NaBloPoMo # 13 The Way It Was

Barn at Evening

In a drive across Banner Mountain, recently, I snapped this photo of a barn that’s been part of the landscape for a number of years.  I can’t say how old this barn is. But it is still in good condition and speaks of times gone by.

Many of my poems tell about the way of life at Banner in my early years. When I was a child, my folks owned a cow named “Buttin’ Jerse.” She would butt people if she got a chance.  I don’t think she had horns, but we kids stayed out of  the barn lot, out of her reach. She was the only mean cow my folks ever owned. I remember another cow named “Hawkins.” She was given the last name of the man who sold her to Daddy. She was a good cow. She gave lots of milk.
When I was a child, I didn’t need to take a field trip with my class to visit a farm.  I lived on one, and I thought everyone else did, too. Mama and Daddy grew an abundance of vegetables in their garden. We had an orchard of peaches and apples. Daddy butchered  hogs each year. We had chickens for eggs and for meat.
To serve chicken for dinner, Mama killed a chicken by wringing its neck.  You know that expression,  “I could wring his neck?”  Mama really did “wring the neck” of a chicken!
That’s something I’ve never had to do.  And I’m glad! But if I had to,  I might could do it.
Could you?

To be continued . . .

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

At my book signing today, at the Dirty Farmers Market,  I sold and autographed a couple of  books. Not many, but people who visited were friendly and were busy buying the handmade crafts that are displayed in the first half of the shop. The back half of the shop contained fresh produce as well as a café serving homemade soups, breads, desserts and coffee. Also baked goods were for sale. The aroma from all these goodies was certainly tempting as I sat waiting for someone to buy a book. By selling two books, visiting, handing out cards and inviting people to check out my blog,  I consider the event successful.  Thanks to the Farmer’s Market for being wonderful hosts. It was a pleasant afternoon.

tomatoes & butternut squash

tomatoes and butternut squash

Freeda Baker Nichols (2)

Freeda Baker Nichols at Book Signing
at Farmers Market

Cat and Rooster

Cat and Rooster

Cat and Rooster

The Old Black Rooster

The Old Black Rooster

This old black rooster roosts up in a tree.
He struts around the barnyard so carefree.
This kitty cat is always very nice.
She has a kitten that she shields from harm.
The cat is really good at catching mice.
The rooster crows each day out on the farm.
He struts around the barnyard so carefree.
This old black rooster roosts up in a tree.

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

My Banner Mountain Homeplace

My Homeplace on Banner Mountain My sister painted the panorama from looking at snapshots from family albums, and from her memory. The pickup is a Chevrolet. When all seven children left home, my parents moved away from Banner to live near one of the children. As time went by, unattended, the house and structures gradually left, too. Now, only the storm shelter and two wells are reminders that our family once lived there. But memories of our Banner Mountain are still strong in the minds of four remaining siblings of the Baker Family.  by Freeda Baker Nichols

My Homeplace on Banner Mountain
My sister painted the panorama from looking at snapshots from family albums, and from her memory. The pickup is a Chevrolet. When all seven children left home, my parents moved away from Banner to live near one of the children. As time went by, unattended, the house and structures gradually left, too. Now, only the storm shelter and two wells are reminders that our family once lived there. But memories of our Banner Mountain are still strong in the minds of four remaining siblings of the Baker Family.
by Freeda Baker Nichols
Photo is copyrighted. All rights reserved.

 

 

Joseph Comes Home

The news spread like discovering diamonds–
Tab and Sue’s boy was coming home!
He stayed in the South Pacific when the war
ended — that great war — the war that took the
Ellington’s other sons before the bomb dropped.
Their boys grew up on the farm, all five of them,
and they were tough as timber rattlers.  Uncle Sam
was proud to get them when all but the youngest
joined up.  Not quite eighteen, Joseph worked
on the farm. Ed, the oldest, died saving his squad
leader. James died at Normandy. Later, the
black-edged letters told the fate of Al and Silas.
Joe joined the Navy. His folks gave up the farm and
moved into town. When the war ended, they longed
to see their one remaining son. He didn’t return.

The gray in Sue’s hair made her old. Yes, it was
the gray that made her old — it was not her grieving
for her sons because . . . they still played at her feet.  Tab
spent most of his time outside, feeding the birds.  His
shoulders stooped. He heard the good news. His son
was coming home. Why should that matter now?  Then
Tab saw him on the walk, a woman with slanted eyes
beside him, a baby in her arms. Four small boys behind
them. Joseph bear-hugged his father and asked, “Where’s
Mom?” Sue came running, and Joseph took her hand,
“Mom, meet my wife and your grandsons. This one’s Ed
and here’s James, Al and Silas. That’s Joseph.” Sue’s eyes
shone. She touched the hands that held the baby, and
smiling, said, “Welcome home.”

Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Copper, the Goat

Copper

Copper

My goat, Copper
climbed on the rock.
She loved the warm sunshine
She ran and jumped
and made me laugh–
that little goat of mine.

c Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Note: This Laurette form has 6 lines with a syllable count of 4-4-6-4-4-6. Only the two six-syllable lines rhyme.

The Old Black Rooster

The Old Black Rooster

The Old Black Rooster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The old black rooster crows at early dawn.
He causes Farmer Joe to wake and yawn.
The crowing starts before the break of day.
At night, the rooster roosts high in a tree.
Joe needs to milk the cows without delay.
The old black rooster crows but not on key.
He causes Farmer Joe to wake and yawn.
The old black rooster crows at early dawn.

c Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

(Note: Today’s poem,  a Lil Ann form, is based on a poem written by my sister, Yvonne Hall. The first line is from her creation. Not only is she a good artist, she could be a poet, too. The rooster in the photo belongs to our sister, Emma Jean.  This poem is reminiscent of our childhood on Banner Mountain.)

All the Elephants

Elephant Mama and Baby

Elephant Mama and Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the elephants are not in the zoo.
This Mama elephant and Baby, too,
have come to live here on a farm
where they know they are safe from harm.
This farm has a gaggle of geese
that roam about just as they please.
They hold their heads way up high
and honk and honk as they go by.
The geese pay the elephants no mind–
a happier place they never could find.
This little story is really true–
all the elephants are not in the zoo.

c Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

A Gaggle of Geese

A Gaggle of Geese