My father was a busy man. At one time, responsible for three livestock and grain farms, at three different locations. He was also active in the church.
With three sons, cheap labor was readily available. Routine tasks weren’t that bad–feeding, watering chickens, and other livestock.
Down the hill to the barn, transistor radio in hand. The hogs ate ear corn, thrown on the ground. Cattle ate from a trough, standing up. Sometimes deer feasted with the cattle.
Music eased the drudgery of pumping water. The whole process couldn’t have taken much more than an hour. When it was cold or rainy, it seemed like forever. “If I’d gotten struck by lightning, then they’d be sorry”–went through my mind more than once.
What I despised, were tasks associated with removal of animal or human waste. Worst of all, cleaning out the outhouse. The stench was horrible, and it seemed to stay with you. Chicken coops and barn stalls weren’t nearly as bad. Although, chicken manure had an overpowering ammonia smell.
The beginning of September was high harvest season for corn and soybeans. Labor Day, spent helping with related tasks. That’s why it became Cheap Labor Day.
I guess this made up for some of the mischief I caused. Taught me the value of hard work; the perils of disobedience, and an innate desire to find better ways to make a living.