Last summer, my sister-in-law, who lives in a good-sized town, was telling me how disappointed she was at not being able to visit her parents in a distant city. It was not advisable to take her three step-children, and if she left them at home, she would have to pay some one to look after them, and leave her house to the mercies of an extravagant cook. Suddenly an idea popped into my head.
"Judy," I said, "would you like for me to board the children for a month? Then you can go."
I can't begin to tell you how delighted she was. She left on her visit, satisfied that the children were well cared for.
In this way our surplus of farm produce was taken up. The expense was nearly nothing, the work being the thing. True there were times when my nerves would get ragged at the racket those three children made, added to my own two.
The farm furnished most of their amusement. An occasional trip to town was provided for them, but they seemed to care very little for that. The old pasture was an excellent place for Indian forts, and many were the battles fought there. A ride on the old mare or wading in the brook was fun enough.
There was no coaxing of finicky appetites when mealtime came. All did full justice to the meal, usually consisting of vegetables, fried chicken, green salads, desserts of fresh fruits, or often ice cream, made from our generous supply of milk, leaving plenty to drink.
The night before they were to leave, the littlest one laid his head against my arm, as we sat in the swing.
"Auntie," he said, "I've been to the mountains, and to the seashore, but this is the best place of all."
A genuine love for children, patience to settle the little difficulties that have to be settled, the right amount of bedtime stories in reserve, and this venture will be a success.
This post has been shared with Simple Lives Thursday.