It’s hard for me to visit the home farm now. So much has changed. What I see now doesn’t fit my memories of where I grew up. I want to hang on to those memories. I wish things didn’t have to change. I found myself drawn to a few relics of my childhood still there. Like this one-ton truck. As a teenager, I learned to drive in this faithful truck. Occasionally I got to drive this truck to school, but not very often. It was needed at home. This truck could hold 4 pallets of boxed plums, peaches or nectarines on their way to the cold storage, trip after trip, day after day, all summer. Eventually we had to get a bigger truck that held 8 pallets. This truck reminds me of the faithful little engine that could.
Here’s an old picture of the truck being used to haul bins. Eric is at the wheel.
Here is our first forklift. I was also proficient at driving this solid beast. This Brandt forklift has wheels that are made to go in the field, not just on smooth surfaces. It was this forklift that carried our piano from our home, down road 52 to Windsor School where my Reedley wedding reception was held. This forklift was our ladder, our lifter, our friend.
Here are a few more old farm relics from my past. There is the orange vineyard wagon Dad built. We had several vineyard wagons, used during pruning season. We’d take turns on the tractor and walking behind the wagon, where we’d toss the pruned pieces too big to disc under into the wagon. We’d take 3 rows at a time, one of us on each side, one in the back and one driving the tractor, gathering the wood which would be burned in big piles on burn days.
There is the old bathtub that once was used as a watering trough for Grandpa’s cows. There’s the yellow shredder that cut what was pruned from the trees in the orchards.
I grew up with farm equipment. We played on it as kids, we worked with it as teens.
Here’s a rabbit hutch much like the one we kept our rabbits in. Feeding the rabbits and chickens were daily chores that we didn’t enjoy all that much. I suspect Dad kept them so we’d learn to fill our time working and taking care of things.
Here’s an old photo of Paul, Eric and me with our rabbits: Peter, Brownie and Domino.
We worked hard and we played hard. I loved growing up here. I wish I could step back into my childhood world, even for a single day.