14d. FARMINGSoon after the first of the year, Daddy, Dennis and Tommy would start breaking land for crop planting. Each had their mule that they plowed with, their particular plows and the mule's gear. Most times, when Daddy came out, before daylight, his mule would be geared up and Dennis and Tommy would be ready to go to the field. A few times, they'd have to wait for enough daylight to see where they were plowing so as not to plow up plants that were growing.
They'd "take-out" for dinner for an hour or so, then go back and plow 'til sundown. Lucy would have dinner ready for the family and we'd eat, then the field hands would come in. (More on "Sonny, tell 'em dinner ready later.)
Daddy never wore socks when he plowed. So, he would get tiny rocks into the bottoms of his feet that we used to pick out with a needle.
Over the years that Daddy was working away from home, the farm "went to pot!" The mule barn (the one by the house) had deteriorated and wasn't the type needed before, as there were no more mules, horses or milk cows to stable. The fields and pecan orchard were grown up with large cedar, pine, sweet gum and oak trees with vines, vines, and vines. ALL the fences were in terrible condition.
Just before he retired, Daddy bought a new, 1964 Ford, Model 2000 Tractor with a bush hog and a new Chain Saw. He, Tommy and Leatha Land went to work! They cleared all the over-grown fields and pastures, built new fences and a new barn properly suited to feed the cattle hay, etc., and planted bahai grass in all the pastures.
In just a few years, the place (Claire called it "Clover Hill Farm." I now call my portion of it "Lonesome Pine Farm") had fully recovered from neglect and became one of the prettiest places in the area. Joe once rode with Fred Hoffman in his single engine plane and flew over here. He said that this was the prettiest place in this area of the country.