Lake Country Museum: A Day with Dad on the Farm

Meiri (Koyama) Itami wrote this poem for her Dad who farmed in the Winfield area in the 1920s.

This poem, A Day with Dad on the Farm, was written by Meiri (Koyama) Itami in 1980, to honour Eijiro Koyama who farmed in the Winfield area in the 1920s.

Eijiro Koyama died on Jan. 17, 1956.


As certainly as dawn crept over the hills

he was awake. No clock rang by Dad’s bed;

Only that inner sense of knowing at the barn

the cows were waiting to be milked and fed.


But first the kitchen fire was carefully made,

Heaped high with wood from the bin beside the door;

The huge tea kettle filled, and placed just so

there would be water hot for breakfast time and more.


Upstairs I lay, half dozing, half awake,

knowing that soon I too must face the day;

Then footsteps, and the clank of milk pails came;

And I could hear Dad call, “Wake up!” no more delay.


‘Twas quite the same, some toast of homemade bread,

and jam, from prunes that grew across the creek.

And milk, and tea, we’d eat together mostly,

through summer’s sunny hours, and winters bleak.


The old cream separator’s hum, I hear it now,

As round and round, the boys would daily turn;

and from the separator’s spouts the streams would flow,

Skim milk for calves, and cream for butter’s churn.


This chore, twice daily, we the girls would do,

To wash and dry the separator parts

Shake out the disks, put up the pails to dry,

We did it like all else, with all our hearts.


The fresh turned soil that called for seeding time,

And Dad and hired help obeyed that call.

With heart and hands and head, bent to the need

They toiled, rejoicing as the seeds would fall.


The love of earth, the love of life itself

Was in these men who toiled unselfishly;

‘Til call to lunchtime came, to break their toil,

And bring a midday rest, relaxed and free.


Before night milking time, Dad homeward came

and laid his tools back in the shed once more.

Then off to milk, the cows must know his steps,

with pails in hand he tended to this chore.


We filled the bath with water from the creek,

The fire fed with wood we’d gathered ’round.

Dad first, the order never changed, we last.

Then on the steps, pick spears his socks had found.


The day near done, bathed, fed, and time for sleep;

A little reading rests the wearied mind,

Some apples from the cellar, crispy fresh,

Before we leave the toils of day behind.


Day in, day out, the months and years have passed

And chapters written thus in Dad’s life span

Have yielded life itself to us who come

Behind; to do our very best, we must, we can.


The little ups and downs we cannot know,

And greater things these pioneers of old

faced, solved, and worked to a successful end.

We know so little, so much yet untold.


The paths Dad trod, now dim, the footsteps still;

But memory lingers strong in us today;

We catch the gleam of a silvered brow held high

That dared to face the future, come what may.


A Day with Dad on the Farm and other historical moments from Lake Country can be found on the Lake Country Museum’s web page,

Or visit the museum at 11255 Okanagan Centre Road West—from Hwy 97 follow the signs to Gray Monk Winery, continue down the hill to the lake; then turn left on Okanagan Centre Road West.


Just Posted

Comedy fundraiser for Okanagan baseball leagues

It’s a comedy and carnival night for the Okanagan College, Okanagan Athletics, and Kelowna Jr Coyotes

Two Kelowna stores work to raise funds for non-profit and the Central Okanagan Foodbank

ScanDesigns Furniture and Muse & Merchant Home Collection locations raised $20,500

Ballet Kelowna kicks off with first 2019 program, Winter

The new program comes to the Kelowna Community Theatre Feb. 1

Central Okanagan NDPers organize meeting look at BC government’s record last year

Organizers say open house at UBCO is open to people of all political persuasions

West Kelowna Warriors lose to Rivermen

It was a tight 2-1 loss in the first of a three game road trip

Vernon ringette team tops in Calgary

Also highlights from Okanagan rink action with Westside, Kelowna and Salmon Arm

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob‘ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

UPDATE: Police watchdog heads to Kelowna for officer involved shooting

RCMP are surrounding the CIBC at the mall in Kelowna

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

B.C. company fights court order to allow public access to Nicola Valley lakes

Legal battle between fish and game club, cattle firms takes another twist

Most Read