Monday, July 23, 2012

First Installment "My Story"

At the age of twenty-two, my parents took a bold step out of their comfort zones.

They went down a road less traveled.


They bought "The Farm."

My sister had just turned four. I was three months old. Neither of my parents had ever lived in the country. Mom thought she was being moved to the ends of the earth.

It wasn't actually a farm and it wasn't at the end of the earth. It was forty acres located just outside the city limits. In that day, there was a rough dirt road that led, to a long narrow lane.

Both were hard to maneuver in rain or snow. 

The acreage came with a house, believed to be built at the turn of the century. It was an old, but well preserved, two bedroom home with rough hardwood floors.

The house was amazingly sturdy and established despite the fact that the basement would fill with water when the river rose.

There was not a fancy thing about it.

My sister was often put in charge of me to give mom a break.

Dad worked on the railroad. My mom managed the home.

There was a lot to manage as they tried their hand at various things.

Things like sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, goats, cats, dogs and chickens. Lots of chickens.

My dad’s pride and joy was his GMC pickup truck for which he paid $350.

In that truck, I learned to drive.

He would pull the choke out and set me loose in the field to help feed the cows.

As time went on my brother and I would fight over who would steer and who would run the gas pedal.

More than once we knocked dad out of the back of the truck.

My city girl mom, down at the barnyard in her dress.

Life changed with the arrival of my brothers. The four of us shared a bedroom until my sister was about sixteen years old. I don't remember that it was a problem. 

My sister may have a different memory of it.

As children, we grew up foraging for treasures in the barns and out buildings.

Deep in the wooded area of The Farm was a stream.

It was fed by an artesian well which made the water clear and cold year round. 

This is where we spent so many of our days building forts and playing. 

My dad put a huge horn on top of a telephone pole at the house. When the horn was sounded it could be heard at even the farthest corner of our place. When we heard it we knew to drop everything and run to the house.

There was a rhythm to life.

Mom took us to church on Sunday. Our sheets were hung on the line every Monday. Meals were served at the same times every day. There was usually roast on Sunday, 'hash" on Monday, spaghetti on Tuesday.

We were kissed good night and knew we were loved.
They were good years.

Stable years.

My parents had the basics while they were trying to figure life out.

They were committed to each other and to us.

The Farm was a bonus blessing.
These are my roots.

Growing up here made me a dreamer.

A lover of the outdoors.

A lover of the land and of animals. 


 A risk taker.

A girl who knew how to work hard.

The old lathe and plaster walls of my childhood home still stand.

This place represents the strong foundation of my childhood years.

The only place I knew until I left home at the age eighteen.

My parents made a decision to take a road less traveled. 


Wendy said...

Thank You! I needed some encouragement today, you see you're story is my husband and I. We both grew up city kids with grandparents that lived on farms when we were young. We don't have 40 acres, only 2.5, but we moved ourselves and 4 children to a 3 bedroom acreage 30 minutes from where we've spent the last 20 years. In 5 months we had added meat goats, dairy goats, sheep, 85 chickens, 1 dog and 4 cats (we tried a cow and she didn't work out). So I relate VERY well to your story, and it's nice to hear how well things "will turn out". Especially while we are in the midst of fair it is hard to see that it will all be worth it, thanks again!

Rhonda said...

What a sweet surprise to read your note. How fun for your family to have the experience of your acreage, the animals and FAIR. My own children have forgiven me for the fair meltdowns I believe. :| Thanks for stopping by Wendy!

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