We didn't have gas or electricity in those days, so each day the lamps had to be filled, the globes polished and the wicks trimmed for the next night. What a contrast to pushing a button and getting light! However, there were some advantanges in living in the country for a boy or girl. As soon they were old enough, they were given chores to do.
The girls helped in the house and the boys on the farm. You could take the cows to pasture and get them in the evening. After 1895, when my uncle sold Granfather's old home farm, my father farmed 21 acres belonging to Aunt Sara.
These fields were separated from ours by a large field or two, so if the horses weren't busy, we got to ride them to get the cows. I can remember going for the cows on a frosty fall morning in my bare feet. At night, the cows were always turned into a field across from the barn, containing an elevation we called the "Knob". They invariably went to the highest point. I would make them get up and stand so I could warm my feet where they had lain.
What a contrast in keeping and feeding chickens as of that time and today. No one expected to get eggs in the winter. It was a rare occasion if you found a fresh egg, and mostly it was frozen and saved for someone who was sick or off their feed. Mostly, the chickens stood around in the wagon shed on one foot or the other. Combs frosted and looked like they wouldn't survive the winter.
One winter, my mother allowed my to warm up the pigpen with straw and gave me a dozen hens. I fed them carefully and we had eggs that winter, and I was a proud boy. While the eggs were still plentiful in the summer, my mother packed some in crocks in salt, with the small end down and not touching, and these kept good enough for cooking and baking in the winter.