Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Dogs Go With The People

It's moving day. March 1st.
There used to be a lot of people who lived out in the country. The reason was simple. It took a family to farm 160 acres. The man power it took to take care of the land, the crops, and the horses, required a lot of people.
Traditionally and even to this day, almost all farm leases, verbal or written, run March 1st to March 1st. So when farms changed hands, either by selling or leasing to someone else, everyone moved on March 1st. My Dad had told me that it was not uncommon to be traveling down the road with most of your possessions in a horse drawn wagon, and meet several other families on the road also on their way to the 'new' house, all with everything they owned tied to, and in the wagon.
I can only guess that it was an emotional time for everyone involved. Some would be improving their lives and others would be sliding further down fortunes ladder. I'm guessing the tears that flowed mixed in with the inevitable mud that March brings to Nebraska. Dad moved a half a dozen times from the time he lived in the Riverside area, where he was raised, to where we live now. Dad's moves were mostly for the better each time, as he moved his way up.
At the age 56, I have escaped having to move on March 1st. I have lived on this farm my entire life. I hope to move from here someday, when I get old enough to retire. I say hope, not that I want to leave, but that the alternative to retiring isn't atractive.
There was an unwritten rule that applied to the farm pets on moving day. The dogs go with the family, and the cats stay with the farm.
Thinking about it here, I'll bet the reason we didn't move much in the horse and wagon era, was because Mom loved to play her piano. A Baby Grand.

17 comments:

Rachel said...

Glad you don't have to move Cliff. Moving is no fun. I can just see all the folks in their wagons with all their possessions back in the older times. I'm glad your parents didn't move much either. Thank God for that Baby Grand!

Jamie Dawn said...

All that moving... I can relate, and it isn't fun.

I'm glad I'm not in the horse & wagon days though.

I need to get a Baby Grand Piano, pronto!!

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

' still laughing at JD's comment about getting a Baby Grand, pronto.

Cliff, I never knew that about March 1. It's pretty wonderful to have lived on that farm all your life! I envy you.

Jerry said...

Your ma was a wise woman, owning that Baby Grand. It allowed the Morrows to grow some deep roots.

Maria said...

Packing everything a family owns in the car and on top of the car reminds me of the stories I heard about the dust bowl and the moving of so many families to the Central Valley of California.

Thank you for another insight into life in Nebraska.

Rhodent said...

Good post, Cliff. It seems that a lot of people are posting more serious or sentimental posts today.

Jim said...

Thanks Cliff, for the moving lesson. I hadn't heard about the cats and the dogs moving or not.
..

Dan said...

leaving the cats sounds like a good idea. Does that apply in the city?

Peter said...

We may have a few things in common Cliff, but our movements, (no not those ones,) are different.
Re the Movie, I think it would be good to stick with Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski from Crocodile Dundee, a big saving on advertising costs to introduce new stars???

Babble said...

My parents just moved last summer and had to move a Baby Grand. Wow I thought my mom would die of a heart attack before it was all done and over with. Some family member had to be with the piano ever inch of the move or we would all feel a mother wrath..LOL

Triplet Dads said...

what about roosters? Stay or go?

Cliff Morrow said...

Stew. To go!

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

well moving a baby grand would be no fun thats for sure..

moving the hubby and three kids is bad enough.

Rhodent said...

Hey! Where is Ralph?

Miki said...

MOVING! UUUUGGGGGHHHHH! Just the thought sends me into a panic attack! When we bought our house ummmmm8 years ago, it was stressful, when we moved it was even more stressful! I cannot imagine doing it EVERY YEAR! your mom was a smart lady, Cliff, she had that baby grand for a reason............you tell the greatest stories! I neverknew about "moving day." An interesting part of history that I placed in the old noodle, thanks to you !

Anonymous said...

Hi Cliff, This moving day brings back memories of moves that my folks made. Mom had the rounded glass china cupboard that always went in first after it was wrapped in a mattress.
I remember the time we moved to the place that was a neighbor to Jim. Dad had bought a new team to pull the wagon. I think your Dad was driving them over the hills. Afterwards we found out that team was known for being "run aways".
We were fornuate they didn't on that day!
Dad had them runaway with him a couple of times after that.
Phyllis

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