October, 2023 - Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for October, 2023

Memories – Brought back by an Ice Farm

Friday, October 13th, 2023

by: Marceline Donaldson

Watching a television documentary this morning about ice farming in Maine brought back enormous and very emotional memories.

I loved to stay with my great-grandmother who we called – Grandma Bucksell. Whenever I could, I walked from my house to hers because she and my Uncle George Adams had so many great memories and things to pass on to me – acivities for me to do which was normal for them, but fantastic for me.

Every few days a man would pull up, in front of their house, in his wagon drawn by horses. He was the only person around who went from door to door in a horse drawn wagon. He had ice and milk on his wagon to deliver to Grandma Bucksell to put in her “ice box.” To this day I call a refrigerator an ice box.

I didn’t think much of it then, but years later I remembered those days. She also had a wood burning stove and coffee beans in the oven in the morning for that days coffee.

The connection the television documentary I saw this morning made for me was to connect the origination of the ice in the state of Maine with its final destination in New Orleans. It was a powerful memory and an even more powerful connection.

To see all of the people farming ice on a lake complete with the culture of ice farming; with the men in the ice house who had to work years to get to be able to work in the ice house and all of the family culture that went into ice farming was special.

As I age, I am beginning to question why we are so hot on developing all of the technology and AI and everything else which is ruining the planet, our health and our lives. What do we really have to gain by all of it? A better life or a stressed out life which keeps us from enjoying family, friends and others in a community which spiritually, emotionally and in many other ways enriches us all?

I go back in my mind often to those days of early morning breakfast in bed which my Grandma Bucksell brought me with the wood burning fireplace going to keep the room and house warm. Try as hard as I might my coffee does not match the coffee from those days and the breakfasts are just not the same. It was a lifestyle which enriched me spiritually, emotionally and in many other ways and one I was not able to give to my children no matter how hard I tried.

It was great to know there is an ice farming museum in Maine which is keeping all of their history together, sharing the culture and lifestyle which ice farming created in those environs and are using the museum to keep the culture of ice farming going. I hope they add something about the people who received the ice all over this country and how their lives paralleled.

May the museum and all of its restorative endeavors be ever successful.

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