Ever thought about what it takes to move a farm? One can't just call a moving company and write a check or rent a UHaul and look for strong friends to help with the furniture. Think of the things that need to be relocated. Hay from the barn, pigs from their pens, slow moving farm equipment onto the open road to the new place. What a process! In addition to this overwhelming task that my parents took on in the fall of 1969, they had to help Mom's parents move from Moody, Missouri to Scranton, Iowa and their daughter (me) and new family move to South Dakota. Not until I started reading Mom's calendars, did I realize my dad's younger brother and family moved to their acreage down the road from the new farm also in the fall of 1969.
I wanted to document just the moving sections of the calendar, but it got a little complicated. There was so much going on. I had always felt bad for Mom because it was such a busy time, but everytime I re-read the entries, I just marvel at her energy. She would have been about 48 at the time. Maybe I had that much energy at 48, but I doubt it.
In 1969, I was self absorbed in getting ready to have a baby. The baby was overdue so we were seeing the Dr. once to twice per week. It was a 100 mile round trip and Mom went with me most of the time. She was cleaning chickens and she and Dad kept driving to the Black farm (70 miles roundtrip) trying to decide if they were or were not going to take the big plunge and buy the farm.
Wednesday, August 20
rained this morning 8/10
went to Jefferson to get hair set. Went to
Jeff to sign for farm. Scranton in the
evening and to show Mom the farm drove
around by Neva's.
So, it was August 20 when they bought the farm. I really didn't even remember. I do remember Saturday, August 23 when we all went to Scranton for the Centennial Celebration. Dad was put in Kanagroo Court and fined for not being a grandfather. See, what I remember is all about me.
Starting Sunday, August 24 almost every entry says "went to farm". Remember 70 miles round trip. He took a load of tin one time, a stock water another. By Saturday, August 30, they were "painting and fixing". Let us be clear. I know that it was Mom painting not Dad. He was evidently fixing the barn and getting ready to "lay up the well pit". Next several weeks, everyday there is something about going to the farm, painting at the farm, and Margie going to Ames. (Dr. appt.) We thought this baby would never come.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Went to farm and painted. Unloaded
Dad's furniture. They went to
John's about noon.
Tom went to guard.
Lynn T. down in evening
So, Sept 13 must be when Grandpa and Grandma Grisso moved to Scranton. The next week I went to Ames to see the Dr. on Monday, Sept. 15 and on Thursday, Sept. 18. On Tuesday, Sept 16, we went to the farm, and I helped paint. Things have certainly changed since the late 60's. Pregnant gals don't paint anymore.
Friday, Sept 19, 1969
Kids left for hospital at 6:00 a.m.
K. Lynn born at 1:20 p.m.
We worked all day at the farm.
Gene bought acreage.
O.K. it is well known in the family that since there was no phone at the new farm yet, Mom and Dad didn't know about their first grandchild until supper time. However, I did not know Uncle Gene bought his acreage that day. It might also be fun to note that Grandma Nina's Wright's (Dad's mom) first great-grandchild was born on her 69th birthday. And so my readers don't get confused, both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother were named Nina.
During the week of Sept. 21 - 27, Mom and Dad spent lots of time at the new farm. One entry says they took 99 bales of straw to farm, another day took the 706 tractor there, helped Gene and Cheryl, brought Kelley and me home from the hospital. Then, the company began to arrive to see the baby but she still found time to can peaches and take a load of something to the farm and many entries about working there. So, for a break (I am being funny here) on Sunday, Oct. 5, she left with my husband, our 2 week old baby and me for our move to Vermillion, S.D. She stayed until Wednesday, October 8 and then back to start making those daily trips to the farm. By now she is starting to paper the kitchen. I guess the painting was done. She had some cupboards built and a few other improvements and they got the furnace going (Oct. 17)
The next couple of weeks are about harvesting the crop on the Bagley place. Grandma Nina helped cook and Grandpa Bert helped out too. Then on October 28, she writes:
Tuesday, October 28
Went to farm again today-Vern spread
fertilizer & started plowing- I came
back and did chores Took up another
load of boxes & and got kitchen linoleum
Cheryl brought over soup for supper.
Then, in the margin of Oct. 28, it says, "Dad went to hospital" Good heavens I don't know what this was about but now squeeze in trips to the hospital in Carroll to see Grandpa Bert. There is no indication when Grandpa Bert came home from the hospital but by the next Thursday he was obviously doing O.K. because he and Grandma Nina were at the Bagley farm.
On Friday, November 7, Dad moved the elevator and the picker.
Tuesday, November 11, got rugs, layed linoleum.
Wednesday, November 12, brought 2 loads of stuff. moved dryer-washing machine, and gas stove.
Thursday, November 13, brought bed and more stuff today. Stayed here the first night.
Friday, November 14, moved cows & calves
Saturday, November 15
28* this morning warming up moved
hogs, horse, dogs & steers today
more stuff this afternoon
kept Kelley while kids went to D.M.
Once again, I guess I didn't think Mom was busy enough so why not have her babysit. I didn't mention the Des Moines friends who were hunting pheasants during the past two weeks. Their bounty is recorded in the calendar also.
Over the next week, they continued to move things like 2 loads of shop tools, 2 loads of corn, another tractor, more stuff, moved hay and straw, and I am sure I probably skipped over a couple of entries. I didn't add in all the friends and family that stopped in for coffee, supper or just to see the new baby when she came to visit. Family and friends everywhere to see the new farm. So much going on.
Then, deer season came. Of course, everything stops. It is deer season.
Saturday, Dec. 6, Tom got a doe deer she says.
I marvel at her. And she took the time to write it all down and leave us a glimpse into what it takes to move a farm and take care of everyone else at the same time.