We Get Back to that Hoe with New Strength

At age 86, Pearl Wilborn recalled her days as a wife and mother on the farm in Missouri, about 1915 into the 1950′s:


Mrs Lemuel Smith and children working in the garden

1941 photograph by Jack Delano for Farm Security Administration, Library of Congress Collection FSA 8c05499.

“I have told many things about my growing up on a farm the first 19 years of life. I’m grateful that my parents taught me to work as my next 38+ years were spent on a farm, the wife of a farmer where I learned many things first hand by experience.

“I learned the joys and rewards, and also some failures working in the ground. The pride in a nice growing garden, a nice clean green yard, a flower bed I had made all by myself. A few yellow down chickens in a pen with an old hen that had hatched the eggs I had put under her. The satisfaction of knowing I had something for my work. One little tomato seed planted will bear many tomatoes; one flower seed will have many blossoms and a tired body is rested and ready for another day’s work after a night of sleep.

“No two days are ever alike. I learned you could rest by looking up at a bird flying swiftly high up in the sky or gazing at a neighbor’s house in the distance, or the cows grazing in the pasture or maybe a few fleecy white clouds floating along slowly with the gentle breeze, sometimes looking like fat fluffy sheep and if you watched longer, you could see the face of an old man with long beard and you thought what a beautiful world we live in and we feel glad we are healthy and alive and not sick so we get back to that hoe with new strength and make the dirt fly and think what a good day it has been and how much we have to show for our time and hoe another row.

“Our day is about over and this is a day we will remember because our marvelous brain has stored it away and sometime we will recall it and we relive it again.”

–Pearl G. Wilborn, Missouri, 1982,
Autobiography of Pearl G. Wilborn (self-published), pages 28-29.
Reprinted by permission.

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