When I talk to groups about early farming activities, I've learned to be careful and share the meaning of the some of the words I use. For instance, I was talking to some young people about farming with horses and mentioned hitching a horse to “singletree.” An alert young fellow asked, “Did you only have one tree on your farm, and why did you hitch a horse to it? (A singletree, also known as a whiffletree, is a wooden device to which the harness tugs are attached.)
I also talk about a walking plow, and again, some kids believe the plow is walking when in reality the walking is done by a team of horses and the plowman, who holds onto the plow’s handles, trying to keep the plow in the ground.
The confusion over the meaning of words extends beyond farming. A little girl was on her way to visit her grandfather in the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital she entered the room before her grandmother, and walked up to her grandfather, looked at him and asked, “Can you make a sound like a frog?”
“Why should I do that?” answered her grandfather.
“Because Grandma said that when you croak we’re going to Disney World.”
The little girl obviously did not know that “croak” had more than one meaning.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes the words we use can be confusing.
October 17, 7:00 p.m. Park Falls Library, Park Falls. Limping Through Life.
October 20, Noon. Rib River Ballroom, Marathon City. German-American Group. Limping Through Life.
October 22, 3:00 p.m. Brillion Library. Limping Through Life
October 23, 2:45-3:30, Wisconsin Library Association, Green Bay. Letters from Hillside Farm
October 26, 10:00-2:00 Grafton Book Festival, Liberty Memorial Library, Grafton. Limping Through Life.
November 2, 9:00-4:00 The Clearing, Door County. Writing From Your Life Workshop
November 2, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Book signing. The Clearing, Door County.
November 6, 3:30 UW PLATO group, Oakwood West, Madison. Quiet Season.
November 7, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Public Library. Ringlingville U.S.A.
November 9, 9:30, Sheboygan County Research Center, Plymouth, Limping Through Life.
November 10: 3:30 p.m. Books and Company bookstore, Oconomowoc, The Quiet Season.
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING “A FARM STORY WITH JERRY APPS” DVD
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