1. On The Farm

Barn - Howe - 1904?

1. On The Farm

How did I get to be eighty?

It really all started after my grandparents passed away, and we moved to the farm in central Michigan. I played alone a lot because my sister Jan was eight years older than I was, and gone at school or busy with friends her age. The only boys in the area were more than a mile away, and were real farm kids who had to work and do chores. During the summer, I shot bow and arrow, plinked tin cans with my B B gun, and played in the barn.

Then school started, and I was inside reading comics, Big Little Books, school books, and paperbacks. We played Monopoly, Parcheesi, card games, checkers, and Chinese Checkers.

My youth was highlighted by experiences with critters and wild things. I had a pet raccoon who lived a long time in the house with us before returning to the wild. I had a pet crow whose “nest” was a rag pile on top of the refrigerator in the work room. Daddy brought to the porch three baby skunks who had lost their mother, but they never got tame enough to bring into the house. We always had a dog.

Daddy bought a pony named Smokey for me when I was eight. Mom led me around until I got over my initial fear, and then I could ride outside. I was Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman all in one. What fun times!

One day when I was feeling adventurous, I packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a paper bag, saddled up Smokey and rode across the highway all the way down the lane to the back of the farm. What an adventurous outing! I tied Smoky to a small tree, and sat on the grass to eat my lunch, then started riding back to the barn. When Smokey saw the barn, he took the bit in his mouth and took off running! My pulling on the reins and shouting had no effect on his rush to get home and get something to eat. Thank God there were no cars on Michigan Highway 66 as we crossed. Smokey scraped against the barn door, tearing my blue jeans as he rushed to get to the oat bin.

My adventures are shared in a book I’ve written, Memories of Growing Up On Grandpa’s Farm, a collection of anecdotes and rhyming stories about my life from age seven to eleven.

Did you have pets when you were a kid? Do you have fun memories from when you were little?

6 thoughts on “1. On The Farm

  1. Bob Hicks Post author

    Thanks Steve for commenting! Wow! Memories spark memories – yours different than mine – fun stuff.

    Uncle Bob

  2. Steve Grant

    Wow what adventures. I still have never been on a train. Its on my list. Jim Pam’s husband, grandfather was a full blooded blackfoot indian. Chicago mac island New Mexico. World was certainly a safer place back then. Lin had a horse that did the same bolt to the barn, really hurt her knee. Still remember that guy on the corner re-shoeing Lin’s horse. The good ole days.Thanks for the memories. Steve

  3. Sue Sauer

    Bob, What a great narrative of your early years. Of course, I was a “city” girl, and seemed to have or make fun most of the time as an only child with just one neighborhood girl to play with. Behind the old house on main street, I enjoyed some simple gardening … and I have loved gardening ever since. I plant, God sends the rain and sunshine, and then it’s fun tending the plants, watching their growth. Simple pleasures. I love hearing the birds, too.

  4. Vivian Post

    Hi Bob, I’m enjoying reading your autobiography! I remember your pet raccoon! What a rascal. I might not get everything read today, but am glad to learn about your blog.
    Your cousin, Vivian

  5. Aileen

    1. I dreamed of being on a farm. 2. I love animals. 3. We had in our city in Honolulu, Makiki, a dog; then in Palama, a dog, birds, fish, a guinea pig, a rabbit, and a mouse (but had to release the mouse in a rocky craggy wasteland since my mommy didn’t like rodents); and then in Lanakila, 2 to 3 dogs, fishes and salamanders. 4. I like farmers’ kids (they’re the most responsible, hard-working, focused (not gossipers and nosy busy-body people) people/workers. Best employees in the world! Love them! 5. I still dream of being on a farm! 6. I wish I were brought up on a farm! 🙂 (A city girl with a farm heart.)

  6. Sandy Buck

    Hi Bob, enjoyed your short story about the farm. I too was raised on a farm. I had nine brothers and six sisters mom dad and myself. We were always playing in the field in the summertime. We all loved baseball. And we had horses and two ponies we rode and played cowboys and Indians. But our work always came first. It was a lot of work as we had three farms as years went by. Then the boys started leaving home to create their own lives. Along with us girls. Do the farming was no more. I still can see us after milking out in the apple orchid playing ball. What great memories.

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