Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Things to Count On

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.  Born in 1912, she has been gone for several years now -- and tomorrow my sons and I will travel to Indiana, Pennsylvania to visit her grave and the farmhouse where I grew up.  In honor of my mother, I post this poem (also posted on October 1, 2010) that enumerates ways that numbers were vital in my early life.

Things to Count On            by JoAnne Growney  

I want to say how beautiful it was — but it was not. Each animal, each shed, each acre was useful; we kept them with good care and counted them, counted on them. One hundred forty acres, seven sheds. A white frame house, eight tall rooms and bath, a cellar with a dozen shelves for canned goods and four lines for laundry, a truck room for junk. We five in three bedrooms, four beds. One extra room for guests — my aunts. Our dining room with seven doors plus closets. A shed beside the corn crib with space for three wagons and a Plymouth. The barn with two mows for hay, a third for straw, a granary, a bathtub for livestock drinking, and six private stalls. Nine cows with two for milking, which I did. In seven days no minutes to be happy, no hours to be sad — not even when my father died. My mother's a good woman, worth three good women. For sixty years everyone has thought so, and more than a hundred have said. I've stopped counting.

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