Monday, March 31, 2008


More Memories of the Farmhouse.

March 31 st. 2008 First some snow, then turned to sleet and now it looks like the sleet is slowly changing over to rain. What a terrible stormy weather for the last day of March.

They say that March winds bring the April showers which brings the May flowers. Well, we did get some strong March winds, so far so good. Now we have to wait and see if we get the April showers to thaw out our still frozen ground. Will be nice to have the ground start to un-freeze, especially for the farmers who are in a hurry to start plowing and turning over the soil to get it ready for planting. I remember the year we lived on the family farm. The soil was so much richer there than the sand is here. I grew up next door to this farm and have many wonderful memories of time spent at the farm when one Aunt and two uncles still lived there. This farm once belonged to my father`s parents and the property where my Dad built his home was once part of the farm property as was the land across from where I grew up and a sister now lives. All this property now belongs to my oldest brother and later to his family.

In the past I spoke of all the fun times spent in those woods that stretch all the way from the farm house to the Canal located on the other end of the east side of the woods. In the winters we skied and skip-jacked down the steep road in the woods, and used our sleds going down the winding sloped other road. Snow time back then was so much fun. In winter we ice skated on the frozen canal and in the summer we swam at the home made beach in one place where the canal connected to the clearing in the woods. I remember the 2 -about 4-5 feet high by maybe 8 foot long -tall stone walls with the about wide opening between them to allow some water to flow from the canal threw the woods forming a lot of streams and one section that was so wet it was like walking on quick sand. We stayed off that area because if we started to put a foot on that soaked ground the foot would just keep sinking in. When we got a little older we did pull a fallen tree across a portion of that area to walk across on.That was faster than walking all the way around it. None of us ever found out how far we would have sunk into the ground if we had ever slid off that tree. God must have been with us when we were daring this walk. Just above this area was the greenest grassy area with an old apple tree sitting in the middle of this green grass. I remember when we were small, my younger brother always said he wanted to build his home on this beautiful area. This wonderful brother passed away back in 1994 from a bad heart. Him and I were always close and could read each others mind enough to finish the others sentence. He did build a huge 2 story home with a huge attached garage on land that was just as nice with green grass and with a swampy area out in back which he carried many truck loads of dirt to close off the water area and dried up the swampy area. Today there is plenty of nice green grass in the back where the swamp used to be.

To get back to the farm, there were many large open areas between the house and all the woods that went on two sides. There was what was called the night pasture where the horses were kept at night weather permitting. This was another very large beautiful green grass covered area. That was where I used to say I wanted to build my home. But when the girls got burnt (with a bottle of mercuric acid and battery acid combined - formerly used to de-horn the bulls) I got afraid of what else might be hidden in other places on that farm. So, we bought other property to build our home on. After we moved out, my younger brother lived on the farm for about a year, and later one of my younger sisters lived there for a short time. Today, our oldest brother owns the property and has lived for about 20 years. He remodeled the farm house and it no longer looks like the home I lived , nor does it resemble the farm house my fathers family once owned. it is a beautiful large modernized home, but I still miss the old place in my memories. I remember my Mother once telling me that our father would be so proud of how my bro had re-modeled the farm. I didn`t say anything because I personally think my father would feel as I do having all his memories being erased from sight.

I used to help my Aunt working in the pretty flower bed across from the back porch and the vegetable and seasoning smaller garden a ways from the house near the night pasture fence. The large area of raspberry bushes beyond the house have been removed, the blueberries on top of the hill near the woods was let go and finally they also disappeared. The apple grove was let go and finally the trees were removed and it became a grassy area. The black berry bushes next to the raspberries are also cleared out. The white birch grove where we had small picnics with our friends is also gone. I remember one Uncle adding a couple boards to one tree and placed a 2x6 board over the boards for a teeter tauter ( see-saw or what ever it might be called in other places) and we had a fun time- one sitting on either end of the board and the board raising us up off the ground and back down. We sometimes spent a long time taking turns riding on that board. It was more fun than the ones that were on our school play ground before our grade school burnt down when I was around 11 or 12. I remember our Aunt making up little sandwiches and kool-aid for our picnics and the old plastic table cloth she had folded up in the basket with the food. The table cloth was for us to sit on in case the ground under the white birch trees was damp.

These 3- the Aunt and 2 uncles- were my father`s brother and sister. When one Uncles wife died and his son was killed in an auto accident and his daughter got married, he came home to help his parents on the farm. Then later the other Uncle`s wife died in child birth and he came home with a new baby to raise and since the Aunt had also lost her husband and they had no children, she moved back home to help her brother care for his new baby. The farm house back then was so very large that they each had their own section to call their own apartment area. That is how my father`s 2 brothers and 1 of his sisters ended up still living in the farm house years later when I was young. Such wonderful people with a heart of gold- so like my father. There were all the type to help anyone who needed it and I never heard a single disagreement amongst them in all the years I knew them. They had such great respect and love for each other. I never knew my grandparents because they died a few years before I was born, but knowing their children, I know I would have loved them just as much. I would have loved knowing them. Their faces in all the pictures I have seen have such a friendly kind look in them. In the picture I have of my Dad``s grandmother, she is wearing expensive looking clothes for that generation. But her family were hard workers and lived a simple life. One Uncle had the cows he milked and horses and did the plowing and gardening for the potatoes, melons of all kinds, large corn fields, repaired the equipment and other things. The other uncle worked outside the farm and also raised pigs. The Aunt, besides her vegetable garden, also raised chickens for the eggs and for food. So, together they ran the farm. The bad part about the baby they helped their brother raise, she, like her mother, died in childbirth with her third child. This same Aunt moved to their home to care for the three children while their father worked. She gave up her life to raise children- first a niece and later this same niece`s three children. You have to respect her for putting the love and care of others ahead of her self. They were all special people, but this Aunt taught me so much- how to crochet, how to cook, how to care for flower plants and so much more. As for working in the garden, I learned from both her and my mother.

This is getting so long, I think I will save other memories for another time. I just want my family to know a little more about my Father`s family. He had a second sister who lived a short ways from them and since the daughter was my age, we grew up spending a lot of time together. We still keep in touch over the computer.

sounds so much like the memories my mother had, of large open spaces and a slower and so happier time. Your post brings back memories of my parents and their memories. Lovely post.
Dot I loved going thru this post . Like HG says its nostalgic - about a time and place that was less complicated and with wide open spaces. Your memoirs make for great reading .
Hillgrandmom, I so loved the wide open spaces, Thats why we bought the lot next to us when the old neighbor was selling it after their place burnt down. I wanted that open feeling with no house on top of me. We also bought the house on the other side of us and today it belongs to a daughter. This way we could control what kind of people lived next to us. Where I grew up was a private road - only our home and the relatives farmhouse on the far end of the road. Whole road was family owned back then and today there are trailers on the road and the town owns the road.
thanks Eve. LIfe was harder as far as work goes, but kids found so many ways to have fun without needing any money to spend. We did go to the movies on some Saturday afternoons to see Western movies such as "Gene Autry" and "Roy Rogers ,Dale Evens and the horse trigger". But most fun was free. And back then we felt the more friends to do things with the happier we all were. My home was always filled with my kids friends just as my parent`s home had been while I was growing up.
What a wonderful post and so many lovely childhood memories. Your grandchildren will treasure all these stories one day.
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