I began my journey in Kansas, land of wheat fields and orange-purple sunsets. The first home I remember had no indoor bathroom! In winter, my younger brother and I took “baths” in the kitchen sink. In summer, we trekked to the “wash shed” beside our windmill. Roger and I sat in big, metal washing tubs as Mother poured warm water over our heads.
I was a timid child, but I had a special affinity for animals. Luckily, my father and his family were farmers. There were always plenty of animals around! I enjoyed playing with kittens in the hayloft, helping my father feed the calves, and listening to the peeps of baby chicks. I had mixed feelings about gathering eggs in the hen house, though. Jealously guarding their eggs, the hens pecked my hands. Those pecks hurt!
Many Sundays after church, our family had dinner at my Grandparent Krehbiel’s farm. Grandmother, the aunts, and my mother filled the table with fried chicken (yes, one of those hens from the hen house), mashed potatoes, coleslaw, Jell-O, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, pies, and my favorite, Mack-Kuchen (poppy seed rolls). My father had seven brothers and sisters, and when all of them came to dinner, I had twenty-eight cousins to play with!
My Grandparents Lippincott lived in Colorado. I visited them every summer. I only had three cousins to play with there, but we had great fun at Grandfather’s cabin – riding horses, feeding Grandmother’s pancakes to chipmunks (pancakes cooked on a wood-stove – yum!), and wading in mountain streams.