This morning, Momma made you corn mush and milk for breakfast and now you and Brother off to school. Papa and Grandpa have been tending to farm chores since before sun-up and she is already setting out more substantial fare for them.
The school board has set up a subscription school for a term of six months. Families who subscribe pay the teacher directly, $2 per month, per child. The teacher is a smart fella. He has graduated the eighth grade been certified to teach. Says he's going to college next year.
Learning don't require shoes.
At dinner time (it's usually called lunch in 2010,) you watch Brother scarf down the contents of his dinner pail and run off to play town ball with the other big boys. That's kinda like baseball, except nothing is foul and you can throw the ball at the runner to put him out.
Brother and his two best friends put their pennies together and bought a piece of wax (folks in the future will know it as chewing gum.) For the last two days they have taken turns chewing it during class. It's Brother's turn to take it home and he says you can chew it for an hour after supper.
Back home, Momma is already cooking supper. Squirrel stew, mustard greens, buttermilk and cornbread (wheat flour is just for Sunday biscuits.) Since there is no fruit she is making a vinegar pie for dessert.
Pretty soon it will be hog-killing time and then there will be ham, sausage, salt pork and head cheese all winter. Thinking about the soup Momma will make from the backbone gets your mouth watering.
The pigs roam free and fatten on acorns and such. There lots of pigs roaming the neighborhood. Each one is earmarked to show who it belongs to. (Pork. Earmark. Frontier language lives on.)
Back in from the fields, Papa rubs axle grease into his cracked hands. Grandpa rubs turpentine into his to relieve his arthritis. One of the neighbors has a bad tooth and has asked Grandpa to knock it out with a chisel. When Momma had a bad tooth Papa pulled it out an old set of bullet molds.
After supper, Momma lets you look at the fancy photograph album Papa gave her last Christmas.
All the photographs are tintypes taken at the fair, except for two: the CDV of Grandpa when he was in the war fighting Yankees, and the cabinet card Papa sent for the photographer to take of Sister when she died. It just looks like she's sleeping.
At bed time you and Brother wash your faces at the basin. There's no tooth-brushing. Some people do that with the chewed end of a twig dipped in salt, but it seems silly.
You bed down in the loft (some call it an attic) on the mattress Momma made last year. Its a big canvas bag stuffed with Spanish moss that had been buried in the ground to let the soft part rot away, leaving just the fiber. It's like sleeping on a cloud.
Life sure is good.