On the home farm, when the snows began melting in March, a little stream of melt water trickled from behind the corn crib, continued on between the house and the barn, and finally curled under the barnyard gate to disperse in the barnyard.
One year Pa suggested we make a little waterwheel and place it in the melt water river. He made the waterwheel from a cedar wood shingle. He cut two pieces, each about three inches long and a half inch wide. He notched the two pieces and pushed them together making a waterwheel with four little paddles. With two other pieces of shingle wood he made a little frame that held the waterwheel in place while the running melt water turned it.
In early morning, when the temperature had fallen below freezing, the little waterwheel hung motionless in its frame, but usually by mid-day, with climbing temperatures and more snow melting, the waterwheel turned furiously, making a “flip ,flip” sound. The waterwheel turned for more than a week; Pa, my brothers and I would stop, watch and listen to it as we went about doing our various spring chores.
One warm, late afternoon day, we noticed the melt water river had stopped running and the water wheel no longer turned. On that day we knew that spring arrived.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Oft times the little things in life can provide the most pleasure.
CHECK THIS OUT: Plan to attend the Strum Memorial Library (Manawa) special program 7:00 p.m., March 29. The library selected my book, IN A PICKLE, for their “One Book/One Community” program. I’m told that more than 100 people in the community have read the book so far. I’ll discuss the background for writing the book as well as do a reading at the March 29 event.
Wednesday, March 23, 1:00 p.m., New Berlin Banquet and Conference Center. Learning in Retirement Group, (Remembering Our Agricultural Heritage).
Saturday, March 26, 9:30 a.m., Richland County Electric Co-op, Richland Center High School.
Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 p.m. Strum Public Library (Manawa). (In a Pickle).
Friday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. Oconto Falls Library. (Stories from the Land)
Saturday, April 2, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Oconto Falls Library. (Writing workshop: Writing Family Stories)
Tuesday, April 5, 6:00 p.m. Salem Public Library (Stories from the Land)
Saturday, April 9, 9:30 a.m. Mead Public Library, Sheboygan. (Old Farm)
Saturday, April 9, 1:30-4:00 p.m. Mead Public Library, Sheboygan Writing Workshop. Call 920-459-3400, ext. 3422 for reservations.
Tuesday, April 12, 7:00 p.m., Fall Creek Library (Horses and Barns)
Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m. Marathon County Library, 300 N. First Street, Wausau. (Horses and Barns)
Friday, April 15, 1:00 p.m. Kaukauna Public Library (Fox Cities Book Festival)
Saturday, April 16, Wild Rose High School Centennial Program