Being quite a bit younger than my older brothers and sisters most of my memories are of Jerry and I growing up.(I'm not sure but I think we were both oops babies)
One of my earliest memories is when I was about five years old. In the dead of winter, I would take my sled and dog Whitey and walk to Lefor. Grandpa Lefor worked in Schneider's grocery store and when I got there he would always give me a candy bar and pop. I would visit with him for awhile and then start my trek back home. On the way to Lefor I would take short cuts through the fields, but on the way home I figured out if I went along the road someone would pick me up and give me a ride home. Mom would be surprised when a car pulled into the yard and me, my dog, and sled would pile out of the car.
Christmas was always such an exiting time. It would take forever for Christmas Eve to get here. That is when we opened our presents. In the afternoon, my older brothers and sisters with their families would start arriving. After supper we would finally get to open presents. We always had a big Christmas tree and there would be a mountain of presents to open. We would play with our new toys until about 11 o'clock. Then, it would be time to go to midnight mass. After mass, Mom would cook a big kettle of smoked sausage. I remember everyone sitting around the table eating and telling stories and jokes.
I remember when my older siblings would come for a visit and Jerry and I would give our nieces and nephews wagon rides. We had this old wagon with steel wheels and no springs. We would hook to the Ford tractor and then find the bumpiest part of the farm to give them rides. The wagon would be full of kids and they looked like bobble heads bouncing around. It is a wonder that no one suffered brain damage. We would get back in the yard and they would yell "Do it again". On second thought, there may have been some brain damage.
One of the funniest things is one summer everyone was out at the farm. After a day of wagon rides and everything else Jerry I could think of to entertain (or traumatize) the kids it was bath time. Jerry and I snuck up in the attic and found this old full length fur coat. Bryan and Harry were in the bath tub taking a bath. I put this coat on and pulled the collar over my head and peeked in the bathroom window and knocked. When they saw me they jumped out of the tub and ran butt naked into the kitchen and under the table screaming. "An ape, an ape".
One other time we talked one of the boys, and I don't remember which one, into peeing on the electric fence. All I know is he went bawling into the house and told Mom. Needless to say we got in trouble for that.
Many of the recipes in this book are things Mom used to cook. Our main meal was the noon meal. It would always be a big meal, fried chicken, roast, steak or what ever else was in the freezer. Living on the farm you would be pretty hungry by noon having worked in the fields or whatever.
These are just few of the memories I have growing up on the farm. Uncle Nick Martin