My name is Alexandria. I live on a farm in Worcester, Vermont, with my five brothers and two sisters. It is the year 1937, and I'm seven!
I go to school at the top of Hancock Brook Road. My school is a one-room schoolhouse and is a dark reddish color. It's not hard to miss, when you come up the road. My teacher's name is Mrs. Gates. She's a tall, thin woman, with freckles. Three of my brothers and two of my sisters go to school with me. The rest are too young.
We have to walk about a mile to school every day, come rain or shine, or snowy winters. In the winter, we walk behind the snow roller to school; it looks like a giant barrel pulled by horses.
When we get to school I have the chore of lugging water from the well and bringing it to school for drinking. My brothers haul wood for the stove in the winter.
There are about a dozen kids in school but only three in my grade. My favorite thing about school is lunch. We have no electricity or indoor plumbing so we have to use an outhouse.
My older sister, Shirley, graduates from eighth grade in two weeks. She is 15 years old and is getting married. When I graduate from eighth grade I want to continue school. I'll have to move to Montpelier and live with my aunt and uncle to finish my high school years. I don't think I want to get married for a long time.
My best friend's name is Helen Eldredge and she lives just up the hill from the schoolhouse on a farm just like me.
At our farm, we raise chickens, five pigs, twelve cows, two horses, and rabbits for meat. All the kids help with the chores. We take care of the animals, garden, Pick berries, and help with the hay. My father walks a couple of miles to the Cane farm and back every day to work.
In the house we help my mother take care of our brothers and sisters. We are all about a year apart. My older sister takes care of us the most, and she helped my father deliver the youngest baby. My dad delivered all of us kids. My least favorite chore is washing the clothes on the washboard. I love baking day, though, because my mother makes pies and bread for us. We don't have an icebox to keep our food cold, but we do have a root cellar that stays cool all summer.
In the summer we go swimming a lot because our long dresses and button-up boots are very hot. I love to play hide and seek and tag with my brothers and sisters. In the winter we go sledding on traverses and cardboard boxes.
Christmas is my favorite holiday because we get hand-me-down clothes and my mom makes fudge. It's the only time of the year we get candy.
My father cuts a big tree for us and we make homemade decorations to hang on its lovely branches. On Christmas day we get together and sing while my older sister plays the pump organ and my father plays the violin. 'We don't go to church because it's too far away, but our mother teaches us to read from the Bible.
Diary, I have to go now and help my dad with the chores and play with my favorite cat, Tinker.
P.S. forgiv my riting im just lerning this yer.
|Pigs at Pop Pratt's farm
||John Lind plowing at his farm on Hampshire Hill
|I'd like to thank Shirley Utton Parkhurst and Thelma Howieson Healey for taking the time to talk with me about their childhoods. A lot of the details from my story came from what they told me.
|Thelma Howieson Healey at her home, after her interview with Emily D. & Chianna Simonetta C.