of my classmates, Roger. I thought it wonderful that once in awhile he offered me a free fountain coke…Cherry coke was new and my favorite.
When we had moved off the Kansas farm to go to California, my parents had promised me I could have the money that came from selling my earlier toys. I had decided on the purchase of a red scooter on which I enjoyed many happy hours roaming the town of McFarland with my girl friend Billie Rae, who also convinced her family to get one for her. In summer we would sometimes be out, scooting around, from noon until supper time, when we knew it was time to come home. As we checked out the town, I would make up stories about the citizens of McFarland and Billie Rae would add her two cents’ worth.
On the corner from our house there was a white church which I attended for Sunday School and Bible School. The preacher’s wife looked like our president’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and I was enthralled, telling my friends it probably was her. She taught the singing in Bible School with much enthusiasm, making us sing with gusto.
On the opposite corner was the Kern County Library which I frequented quite often. It was wonderful to have so many choices and I read one hundred books in the second grade.
In our little downtown area which has located about 2 blocks from our house, there was also a hardware store, a dress material shop, a nickel and dime store, a movie theater, and a small repair shop, as well as another grocery store and a post office.
As was her custom, my Mom walked to the store every day, along with the little canvas stroller with my one-year-old sister Carol. In summer, I would go along, always full of questions. On our way home, I would see some Ladybugs on the sidewalk and of course, wanted to know why they were called that. Mom could always come up with some explanation that made sense to me.
At any rate, I loved living in McFarland, California at that time and since I have opened the floodgate of memories will continue on this subject sometime in July or August when it is really summer.
In the meantime, let us take pleasure in THIS summer to the fullest as we enjoy all the blessings God has given to us. Whatever comes along, no matter what state we are in, if we have accepted him into our heart and are following his leading we can enjoy any time of our life!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected]