Friday, January 20, 2017

Stepping into the past

 
39 years ago in May, I moved into this big old farmhouse as a young wife who had never lived out in the country before.  Both of my daughters were born while living in this house. Lots of good memories even though we only lived there for 10 years. However, this is also the house my husband grew up in, so he has even more memories - of parents, siblings, extended family, dogs, horses and farm kid adventures.
 
Yesterday afternoon we were driving, and would pass within 2 miles of the farm. Knowing this house is due to be torn down this spring we decided to take a detour.  When we moved off the farm in May 1988, another young family bought it from my mother-in-law. They also raised a family there and just recently their oldest son's family had moved into this house. But it's old and in tough shape, so they just finished building a new house across the road and will tear this one down.
 
My in-laws bought this half section of land with buildings in 1951. Over the years, other smaller pieces of land were added.  Cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, hay, and typical feed crops were the business of this place. They farmed until 1976 when my father-in-law passed away suddenly right after Christmas.  My brother-in-law kept things going until April 1978 when we moved back from Iowa where we were living and working at the time.  We kept a couple of horses, the cattle and sheep, along with hay and crops.  We farmed until May 1988 when we sent our cattle to a neighbor to keep "on shares", and moved the 3 miles into town and "town jobs". 
 
As a city kid, I had never driven a tractor, never helped an animal give birth, never fixed a fence, or mixed a bottle of powdered milk to feed a baby calf.  My dad, who had grown up on a Kansas farm, was amazed that I actually embraced farm life. I learned to drive the tractors, windrow hay, give injections to sick animals, pulled lambs when ewes were having trouble giving birth, bottle fed a lot of calves and lambs, cared for pheasant chicks, and took my turn in the middle of the night checking for new calves or lambs. The girls were only 4 and 7 when we moved to town so the youngest doesn't remember much about the farm. But my oldest remembers feeding bottle calves and riding in the tractor with dad. Both remember the swing set in the yard and were amazed that the dog house was still there, although not in the same spot.  
 
I'm sure the young family living on that location will make lots of new memories for that place even though this house won't be there anymore. We're glad we stopped by and had the opportunity to tickle our memories. 
 
 

3 comments:

  1. It's always sad to see buildings from our past disappear. I'm glad you took the time to visit the house and your memories before the house is demolished.

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  2. This literally looks just like my grandmas house in the country. We spent a lot of time at my grandparents house. Glad you had a chance to visit.

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  3. So great that you took the chance to drive by and relive all those memories, Sara! I, too, am a bit surprised at the extent of your farm experience there.
    I hear similar stories of farm life in the 50's and 60's from Don but have just pulled a few weeds, picked vegetables, and helped wash dishes in a tub from a pump in the kitchen. No farm animal interactions for this City Mouse (darn).

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