Weatherwise, it's still cool in Wakefield, Nebraska this first week of August, 1898 with temps on Monday hovering just under 70. By Friday the thermometer will soar to 88 or thereabouts.
Lennie is doing a man's job...working in the fields. In July he helped with the wheat and oat harvest.
This week the work shifts to a "dirtier" job. Lennie begins hauling manure. The manure from the barn and feed areas would be tossed onto a wagon via muscle power and a pitchfork. Then the wagon was pulled by a team of horses to the fields where Lennie would use a pitchfork to toss the stuff into the field. The winds would carry the "aroma" for miles. And probably so did Lennie's clothes.
With all this field work I'm thinking that 17-year-old Lennie was pretty buff by summer's end.
The photo? That's Lennie in his old age. By then he had gone through the Depression of the 1930s, had lived through World Wars I and II, buried an adult daughter, and lived life as an honorable man who took care of his family and was a good neighbor to all. I like this photo of Lennie for I can see how much his grandson (my hubby) resembles him.
Let us move on to Lennie's diary.
Sunday, July 31, 1898
Got a book and stayed home and read.
Went down and seen G. (I'm suspecting G is a girl. Lennie often used initials when referring to girls.)
Monday, August 1, 1898
A rainy day.
Petersons got new table.
Tuesday, August 2, 1898
Joe Peterson sent after watch.
Fred and me went to town.
(Remember that Lennie himself got a new watch July 23. Now his buddy is influenced to get one for himself.)
Wednesday, August 3, 1898
Fixed up shocks.
Hauled hay in forenoon.
Stacked hay afternoon.
Thursday, August 4, 1898
Hauled manure in forenoon.
Stacked wheat in afternoon.
?? (indecipherable) came home.
Friday, August 5, 1898
Stacked wheat all day.
Storm came up after noon.
Saturday, August 6, 1898
Fred felt funny. Gave me a nice ride on hayrack.
(I'm thinking Lennie meant Fred felt he was in a joking mood...hence, the "nice" ride in the hayrack.)