Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunflowers--My Muse

All my sunflowers are blooming. Once they start, they should bloom for a few months. This one has 11 blooms on the one stalk!

I do love this color. The sun is so bright- best photo I could get.



Growing up on our dairy farm we had lots of sunflowers growing along the irrigation ditches. They were all voluntary and we just considered them weeds. Those sunflowers were not the giant ones like I grow, but smaller versions. My sis and I had a little clubhouse that we built on our own by stacking long logs, just like a log cabin would be built. We did that all on our own at 7 and 9 years old. We would pick the wild sunflowers our clubhouse table, and one time, tried lighting up and smoking a sunflower stalk

In addition to the sunflowers, we picked up cattle bones, bird's nests, snake skins, rocks , broken glass and anything else that we could find to display on the table. I think it was supposed to be a museum. We built our clubhouse to have meetings of the Sunshine Club--my sister's idea so that she could be the boss and call the shots as President. We made a potato stamp alphabet to put out a little club newsletter. Needless to say the newsletter was short. If we wanted to do it again, we have to carve new stamps.

Our days were spent swimming in the irrigation ditches (except in Polio season) and dipping in the cattle-watering troughs. We licked the salt blocks put out for the cows, and scooped up globs of molasses from a 55-gallon barrel set on big steel dishes. As the cows would lick it up, more would come out onto the dish. It was a dietary supplement for the dairy cows, but to us, it was an occasional semi-sweet treat!

We loved smashing the cow ticks that crawled up on the milk barn walls, and we drove pickup trucks and tractors at 7 years old. We built lighting rods and and put them on the top of the haystack. (Now that was DUMB!) We climbed up the windmill, avoiding bare electrical wires on the way up to the top. (That was also DUMB!) We made trams for puppies that transversed the haystack and barn. We tried to use it ourselves, but it was too flimsy.

Yes, we were a little wild and daring, but we never got sick, had only a few stitches now and then and never lost a puppy to the tram. We had no toys or TV so we came up with something new and fun to do every day. So, I have a lot of great stories and memories from my childhood. All these memories, brought back because of a few sunflowers!!



4 comments:

Claude said...

Kids now days don't know what fun is... I'm reading this and thinking of my friends children and their absolute paranoia about bugs and germs, and I hardly recognise them as children...

anyway, I grew up with a wooden fence, one of those zig-zag ones made of tree branches, and there were always sunflowers growing along it... I have a weekness for them...

wonderful post!

Julie said...

What a wonderful fun childhood! I have noticed that every once in a while, one thing will trigger a lot of memories for me! I was fortunate to have spent every other weekend on my grandparents farm, so we got to have a lot of great experiences similar to this...playing with bulls, cows, pigs, chickens, dog, cat, and seeing how a variety of plants were grown. My grandpa ran the actual farm (growing vegetables and livestock), and my grandma had a nursery...I figure that is who I got my love of plants from!

No Rain said...

Kids with a houseful of toys, TV, video games and cell phones do not seem to be able to play creatively. If they don't have those things, they say there's nothing to do and they are bored. Also, they don't like physical activity. We see the results of that! I think part of the drug use is needing a high of some kind. Maybe climbing windmills close to live wires is a safer thrill!
Great story.
Aiyana

Claude said...

I was listening to NPR today, and they were talking about how we are over-parenting kids today... every second is planned and plotted and there are too many classes... and how children actually have absolutely no free time to just play... psychologist are saying that we're actually harming our children, as this un-parented play time is essential for social, mental and physical development. Anyway, I remembered this post, and just thought I'd come back to re-read it...