I was raised on a farm in my younger years, and as everyone always says life is hard on the farm. Well to be honest it truly is. There is always something to do and someone to take care of. An animal that needs to be feed or cleaned or rescued from the brier patch. Some thing always to do. Always busy, busy, busy.
There are four of us children. My brother is the oldest now59, then a sister 51, then me now 47, then my baby sister 45. My parents divorced when I was six years old and me and my two sisters lived with my Father. My brother had moved out of my Dads house at a very young age, due to his beatings, so it was just us three girls. Dad was a very strict man, and never showed love only hate. I don’t believe it was his fault because I don’t think his Mother raised him with love, his Dad had died when he was young and I do believe my Grandmother did the best she could as he did, but love they didn’t teach. They didn’t understand how to show it at all.
My Mom on the other hand was full of love so I got that from her. I think all four of us did. Her smile and gentleness was a gift, I must say, to all that was in the presence of her. All of us got that from her, so Dad was a little easier to try to understand and deal with. We all knew when Mom came to visit it was going to be a good day filled with smiles, hugs and kisses and I love you’s. We longed for those days and they didn’t come far often enough for any of us.
We were born, in my fathers words, to work, not to play not to have friends, not to sit around and do nothing, but to work. At an age as far back as I can remember that’s what was taught to us all by him. My first memory is a sad one, but true. We had a huge wood cook stove in our kitchen and I used to take my bottle and lay behind the stove and stay warm and sleep. One day my Dad came home from work and I got up to greet him. I was excited to see him, maybe cause I was just too little to realize he didn’t seem to care if he saw me or not. I remember opening my arms for him to pick me up, and instead he grabbed the bottle from my mouth and said, you don’t need that thing anymore, he took it over opened the stove and inside it went. I was crushed inside and began to cry. My Mom yelled at him which did no good, and came to comfort me. This memory will always live inside of me. I just cant seem to let it go. A short time after that my parents divorced.
Now you may be asking who was caring for us as my Dad worked, well it was my older sister. She had to take on the role of mom after their divorce. She tried hard to do what had to be done, but she too was still so young. She wasn’t very nice to me or my younger sister because she was kind of evil like my Dad . Maybe because of the role she had to take I am not quite sure.
We also raised lots and lots of vegetables, we were vegetarians so we needed food for the winter. Dad did lots of freezing and canning, but before the harvest the weeds had to be pulled and the gardens maintained. Well us three little girls had tons of responsibility for that. Each morning in the summer we would be told to go weed the gardens. I can remember that I had to weed the carrots. Now if anyone has raised carrots you know that when they are still very small it is very dificult to tell the difference between a carrot and a weed. That was my dilemma that day. As I sat there picking this little weeds and that little weed by the time I got to the end of the row, there was nothing left! Oh my God I had pulled everything. Not wanting my Dad to ever arrive home that day, for fear I would be beat. Well my wish was not answered and home he came. Of course as a parent he had to inspect the weeding done that day. He looked over both my sisters parts and they passed, but of course they were doing big seed not carrots.Then he came to the carrot rows. Hummmm…he said as he rubbed his chin. I thought I had more rows then this Linda he said. I prayed he would not see what I had done, but just as those thoughts came into my mind I found myself on the ground. He had pulled off his belt and beat me down, yelling at me the entire time, telling me I should know better then this and now the carrots had to be replanted. After I cried and screamed from the pain I had just endured he brought out the seeds and told me it was my job to replant this entire row again. He sat there and supervised and I dug the holes and replanted the row. When darkness fell he brought a big flashlight from the garage so I could see what I was doing. It must have been 11 PM that night when I finished and finally stumbled into the house. Tired, hungry, and exhausted. Before sleep crept in that night I swore to myself that today I had learned a great lesson and promised myself never to repeat what had happened ever!
(to be continued)
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