April 16th…“DID YOU EVER HAVE A RECURRING DREAM AS A CHILD IN YOUR FARM DAYS?”
As the sun winked “goodnight” to us at the horizon of our farm each evening, I eventually made my way inside of our century old farm house to enjoy our mother’s delicious supper. With tummies full and happy, the inevitable time of day would arrive……bedtime.
Ours was a two story farm home with two bedrooms upstairs. Our sisters, Candice and Rosemary, held territorial rights over the larger south bedroom. Lowell and I held sovereignty over the tiny north bedroom at the top of the stairs. A door divided our two domains of the girls from the boys.
When it came to sleeping accommodations for big brother and I , our bed matched the nature of our antiquated, home……….OLD!! If you’ve ever heard of a swayback horse, then you have a perfect picture of the bed us brothers slept on. Maybe that poor excuse for a bed actually HAD been a swayback horse in a previous life because even if you TRIED to stay on the edge of the bed during the night, you’d always end up in the “valley” colliding with big brother in the center. Being the little kid brother, I was assigned to sleep against the wall. Only problem with THIS arrangement was, our dear old upstairs ceiling had the classic sloped roof line on my side. Any quick moves sitting up in bed and I’d get a “KA BONGOH ON THE HEADOH!!”
Our beloved mother, Clarice, took care that her children were always warm and cozy when it came to bedtime and her blessings came into play especially on Winter nights. Over the years, she had stitched together these heavy blankets (which is actually what a quilt is, in reality) from all kinds of thick fabric material she’d saved up or received as gifts from other ladies in our family. Some quilting material even came from good, kindly neighbors who would share with us. The batting (or filler) between top and bottom of the quilt helped to make the overall experience of these massive blankets to be wonderfully cozy on those frigid Winter nights. We’d snuggle under its loving weight and warmth as icy snow fell just outside our single pane glass window.
There was door at the foot of the stairwell, and most evenings, our spiritually-minded matriarch would have us scurry up the stairs and into our beds and have us fold our hands for our nightly prayers with her. The following was the common prayer of the day for many families. We would recite it with her listening from the bottom of the stairs…….“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen!” Our darling mother would then wish us “Sweet Dreams” and our little heads plopped into our pillows with slumber close behind.
Having arrived on dreamland’s doorway, I think the influence of daily farm life guided the content of most of my dreams. In the ethereal realms of slumber, I would see myself driving big tractors, trucks and even climbing the tallest trees. Sounds pretty normal for a boy, ya?
Yet, to the other darker spectrum of the dream world my dreams would be conjured, and there I’d be, being chased by these giant, angry Holstein bulls!!! The scenario usually played out in one of two tortuous ways; either I couldn’t get out of the bull’s way because my feet seemed to be made of lead (each foot weighing a TON each), orrrrrr, I would look down to see my feet running at a blurring pace, but I wasn’t hardly moving an inch to get away from the fast approaching bull who was gaining on me by the second with murderous intentions! That behemoth, with flared nostrils, would now be lowering his massive head to make the connecting attack and crush me to death!!!! It was at that critical moment of a death impact that I’d wake myself up by literally convulsing in bed as I returned to reality from almost being hammered by a Holstein. Those were seriously scary dreams for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.