My Forty Years Scribblin's
Personal Memories
After the Children Have Left Home

This letter was written in 1960 and published in the May 1960 issue of the Montana Farmer Stockman. Mildred writes a letter to the editor.


This letter was written in 1960 and published in the May 1960 issue of the Montana Farmer Stockman. Mildred writes a letter to the editor.

Your request for letters in the Feb. 15th issue hit me in a tender spot. I am a farm woman who, sixteen years ago, went out to "help bring in the bacon."

I began by cooking in a school lunch room, and though the work was not unpleasant, the wages at that time, after having my two smaller children cared for, left me practically nothing.

After four years, I bethought me to open a bake shop and lunch room. Starting in a small way, I succeeded to the point where I was working as many as seventeen hours a day, but not to the point where I could afford help or efficient equipment. Sunday being my busiest day, I became a near stranger to my dissatisfied family.

Then I filled a vacancy in our general store and clerked there for two years. At the end of that time, the gains to the family were negligible, improvements to the house were nil.

I went back to cooking. This time for longer hours and good basic pay, but the more income we can see, the more we are tempted to buy and I was in a position comparable to the cat with his tail caught in the flywheel—going 'round and 'round because I couldn't let loose!

One thing more that you and I did not think of when we were dreaming the dreams of making the plans that send women job hunting. This week saw the last of my seven little "chickens" (children) go out into the world to scratch for his own worms. Like the other six, his visits home will be sporadic, and how I wish at this very minute for some of the time I had to spend away from them all.