This is our old family dinner bell. When I was little, my mom would go into the backyard and ring it when meals were ready. We needed it because she couldn’t always find everyone to hunt them down to come in to eat. Also dinner time changed with the seasons. We ate a bit earlier in the winter and later in the summer – always depending on how many hours of sunshine in a day.
Over the years, the farm has not needed the bell anymore. Now, it is surrounded by a lilac bush and other trees and brush. You’d have to look to find it.
It is a relic on our farm, but one that still brings back happy memories of mealtime together with family, farm hands, friends, and good food. My friends were often smiling at first when my mom told them that everything on the table but the salt, pepper, and butter came from this farm. After a moment, they’d look at their meat and think of the cows in the dairy barn or the pigs in their pen and frown. One of us would look at that friend and say, “Yes, that too.”
This memory always brings a smile. I know how odd it can seem thinking of what you’re eating differently when it relates to what you just pet in the backyard. And yet, eating meat that way is far healthier than the single patty at McDonald’s which is a compilation of 100’s of cows. Plus, each cow or pig lived a fairly long life and was treated with the utmost respect, a healthy diet, and room to roam. Only 100 years ago, this is how we all ate meat. Don’t worry, I still respect my vegetarian and vegan friends.
I also remember eating potatoes from our own garden all year because they were stored in the well house, veggies from the garden and fruit from the trees because they were canned or frozen, and there is nothing like that home-canned tomato juice! Now my juices are flowing!
Moral of the Story: Farming – a way of life, or a life few will ever know again?