Work Never Ends
To answer a few questions, we kept raising pheasants and started releasing them from the pen. They hung around for a little while, but not like chickens would. When we had the lawn sprinkler running, they'd sometimes take showers: early morning or late evening. Gradually they moved on, from the barnyard to field and pasture.
Percy found a place or friend who had the peach canning equipment. I think he borrowed the equipment and bought the cans and lids. Maybe a person or family could do it on a small scale. But I think it should be a large, full throttle operation. It's probably easier when one or two persons are doing a bushel at a time, with jars and lids, caners and a home cook stove. You'll find it greatly challenging and richly satisfying, if some of you want to get a gang together near an orchard and go at it with might and main,
The time line of those years are not all uniformly sequential in my mind. Daddy was friends with George Littlefield, bank president, of First State Bank in Eldorado. He ask Daddy to build him a house. Daddy agreed. There was a very good, well known cabinet maker in Eldorado, Mr. Wintz Tensley, much older than Daddy. They may have collaborated on the building a little. Most certainly, Wintz built the cabinets and Daddy helped with installation.
That's the house where the twelve interior doors were all standing together, leaning against the wall, and almost straight up. One day during a big thunder storm, he was stooped over working on a project, facing those doors. A huge clap of thunder jarred the doors, in such a way, they fell over and hit Daddy on the top, front of his head. They knocked him backward against the opposite wall. He first thought he had been struck by lightening. Then he thought he had been killed. Then he wondered about the difference in this place and heaven.
Years later, in the fall of 2005, he was staying at our house for a little while. On a Sunday morning, we were going to Church. Joanna was staying home with Lilly, due to her stroke. Daddy and I had gone onto our porch. He held to the porch post, while I carried his walker to the car. When I turned back to help him walk down, he had fallen and was lying on his back on the sidewalk at the bottom of the steps. He was really hurt, but insisted he would go on to Church. The Congregation had planned a pot-luck lunch after the service. Joanna and Lilly knew we planned to stay and eat. The people enjoyed Daddy and he seemed to always enjoy them.
When we go home, he said, "I think my back is broken." O my goodness! Now what have I done? He refused the hospital. He was willing to have an Xray. But the ambulance insisted on taking him to a hospital. So I drove him to the Chiropractor and they did the xray. The picture showed he had once, a loooonng time a go, had a broken vertebrae. The same one was broken now. They said it looked like a plate might look, if you dropped in flat down on the floor. It had splintered into dozens and dozens of tiny fragments, but because of the remarkable muscular structure, they had not come apart, rather had healed in place. And the current break was a new one over top of the old one. Remarkable! Recommendation? Wait for it to heal. They did give him some inferential treatment, which might have helped with pain a little. He almost never complained. It's amazing how tough he was!
When hay time came, we took out and manned up to bailing hay. That required four men. Byrl drove the tractor pulling the bailer. Uncle Ross stood on the platform, forking hay under the ?hammer?. I dropped the block between the bails. Daddy sat on the left side (if you are facing the back of the tractor) and punched the wires through. I sat on the opposite side punching them back. Daddy tied the wires. He could tie a bailing wire so it never came undone. When the bails dropped out of the bailer, it was my job to stack them on a sled Daddy had built for that purpose. Always before, everyone just let them fall in the field and there they lay until the truck came and all help came to pitch them up and haul them to the barn or stack.
But Daddy the inventor, made this sled. It was four, one by twelves, eight feet long, laying side by side. The two middle ones were spaced about two inches apart. The four were nailed together across the top with another one by twelve. When the bails dropped out, I stacked them on the sled from back to front. They were one length ways, two cross ways and the last one length ways. The second layer were two cross ways on top of the bottom four. Then two more layers in the same form, so a stack of sixteen would not fall over unless we crossed a gully or a steep terrace of some kind. Then I had a six foot bar to jab into the ground in the two inch space. I just stood there on the sled holding the crowbar in place as the tractor pulled us all along and the bails of hay slid off in a nice little stack.
We also did custom bailing for neighbors and family. Must make it home for family farm chores. Sometimes feeding pigs and milking cows after dark. Mother and the girls at home were always there helping carry the load.