Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler: 23 I Remember!

Sounds of Country Life in Kansas

Roosters crowing at daybreak
The cluck of hens, the “peep” of chicks
Cattle lowing; pigs grunting
Robin song in the springtime
Pigeons cooing in the barn
Crows cackling in the pine trees
The “towee” of redwing blackbirds along streams
The mournful cry of killdeers as they did their “broken wing” ploy
Thunderstorms rumbling and crashing
Frogs croaking in the spring
Tree toads singing
Katydid and cricket chirping
The chorus of coyote howling at night
Geese honking as they headed to the South for winter
Screech owl shivering cry at night
Deep hoot owl voice
Rain on tin roofs
Wind rustling through tall corn
The sighing of the north wind through evergreens back of our house

Sounds of Human Activity

Wooden wagon wheels clucking
Harness leather squeaking as horses worked
The thud of ears of corn on sideboards at corn shucking in the field
Shrill Santa Fe train whistle and puffing on the grade approaching Nortonville, to the south
The deep, pleasant whistle of the Missouri Pacific train as it crept along the horizon toward Lancaster, to the north
Steam engine puffing and its whistle at threshing time
Tractor sounds: John Deere “pop-pop;” Fordson whine; unmuffled tractors in the neighborhood
Farm sounds from our neighbors
The whine of the wood saw in preparing fuel for the winter
Mom calling us to dinner, “Yoo hoo, ” with a special inflection just for that occasion
Louise playing “Country Gardens” on the piano as we did chores at the barn
The rhythm of the hand-run washing machine

Sights Growing Up in Kansas

Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets
Storms approaching, lightning, tornado shaping “funnels”
Towns: Nortonville, Effingham, Lancaster, Parnell, Winchester
Neighbor homes, barns, farms
Seasons in the trees, leaves forming, falling
A shelterbelt of evergreen and pine trees north of the house
Geese flying in formation
Grain fields blowing in sea waves
“Tunnels” in the tall corn rows
Harvesting and threshing, planting, growing crops
“Our” Seventh Day Baptist Church in Nortonville’

In my mind’s eye:

East – adventure, historic New England, romantic Virginia
West – wide open spaces, Denver, the mountains
North – Canada, the Klondike, the North Pole, cold country
South – Dixieland, New Orleans, warm, “Song of the South,” “Uncle Remus”

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