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'Prairie Diaries': Florence Whitebread

Florence Whitebread and her husband, Don.
Neva Grant, NPR News /
Florence Whitebread and her husband, Don.

Following are excerpts of Florence Whitebread's "Prairie Diary" recollecting her day in Kansas, Oct. 11, 2001:

October 11, 2001... awoke to a very cloudy day which soon gave way to a beautiful sunny fall day. As the radio alarm went off, I listened to the 6 a.m. newscast to hear of air strikes on the Taliban in Afghanistan. We feel Bush has taken the proper direction against these terrorists. We cannot let them push us around...

...Went out to do chores which included getting the milk cow, Dew Drop, in the barn and milking her by hand... feeding a calf we are fattening to butcher next spring and feeding the Shetland pony, Trigger. Of course, the four cats and three dogs were all waiting for their breakfast which always includes a little fresh cow's milk and some cat and dog food. Took milk to the house and put it through the strainer and into the refrigerator...

[Husband] Don and I began getting things ready to make apple cider. Don had picked the apples a week ago and I had sorted out the best and put in the refrigerator, then I had made applesauce from a bushel, but we still had about five and six bushel to make into cider... Our cider press has been in my family since 1921 or 1922, so it's close to 80 years old but still works very good. As I washed the apples and cut away the bad parts, Don put them through the cider press. There's nothing so good as fresh cider and the extra I will put into plastic half-gallon jugs and freeze to use throughout the winter...

Put [mother-in-law] Irma to bed about 9 p.m. and then sat down to read the Daily Union, Topeka Capital, Grass and Grain and Newsweek. It was 11:30 p.m. before I knew it. I love to read and time passes so fast. I must get to bed as I have an important meeting to attend tomorrow as chair of the County Commission concerning a convention center that is in the planning stages for Junction City... I've enjoyed serving on the County Commission during this time... I guess I love a challenge! But growing up I never dreamed of being in politics... but I truly know that God has a hand in it all and directs us in the way we should go.

Florence Whitebread

Junction City, KS

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