May Window

From the farmhouse windows Lydia could see the orchards of apple trees and watch the activity on Whirlwind Hill, the road that ran between the house and the barn.

There are two quotes for this May window. In the nine years between 1912 and 1921 her life had changed. In 1913 her youngest child, my grandfather Ellsworth, married my grandmother, Agnes Biggs, and by 1921 they had three children. Lydia’s husband William died in 1920.

"May Window," Carol Crump Bryner, monoprint

“May Window,” Carol Crump Bryner, monoprint

Sunday, May 19, 1912 – “Fine morning. Apple blossoms are out and everything looks tender and fresh. Autos are flying by. Boys on wheels. Surrey load of young people, auto trucks with lot of people in all going east for an outing. How changed the times when team after team used to go by with people going to church.” – Lydia Jane Hall

Monday, May 9, 1921 – “Nice day. High winds in afternoon and some warmer. The trees have been loaded with apple blossoms and nearly all gone. Soon time to spray them again. The peonies, the shrub peonies, are out in full bloom. The birds are all here nesting, singing songs. Grass looking fine and heavy. Men busy preparing the ground for planting. The farm never looked more promising to me.” – Lydia Jane Hall

See also:  April Window

On Monday:  Two Aarons

9 thoughts on “May Window

  1. Michael Foster


    What a lovely print to go with two evocative entries. Thank you so much! What remarkable times those were with cars and “auto trucks” replacing horse and buggy, but with surreys still seen on the hill. I wonder where they were heading to the east for their outing? Paug Pond? The apple blossoms are a big part of spring memories for me with four trees in our yard and Young’s orchard just south of us on the ridge. Charlie King used to drive the tractor and spraying rig up and down the rows for hours and you could see clouds of pesticide hovering over the trees. In those days before environmental awareness and farm worker rights he used to wear a raincoat, goggles and hat that were constantly drenched, but no mask or gloves. The orchard offered me my first job, aside from helping with the hay. At 14 and 15 I wasn’t quick enough to pick apples (35 cents a crate, piecework), but made a dollar an hour helping to load crates on the trailer and then unload them back at the refrigerated storage barn. Days I haven’t thought about for a long while. Thanks again.


    1. Carol Post author

      I always look forward to your comments, Mike. Your stories add to my memories, and create new pictures for me and other readers. Thank you!
      The Young’s orchards were lovely in spring. All gone now. I can almost taste those apples.
      I think maybe the groups were headed for Paug Pond (pre-reservoir days) or maybe Three Notches. At some point I am doing a post about Three Notches and Paug Pond, and I’ll look forward to hearing your own memories about all things “Whirlwind Hill.”

  2. Katy Gilmore

    I loved to read Lydia’s journal entries alongside that so fresh and spring green print. Her love of the farm infuses that second entry, in spite of what must have been a hard year in 1920. Also makes me think you have her journal keeping gene for sure – and what a valuable thing – so many years separate those two writings, it’s perfect to read them together.
    Also love reading MIchael Foster’s comments about his memories.

    1. Carol Post author

      Thanks, Katy. She did love the farm and was proud of it. I may have inherited that journal keeping gene, but my entries will never match her quotability. Her training as a school teacher served her well.

  3. Donna L. Palmer

    Hiya Carol…I was searching the net and came across your site. First off…Congrats!!! Carol your site is super! You’re a wicked talented woman. I’m wicked pleased to meet you 🙂 You brought me back to my childhood, at your grandparents farm. I remember well…Arron bring the cows across the road…fresh milk & butter. Laying in the field looking up at picture clouds in the sky! kittens everywhere to pick up and cuddle! Your grandmother my aunt Agnes churned butter on the veranda 🙂 The latch doors amazed me! Uncle Ellsworth was always busy working, but he’d make the time to visit us with us. I remember the trips with my Aunt Ethel out to the farm 🙂 We’re related by my grandmother, your Aunt Olive. If you can’t tell…lol …I’m wicked excited! I have so many things to share with you. I have pics and stories. I also write stories and majored in fine arts & crafts. I was told by professors my writing was “homey” I can clearly see that in your writing. I’ve heard stories about you but this is amazing! It’s so lovely to meet you. What a flash from the past! ha ha ha
    Your cuzin, Donna 🙂

    1. Carol Post author

      Hi Donna. What a nice surprise to hear from you. So glad you found me, and that now I have another cousin to remind me of farm stories and adventures. I loved your grandmother Olive. Aunt Olive and Aunt Ethel were such great women, as was my grandmother Agnes. Thanks for bringing back memories of the butter churning and the latches. I will send you an email, and we can stay in touch.

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