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August 22 • 05:05 AM
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Son's visit inspires thoughts of the past



shadow
shadow
April 23, 2008
What a surprise this afternoon when my son Alan buzzed up on his motorcycle to visit me. It was a nice day to be out.

The visit sent me into a reminiscing mode.

Alan started farming with his Dad right out of high school. Ever since childhood he had wanted to be a farmer. He married his childhood sweetheart, tiny Pauline Lahaie. We put a mobile home on the north side of the driveway and behind the granary so we couldn't spy on them and, vice versa.

From March 20, 1972 until March 20 1973 I kept a journal of happenings on Memory Maples Farm. Then I made a book for Lee, Carol Alan and Red and me. I got it out after Alan left.

On Palm Sunday 1972, I started out to the Sunday paper box while Red and Alan were milking.

"The Eastern sky was blushing from its effort of thrusting the huge, magnificent sun over the horizon. The sky overhead was the clearest of blues and not a cloud in the sky. I was in awe of such beauty and decided I would have time to take a short walk before Red would be in for breakfast.

"One of my favorite strolls is down the south lane to the 'south forty-five' as we refer to it. It is forty-five acres between Harold Hough's farm and Howard Hough's farm (now Tom Hough's farm and Howard's farm is a subdivision.) A large portion of the forty-five is pasture for the cows. It consists of a frog pond, a small spring peeper pond and a creek which is really a branch of the Clinton River that empties into Lake St. Clair, marsh grass, a few volunteer apple trees, thorn apples and various other bushes.

"I stopped at the old frog pond and reminisced of years gone by. It was the popular meeting place in the winter for the neighborhood youngsters during my childhood. Two long cranks and one short one on the old crank-type telephones routed out the Messer kids. Six short cranks alerted Christina Hough, two long and two shorts had Marian Johnson on the run. No fancy shoe skates then, just clamp-ons that you screwed on with a key. A few years later I was to see Lee, Carol, Alan and their friends skating on the same pond.

"I concluded my spring morning hike by following the creek to the line fence between Howard Hough's farm and our farm. There was ice along the edges of the creek and no fish were to be seen.

"The forty-five being lower ground than our farm buildings, the sound of the milking machine carried clearly to my ears. Alan and Red would be through milking and I must get back to my breakfast duties."

Long gone are the cows and sounds of a milking machine.

Carol called this afternoon and Lee came to visit one day this past week. I feel wonderfully secure here, good food and a caring staff. Almost everyone loves Daisy and she loves everyone. We have been doing a little exploring, found the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Daisy isn't allowed on the trails so I will go back again. Keep the home fires going!

—Country Cousin

Castle Creek
Van Dyke Gas
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