Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I don't know where to start. Corncob pipes, popcorn, corn flakes with hot milk and sugar in France, corn on the cob (delicious Jersey corn two weeks ago), high fructose corn syrup or the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. So I'm going to go further back.

I used to live next to a cornfield. This one was used to feed the cows, the cows that lived at the farm on the other side of the cornfield. It was the same farm my Mom grew up on.

When we moved to Charleston, VT we lived with Grammie at that farm. It was a farm without animals when we were there. I was six. I realized later that a farm without animals is a sad thing. My grandpa, who used to stuff grass down the backs of us kids' shirts, had recently passed so there was just Grammie there . We lived there a couple years until the house was built on the other side of the field. Grammie then sold the farm and bought a small house across the road from us.

One of my fondest memories of that time, besides how soft Grammie's cheek was when I kissed her good night, was my brother and I riding our red tricycles in the white-washed empty barn. We weren't used to riding on anything smoother than a dirt driveway so a smooth cement floor in a barn was a nice change. Not only did we have a fast surface but there were also the slopes from up where the stanchions were down to the middle of the barn along the gutters. We couldn't drive into the milk house because there was a step but otherwise we'd zip all around that barn. My trike was faster than his - probably because mine was tricked out with stickers from Wonder Bread - Peanuts characters.

A few years later, after we'd graduated to two wheels, we'd ride our bikes in the cornfield that now belonged to the guy who had bought the farm (purchased is probably a better way to put it - I think he's still with us). There was a path along the corn we'd follow and then we'd dive off and ride along the rows as far as we could go, our handlebars barely fitting amongst the rows, leaves slapping us, tassels waving, a cloud of pollen in our wake.

I'll get up there again at the end of this month.


Melissa said...

Jersey corn is the sweetest. Not sure that I've done all the research necessary, but I certainly have the Jersey Girl bias to say so anyway....

what do grandmothers do that makes their cheeks so soft? My great-grandmothers, (both of them, Nana Mary and Nana Flo) had remarkably soft cheeks. I loved to nestle near their collars and feel their soft, lightly scented skin near my cheek -

Any pictures of the tricked out trike available? It's well known that Peanuts characters make everything happen faster.

Frisael said...

You might be right about Jersey corn - more research is necessary. Would like to compare it to some Vermont corn some day.

Hmmm, good question. Steam? Lids removed from pots - boiled potatoes, corn, pot roasts..., oven doors opened with breads, pies (apple, strawberry-rhubarb, lemon meringue, mincemeat, blueberry, pumpkin) inside, canning jams, string beans, carrots, pickles? Soap? I don't know what my Gram used. I remember lye soap being made but don't know as that was for the face.

I will look for a pic of the tricked out trike. I don't have any amongst my photos but the folks might. I do have a photo of my brother and me on the bikes we had after the trikes. In the photo we're in front of where the corn grew but it's so early in the season it looks more like a grass field.