When almost any of us who have called Quay County home drive around in our county, we recall many memories from the past and often pause toe reflect on the times that were and one our great good fortunes to have grown up in this area.
Last Sunday afternoon Aggie and I decided we simply had to go to the plains in order to see the winter wheat and just to drive for pleasure. We surely couldn’t do much walking because the gale-force wind kept pitching us around like a couple of tumbleweeds, so we just keep driving a looking.
We turned east at McAlister and headed for the Melrose highway because we hadn’t taken that road in a number of years and wanted to note any changes.
After turning north on the latter highway, we looked at the many places we had know known in the he past and were feeling more at home by the time we neared Forrest. As we approached on deserted dwelling, a major memory showed up to remind me how warm that home was on a cold, snowy day when I was 11. Dad was pasturing cattle on wheat planted by the owner of that house and decided we needed to check on those cattle during a rather bad snow storm He even took me out of school fro the day so we could work together. We loaded our horses into our unheated bob-tailed truck and drove four about an hour before arriving at the wheat field. Then we unloaded the horses and began counting and checking cattle while the snow was falling all over us, soaking us to the skin.
By the time we neared the dwelling, I was one tired wet hungry cowgirl who was longing for my school desk. As we entered that warm kitchen, I knew we were at the right place because I could smell a pot of beans boiling on that wonderful cook stove and could feel the heat almost immediately. The woman of the house must have recognized my chilled condition because she sat me beside the stove while she made cornbread and fried potatoes to go with those wonderful beans. By the time the meal was ready, I was warm and my clothes were almost dry. She had prepared enough food for a large group although only four us were present. She didn’t have to entice me to eat more that one helping and the bowl of peach cobbler for dessert. No fancy food could have done as much for a country kid as that meal did for me. She was a friend for life.
We left shortly to finish counting cattle and then returned to the truck for the long, cold drive home. No one had to force me to go to bed that night. I was ready to hit the shucks as soon as the chores were finished and supper was eaten.
As we sat in our comfortable car Sunday, I was recalling the flimsy clothing we had in those days and wondering how we ever stayed warm or dry.
Well, we didn’t either, but we didn’t know any better and just went on about our business.
Today, we can still get cold, but we can keep fairly dry most of the time, even during a blizzard because we have waterproof coats, hoods and gloves. At least, those thin clothes dried fairly rapidly so we could go forth and get them wet the minute we went outside.
Yes many years have passed, but the memory of the wonderful home remains. I wouldn’t take anything for that experience, but doubt that I could repeat it at this age. Shoot! I can’t even get on a horse!