Tuesday, July 3, 2012
A summer's start for the growing season for corn in our farming community was always measured by the expectation that the corn should be "knee high by the 4th of July." If a season was wet and rainy the corn might not be in (planted) until late and the corn might be short. The farmers all hoped the crop would have a good growing start to withstand the heat and drought of late July and August. Today as I drove home I found myself looking carefully at the various fields of corn. Most farms, even though we've had little rain, had knee high corn.
Looking at those corn fields I remembered the fun my sisters and I had playing hide and seek in the corn fields. We knew we had to be careful as we played. Those tall green stalks held ears of corn, food for the cows and pigs and revenue for the family. We understood corn was a commodity we were expected to treat carefully. No broken stalks or ruined ears of corn in our family fields. We were allowed to play in the shade of the corn that would be as tall as a man in mid August. The lush fields provided a perfect place to play and the possibilities for great hiding places were endless.
Corn is planted in rows. Our dad told us if we ever got lost in the corn fields to not wander around in the field but instead we were to follow the corn to the end of the field. We knew the straight long rows would lead us either to the barn, or to the fence row. If we came to the fence row we were to walk until we came to the gravel road. On the road we could walk until we came home or to a neighboring farm.
I don't remember any of us ever getting lost. But every time we played it added an measure of danger to our summer fun.