Monday, June 16, 2008


When I was a kid, I hated hoeing. Just when I thought we'd caught up with farm work and might go fishing, Pa would say, "Potatoes need hoeing." It seems the potatoes always needed hoeing. In those days we grew three or four acres of potatoes and it would take my dad, two brothers and me several days to do the job. Row after long row we hoed, stopping only long enough for dinner and maybe a drink of water now and then from a Red Wing jug kept under a shade tree on one end of the potato patch.

I'm still hoeing. Only now I enjoy it. I hoed my garden yesterday morning. It took me an hour and a half--I'd done the potato rows the previous day. The birds were singing, the sky was a deep blue, a slight breeze blew from the west and tree swallows circled above their birdhouse a hundred or so yards away. I could smell the freshly turned soil and I could immediately see the results of my work.

Funny how a few years--quite a few years--changes one's perspective on a once boring task.

The Old Timer says: "Teach your children to hoe. Never can tell what they might do with the skill."

Coming Event: Saturday, June 21, 1:00 p.m. Stanley Historical Society, Stanley, Wisconsin. "The Lighter Side of Country Living."


Matt said...

For some reason, "hoeing" and "hoed" look like they are spelled wrong. It must be all the 'modern' uses of the word 'ho' that are throwing me off. :)

I think I have another 40 years until I'll appreciate hoeing, as my current state of appreciation = very low.

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