A beautiful memoir of childhood on Smith’s Prairie, Idaho, just after the turn of the 2oth century.
Eloise Evans McIvor describes her home as being “warm with affection, and that our only near neighbors were also family. From our back yard, we could look along a ridge to our substantial home, ice-house, and barns of my father’s cousins.”
Ms. McIvor writes of the daily running of a farm, of the familiarity of the people and animals in her world, simplicity that also gives her joy . . .
“From our front yard we looked slightly to the left to see the tall conical butte, partly on our land, partly on Uncle John’s. To the right was our black bottomland field, Papa’s pride. And winding between was the home of uncle John and Aunt Anna (I pronounced her name An Tamma) Evans.
“Their big black dog Major, with spectacular white neckruff and tailplume, was a model of gentleness and dignity. They were childless, and all the children of our house basked in their loving attention year in and year out. We couldn’t quite see their house, but knew it well, for John and Charlie Evans helped each other often, and besides, we had to haul water from Uncle John’s spring, in two barrels on a stoneboat.
“In our house, my earliest memories include Mama’s piano, and how wonderfully happy her music always made me feel. Family singing, joking, and good-natured teasing were part of the atmosphere of that small house; as were the good smells of cooking, especially homemade bread. The snow sifted in around the doors in winter, but we were warmed with a wood fire in the cookstove, or an air-tight heater, or both. There were well-read books, and the Idaho Farmer, and a few magazines.”
Take yourself back to a time before electronics, before meetings and rush hour and appointments, and relax in Ms McIvor’s world of love, promise, and resilience.