Chronicles of The Farm Woman: May Day


One custom country children do not enjoy is that of hanging May baskets.  There is no reason why they shouldn’t.  They could walk a quarter or a half mile to the near neighbors.  Perhaps it is because we have no doorbells in the country.  Ringing the doorbell as you hang the basket is half the fun.

May, in the country, means the time when children go barefoot.  They step gingerly the first few days until the feet become hardened.  It is the month in which country boys have their heads shaved.  All the bumps of knowledge or skill, which we used to study in high school psychology, are plainly visible.  Sheep are sheared in late April or May.  They appear nude and retiring.  However, they are comfortable and they do not pant on warm days.

Eighth graders are breathing easier this week.  Examinations are over.  They know that no grades will be mailed until the last of May, yet they watch for the mail carrier half-expectantly.  We know only second hand what the examination questions were.  The children were not allowed to bring a copy home.  As they explained it, it seemed rather a trick question to ask what sections of land were originally laid aside for school purposes.  We did not know, hence we thought it catchy.  How many of you know the section, township, range in which you live?  Any test or examination is easy when one knows the answer.

A friend from town always comes to the farm in spring.  Especially does she come to watch the little red pigs as they roam around.  She says the expression on the face of each little porker reminds her of some acquaintance.

Old cars are a necessary nuisance.  We must have transportation.  Where is the country boy who can rate a steady girl unless he has a car or a friend who has one?  But old cars are a source of worry to more than one farm mother.  Youth dares to venture farther from home than its elders.  Mothers wonder when daughters set out if they will return safely.  Blowouts can often be fixed or one can return home on the rim.  When the lights blow out or an axle breaks what is there to do?  Daughter knows her mother will not sleep a wink until she gets home.

Has some demon given us a glimpse of improved streamline transportation only to deny us the privilege of obtaining it? Will our economic world eventually catch up with that of industry and invention?

Many old cars on the highways today should be taken to the city dump.


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