Memories from my Childhood

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

(Pictured above: My pony, Snip. Karli, 2nd Grade, with duckling "Peeper." Pygmy goat, "Billy," a gift from Uncle Joe. Newly hatched ducklings in Karli's summer dress. Karli's chicken coop, henhouse was old ticket booth. Favorite bantam hen with chicks).

My post yesterday got me to thinking about my own experience with chickens as a young girl. I grew up in rural McMinnville, in the rolling hills of Yamhill County. We didn't live on an actual farm, but as a young girl of about eight years old, I had a little farm of my own on the twelve acres where we lived. It all started with a small dwarf baby rabbit my Dad bought me when I was six years old. Later, my Dad picked up twenty-four chicks, twenty-three of which were roosters and had to be sent away, but from that time on, my small farm grew. In second grade, we hatched baby ducks in our classroom, and I got to take one of the ducklings, Peeper (pictured in pool with me in above photo), home with me. That was where my duck population started. An old ticket booth on our property was turned into a hen-house, my Dad helped build additional sheds, installed a water spigot, and I had my very own childhood farm. Over the years I had a pygmy goat named Billy, a pony called Snip, quail, many rabbits, ducks, and of course, chickens. My Dad says to this day when you drive out on Masonville Road in McMinnville, hundreds of rabbits can be found hopping around, descendants from a few of my escapees.

A favorite photo of mine on the farm. From left to right, my sister Tracy on the tire swing, me (the oldest), my youngest sister Shelly, and my middle sister Kristi up in the tree. My Mom gave birth to all four of us girls in just over four years.

Years later, when Samuel was a newborn, I drove out to our old property. My parents had long since sold the house and property and were now living near downtown McMinnville. I was surprised to discover my little farm abandoned and long forgotten. Everything was just as I had left it when I moved to Portland the summer I graduated from high-school. Snip's old water troth, my water and feed buckets, all the rabbit hutches, the old wooden foot bridge that led to the duck house and Snip's lean-to, inscriptions written on interior walls where I kept track of incubation periods, and the old Oak tree, which Tracy is swinging from twenty years earlier. All these things remain frozen in time. I snapped a few pictures, and hurried off the property and to my car and sleeping newborn son.


Jeremy said...

I love your story and those pictures! It sounds like so much fun being able to explore and create on your own. And to take care of all those little animals too. What an experience!

Anonymous said...

The nastalgia almost makes me cry!

Claudia said...

Wow Karli!!! I had a flood of memories come to me as I read your blog!! Where oh where did my four 'little girls' go??!!!!

Anonymous said...

great post Karli, reminded me of my own childhood! Look forward to seeing you soon!


ps I am sooo jealous that you have your new recycling cans!


Kelli said...

Great pictures! You guys all look so cute that young:)

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