Farm Memories



I had returned to my parents home on a warm July evening and was immediately greeted with a smell that brought me back to my childhood. The smell of freshly cut alfalfa is one that always causes me to have a sense of nostalgia. If I close my eyes I can go back to waking on those lazy, dewy mornings, a breeze coming through my upstairs window and breathing in that grassy freshness. Most of the time I was praying I could drift back to sleep without hearing dad’s voice echoing up the stairs to get up because there was work to do. Summer on the farm in Nebraska meant laying out irrigation pipe, walking beans and picking up hay bales back in my day. Today it’s been replaced with automated pivots, herbicides and big round bales picked up by tractors. No more loading square bales onto the pickup bed as high as you could and then throwing them up into the hayloft to stack. What fun we would have walking through those piles and making forts in the haymow. The old calico farm cats almost certainly would choose to have their litters of kittens somewhere among the bales of straw or hay. When we saw the mama cats had lost their big bellies we were on the hunt to find those babies. We knew not to get too close or sure enough she would move them so we would keep a watchful eye from afar. Summers meant gardens and beans to snap, sweet corn to freeze, 4-H meetings and livestock to take care of and it also meant a lot of time outdoors. To some the smells of the farm may be offensive and some certainly are. I can’t say I want to relive my scooping manure days anytime soon! However the smell of fresh turned soil in the spring and the rows of ripe cut alfalfa will always bring back fond memories. Life seemed simple then when as a child our biggest worry was finding the newest litter of kittens.

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