Missouri was a real culture shock for me, I remember crying every time the song that went like this, "sitting on the dock of the bay". Maybe that is the name of it, I would visualize me sitting on the dock back home and wishing I was still there.
When winter came the snow was fun for like 3 days and then I was over it. It did not help that our first winter, Missouri had the worse ice storm that they had, had in the last forty years. It was beautiful but a little much for this Florida girl. All of the tree branches were covered in ice and walking, well forget it, I spent most of the time on my ass. MY dad took an old pair of his shoes and drilled screws through the bottoms of them, of course with the pointed end on the outside. The screw stuck in the ice and he could walk. He had a big four-wheel-drive truck and could get to town in it. He went to all of the farmhouses and asked if they needed anything from town, there were maybe 5 or 6 houses.
Dad and my brothers rebuilt the old house that was on the property and we could finally get out of the schoolhouse camper. There were two bedrooms downstairs and two upstairs. My dad and step-mom and little brother were downstairs my two younger sisters had a room upstairs and my room was across from theirs. Dad was a ham radio operator and the tower antenna went right up by my window which made for a great ladder to come and go without anyone seeing me.
The people down the road had a big barn and after the trail rides were over they had square dancing, it was fun to watch. One of the men who came to the dance made and sold leather clothes. He also made a leather satchel for hanging on the saddle while riding. Dad bought me a leather skirt and vest, my two sisters had the same. My brother's wife had a leather skirt that was longer than ours and it was a darker color.
School was almost going to start and I would be going into the 10th grade and a few weeks before it was to start, dad told me I would not be going back. I liked school because it was a way to hang out with friends and get away from home. I was not an honor roll student but I was not a bad one, more or less average, A's, B's and maybe a C. I was not getting along with my step-mother. I was so upset and asked dad as to why I can not go back and these were his words, "girls do not need an education, you need to stay home and help out around the house". I could not believe it. I was to milk the cows, feed the chickens, and do the dishes also clean the house. All of the things I hated to do.
We had two milk cows one named Brendal she was a calm cow and she did not mind being milked, the other one had a fitting name, it was Bossy. She would kick and the entire time while trying to milk her she would try to step in the milking can. Also, I did not care for drinking fresh cows milk, but I liked the butter. After the milk has sat for a while the cream would come to the top and I had to skim it off and when I had enough, it was put in a jar that the lid had a crank and three paddles that turned. It seemed like it took forever turning the crank until the cream turned to butter.
As it worked out the neighbor I bought my horse from needed a babysitter her baby was a few months old and she needed to go back to work, I was more than happy to take the job. Her husband was a truck driver and was only home a few times a week, so on the days he was gone I stayed with her. She was deathly afraid of tornados. They did not bother me because I was used to hurricanes. But every time it would thunder she was ready to go to the cellar. We spent a lot of time in her cellar with a kerosene lantern for light sitting there playing cards until the storm passed. One time a tornado came very close to us, it dug a hole down one side of the cellar and in front of the door, but there was no damage to her house or anything else.
One day my boyfriend wanted to ride our little Yamaha minibike but he wanted me to sit in front of him while he drove, which I thought was weird but Missouri people did weird things. There I was sitting in front, him driving when he hits a rock that made him lose control and guess which one of us landed face down into a pile of fresh cow shit. I was so mad, if I would have been in the back like normal people ride, it would have been him in the cowshit.
Thinking of rocks, I had never seen so many rocks as there were on this property. I love rocks but there was I time I did not care to ever see another one. Dad wanted to clear the pastures of all of the rocks so he could have a place for the cows to feed and he could plant the type of grass for them to eat, maybe it was wheat, I do not remember what it was. Anyway he drove the tractor with a flatbed trailer attached and all of us kids had to walk beside it and picking up the rocks and putting them on the trailer, we did this day after day until 80 acres were cleared. What a job that was.