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Sounds of My Childhood – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Challenge

by Sherry Stocking Kline
March 17, 2011

Many of my childhood sounds still surround me.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in south central Kansas and I’ve not moved so very far from where I grew up, so the turtle dove that sings in the evening near my city home reminds me of nightfall on the farm.

When I visit friends or family in the country I hear bobwhite quail calling their mates, cattle lowing as they crop the grass, and occasionally the mournful midnight howl of a  coyote.

We actually have fox, deer, and coyotes that roam in our little  area of our small city at night, especially near the creek that runs through town. Wander around near my neighborhood after midnight, and you may spot a deer family grazing in someone’s yard or a fox or coyote hurrying to get out of the headlights of your car.

In the spring, summer, and fall in the country you can hear the sounds of tractors running in the fields, and see the dust they stir up blowing in the wind. It reminds me of when I used to ride on the fender of the tractor with  either Mom or Dad while they worked in the field,  or when I ran barefoot in the furrow behind the plow with our collie dog, Lassie.

In June and July, if you drive by Kansas wheat fields with their golden stalks blowing in the south wind, you can hear the sounds of wheat harvest: combines running and spewing out the spent stalks from the back and trucks traveling in low gear to get out of the field as they hurry to deliver the grain to the nearby elevators.

It reminds me of hot, sweaty, but fun days riding the combines first with my daddy, then with my brothers, and later my husband as they kept an eye on the clouds, worried about the weather, and hurried to get the wheat cut before the rain or hail came.

It brings back memories of the field picnics we had, much like today’s tailgate parties, with sandwiches and potato chips on paper plates and trying to catch the potato chips that were blowing off your plate.  Nothing tasted as good as the cold iced tea from the gallon field jug and no picnic was as much fun as eating in the field when the men stopped for a few minutes to eat, talk about the harvest, eye the clouds for rain, and predict the yields before climbing back on the combines and cutting late into the night.

At night, the combine’s lights shine on the golden stalks as the reel pulls each one hungrily, whooosh, whooosh, whoossssshhhhhh into the combine’s auger and then threshes out the grain and dumps it into the bin behind the driver.

I loved to ride the combines, especially at night, when the heat of the day was gone and the breeze combed your hair with its fingers and cooled your skin with its touch.

And the wheat beards whispered secrets in the wind.

 

 

 

 

‘52 Weeks to Better Genealogy’ series, challenge #25: Blog Comments

by Sherry Stocking Kline
July 4th, 2010

I”m probably a week (or more) behind on this, but this particular blog challenge is something I sure do want to weigh in on.  And while this first post isn’t going to mention any blogs but Amy’s “52 Week Challenge” blog, (see the challenge below) it’s something I really want to say.

First, here’s this week’s challenge, authored by Amy Coffin:

Write one good, solid comment on at least one genealogy blog every day for a week. Sometimes we get busy and the genealogy reading we should be doing just piles up. The same thing happens with blogs. This week, take some time to read genealogy blogs. Select at least one post a day and establish communication with the author. Offer a compliment, a question or genealogy information you may have. This challenge provides a little love to bloggers and some new perspectives for researchers. Authors of genealogy blogs can use this opportunity to comment on comments, so to speak.

So, while checking out this blog challenge, I visited a lot of great blogs and left several comments, but this week, I’ll try to do it “right” and visit a blog, comment, and come back here and blog about the same.

But first, I’m getting up on my soapbox about comments!  Before I get into the ranting and raving part here I want to say “THANK YOU” big time to each of you who have stopped by and encouraged me with your words.  Each comment you leave means a great deal to me and I thank you for it!  Especially those of other bloggers, and there are so many great ones out there that any of you who take the time to comment on my blog, well, it’s an honor and I thank you.

Now for the ranting part, and I’m thinking that most of you family tree bloggers have experienced the same frustrations.

Hardly a week goes by, sometimes hardly a day, when someone doesn’t Google one of my ancestor’s names and land on my blog.  If they are “Googling” my great-grandfather’s name, then they’re most likely my relatives.  You would think relatives would stop for a second, leave a quick comment, say “thanks” for posting the tombstone photo and the picture of the gentleman, AND leave a note so we can share other information from time to time.

Doesn’t happen.  For the most part, no comments are left by these searchers.

First of all, just in case one of you reads this blog post, I have a LOT of info I’ve not blogged about yet, and photographs that aren’t scanned and on-line yet.  It would be easy to share more info with you, IF I knew who you were.

Second, I can only assume that the info you have, you don’t plan to share with other family members.


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