Saturday, June 22, 2013

Milking Award!

My grandparents were chicken farmers.  Here is a photo I scanned of the farm house and barn.  By the time I came along, there were no more chickens, just the big empty barn and chicken houses, and I remember the silo, which was sold later.  Nana told me that the chickens came in as chicks on the ground floor of the barn and slowly moved up a level each year.  The top floor - well, if you were a chicken, you probably didn't want to be on the top floor!  
Grandpa always parked the car in that little white shed.  If Nana wanted to go to town he would take it out and wipe it all down with a cloth before going for a drive.  When they got home, he would wash it before putting it away!  People took care of their things back then, that is for sure!
Here is a photo of Nana!  The bottom corner of the photo says 1979 and that seems about right to me.  The photo has those rounded edges that you got with those 110 cameras.

Many times when I visited Nana, she and I would sit on a big step that connected the kitchen to the living room and play jacks.  While we played, she would tell me stories, but I can't remember all of them anymore.  She had lots of saying though, a favorite was, "don't tell all you know".  She told me that she knew how to milk a cow just fine, but never let on to Grandpa that she knew.  That way - he was sure to be home, everyday, to milk the cows!  
Well, there must be some farm DNA in my son.  He loves animals, growing things and being outside.  His 3rd grade class just went to a farm for 4 nights for their class trip.  They had a mechanical milking machine there that all the kids got to try and it measured how much milk they could get out of the machine within a certain period of time.  My son got the first prize for milking!  His award was a cow bell medal with the traditional Austrian decorations on it.  He is very happy with his medal!  I took this photo while we were chatting on Skype.  Thank goodness for Skype!  The day before he left on his trip he said, "I'm going to miss you!".  We are so far apart, but Skype helps keep us connected and he is very used talking with me every day.  Not much longer now until I have my family back - I can hardly wait!  Just a few more days!!!  I am trying not to think about it because I don't want to jinx anything.

I know lots of people who have chickens now.  Used to be, you could learn from your grandparents or you grew up with chickens, but these things seem to have skipped a generation or two for most people.  So, people have to learn how to keep chickens again - even on a small scale.  My niece has chickens - they are usually out in the yard running all over the place.  Here is a photo of my son with them 2 years ago when they were all in the run.  Last summer one of my small nephews was amazed to learn where eggs came from.  THAT was amazing news for a 4 year old, LOL!  
I wonder what my Nana would think about our chicken ignorance now-adays?  And - I wonder what my Nana would think about a "game" with a mechanical milking machine!


Lindah said...

My how that young man has grown!
Your grandparents' farm is beautiful. I, too, would like to have a few chickens, but there are so many wild critters around our creekside home. It would need to be a really secure pen. But we have converted our seldom used swimming pool into a tilapia and catfish pond. Hopefully, that will supply some good dinners and some to sell, as well.
Blessings on your family reunion!

Doodlebug Gail said...

Have a wonderful summer with your family - your son is growing up, what a lovely photo of him with his medal. Take care, Gail