#153 I’m a Poet & Don’t Know It
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This phrase always makes me smile
The words “I’m a poet & don’t know it” bring back memories of my mom, whose birthday is today, May 26, & of my Uncle Harvey, who lived to 96 (Mom passed away at 84). He was a dairy farmer, & eating healthy home-grown vegetables & drinking the freshest milk possible no doubt contributed to his longevity, not to mention his cheerful spirit.
Uncle Harvey was Mom’s favorite brother, & I could see why. They were always smiling, sometimes a little goofy, & were of the highest integrity (as were all her siblings & parents).
Mom used to tell me how Uncle Harvey would sometimes inadvertently rhyme a couple words, then exclaim “Hey, I’m a poet & don’t know it.” Just imagining how he would say that with his great big grin makes me smile.
Train ride to the farm in Indiana
I enjoyed visiting the farm my mom grew up on (although she yearned for the big city, hence moved to Los Angeles – I too am a city boy, although I enjoy farms, farm animals & all those crops of fresh vegetables). Visting the farm in Indiana at ages 7 & 10, I recall the clickety-clackety train ride (we couldn’t afford to fly, & I am so glad for that as the train was a wonderful experience); watching my uncle gather the eggs, milk the cows, & harvest the crops. Have you ever had fresh milk straight from the udder? What a delicious, wholesome flavor. (Chilled would be even better, but even warm it was unbelievably delicious.) I loved petting the cows, the smell of the hens, watching the pigs roll around in the mud, & hearing the rooster wake us up in the morning (just like in the cartoons).
Flying light bulbs
There were wild things I’d never seen before: lightning bugs that lit up at night, caterpillars that were big, green & half-an-inch in diameter. Grandma made homemade bread & jam like I’d never tasted before; now I know why my mom was such a great cook. The farm house was full of antiques like a hand-crank Victrola & a pot-bellied stove. I’ll never forget biting into a fresh apple right off the tree – not any old apple, but a crab apple. Zowie, that was sour! All the fresh berries made up for it, though.
The only bad experience was the one & only time I’ve had an allergic reaction to anything. I rode with Uncle Harvey on the tractor to harvest hay, & when I returned to the house I was sneezing & itching & breaking out all over. Baths & ointments later, I guess it finally went away. I can’t remember when I’ve been so miserable!
To this day I cherish those visits to the farm. I realized why my mom was such a good, wholesome person. (My dad was too, but he was from the city, Chicago.)
I really love farm animals. When I discovered a farm animal sanctuary here in Riverside County, California, I immediately signed up to donate every month. What I really look forward to is getting a group together to take a tour, meet the animals & especially hug the blind cow. (Visit saleranchsanctuary.org.)
I cherish meeting all my aunts & uncles on my mother’s side back in Indiana (Daddy’s family was here in California); the train rides; & experiencing everything about the farm (except the hay). I am grateful to have grown up with loving & respectable parents – in a way that goes many times over for our mom, for she raised us all by herself since Daddy died when we were still youngsters.
Happy Birthday Mom
Happy Birthday to my loving, dedicated & always-smiling mother.
I wouldn’t want any other.
Hey, I’m a poet & don’t know it!