Spirit Lake News

Life of a farm wife in the 50’s


Spirit Lake Presbyterian Church Service Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in Church, 88.1 FM Radio, Live Facebook. Spirit Lake Church Adult Sunday School 9:30 a.m. Pastor Dick Poppen on KWAT Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

A virtual baby shower has been given to Brian and Kala Larson who are expecting their first child, a baby girl, in May.

A bridal shower was held Saturday at the United Methodist Church in De Smet for Shannon Poppen who will marry Daniel Foley, June 26. The bridal shower was hosted by her sisters. Special guests were her mother, Janice Poppen, sisters, Kristen Poppen, Amanda Schwader, Kelsey Small and Daniel’s mother, Linda Foley.

The life of a Farmer’s wife
in the early 50’s

There are many differences in a farmer’s wife from the 50’s to the present. In the 50’s, I helped my husband milk the cows, which we did by hand; then I manned the milk separator. Finally, there was a separator for me to wash and get ready for the next use. I fed the chickens, gathered the eggs and cleaned the coop. There were many other chores to do around the farm and house.

Almost all our clothes were handsewn. There was washing, drying and mending clothes. I patched many a pair of jeans. Oh, how I would love to mend some of the jeans I see worn today! Then there was the ironing. We sprinkled the clothes with water and placed them in a basket a few hours, until they were ready to iron. Shirts, dresses, blouses, slacks, linens and aprons; I ironed them all.

I prepared three meals a day. Sometimes, there were morning and afternoon lunches that were taken to the field where my hubby worked. I did the gardening and baked bread, cakes and cookies. Did a lot of canning. We canned meats, chicken and produce from the garden. My grocery list usually consisted of flour, sugar, coffee, tea and baking ingredients, some fruits. We raised most everything else we needed.

We were busy all the time but still had time for sit-down meals, a visit to a neighbor for a cup of coffee or tea, and maybe a game of cards, fishing, and a ball game or two.

I know wives do many of the same things today, but they have the convenience of fast foods. Much of the groceries are purchased; they use microwaves, self-cleaning ovens, automatic washers and dryers, dishwashers, iPhones, computers and iPads. Most people say that’s progress. I am glad I experienced those early years; it sure helps me appreciate what I have today.


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