My impressions are more about their houses and the land around it. Dad and relatives were talking, letting me look around on my own.
It was a lot more quiet in those days. Those old people used manual grass mowers. In one incident, the old man used a scythe to cut down hay. The kitchen was simple. The food offered me was simple.. a glass of water or a home made donut, aka: fried dough . Aunt Jen once worked as a house keeper to a farmer. In memory I see the cow heading for the barn. I smell the farm, see chickens in an enclosed yard.
At the end of the day, they sat on the porch and rocked in the rocking chair, talking. Inside, was a wood chair by an open window. There was a full size screen on the window, hung from two outside hangers at the top. In the fall, the screen would come down and a wood storm window would replace it. The screen wasn't made of woven aluminum wire like screens today. It was made from steel mesh. The mesh had to be painted, or it would rust. Sometimes the mesh would be one color on the inside and another color on the outside. It takes patience to paint a screen. The little holes get clogged with paint. The painter would have to take a pin to clear the holes. Sometimes they didn't bother. Sometimes the screen mesh was patched with a small piece of mesh. Screens could become fascinating in their originality. ...patches, rust spots and clogged holes.
The house was quiet. Not even a radio turned on. You could hear the birds signing their territory with song. Crickets. No cars on the road. Linoleum on the floor. Tea towels turned into curtains at the kitchen window. Fruit grown on the property was canned in glass jars. In the basement, was a crock of sauerkraut, put up for use in the winter.
Dishes were washed by hand, dried and put away. Laundry was done by hand, or with a wringer washer and hung out to dry. If it was raining, the laundry was hung in the basement. There were no clothes dryers. They wore cotton, washed in real soap. Clothes smelled differently , smelled clean, smelled of fresh air. The women always wore dresses. I see them on the clothes line.
During the summer, they went to bed when the sun went down. I remember peas and beans picked from the side garden....an old dog that could shake paw with me. That was his trick. I wish I could talk to those people now, to learn about their lives. What is history to me, is a current event to them. I don't even know their names. My questions are unanswered. I miss them.