Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Nostalgia

At Beth's last week, I heard her musing about what her next You Capture subject would be. One of the subjects she mentioned was Rustic and we talked about it a little but then she decided on Industrial instead. For some reason, though, my mind latched on Rustic and I determined to try to catch some Rustic shots for the next You Capture.

Two days before You Capture day, I mentioned how hard I'd been working to capture Rustic pictures and Beth reminded me that the subject was Industrial. Rats!

As it turned out a family emergency distracted me from even thinking about a post so it didn't matter; but today, as I looked through those pictures, I wondered what to do with them. Finally, I decided they belonged in a post because the first place I sought Rustic was an abandoned farm where I'd spent many years and hours and happy family events.

The house is long gone, torn down after my dad moved to a continuing care facility but that old barn still stands - although barely.

When we first moved here, it was a dairy farm. This milk house, attached by a hallway to the barn, was where the milk was cooled after each milking, where it was stored until the big tank truck picked it up each day, and where all those milking buckets and accessories were washed.

The silo was where the cut green corn stalks were stored and allowed to ferment before being fed to the milk cows.

Eventually, the dairy operation proved to be too much work for a family operation where my younger brother was in high school, my older brother in National Guard basic training, my sister and I worked full time in Chicago, and dad worked full time so most of the work was on the shoulders of my overworked but ever optimistic mom.

But still the barn was a hub of activity. Dad had a workshop here where he fixed, fabricated, and invented everything from tools and cars to farm equipment and household items. He did it all and his sons and grandsons worked a lot here too, spending endless hours learning from a man who had a lot to teach and a personality that made everything exciting and hilarious.
It's hard to believe that it could have deteriorated this much so quickly but I guess it just shows what neglect can do. And, I think more than neglect punches holes through concrete block - maybe target practice but more than neglect.

It probably started with the roof. Once it was no longer patched, the barn was vulnerable to the effects of the weather and pretty soon nothing could have saved it. The lightning rods with their weather vanes on the roof fans are still there though.

In a way, I hated to take these pictures because I knew they'd make me sad but there's more than sadness in my heart when I look at them.

There are thousands of happy memories. I look at the pictures and see my mom and dad - happy, hard-working, and perfect! I see family get-togethers where our children played so freely and happily and learned to love their cousins like siblings.

The house may be gone and the barn might as well be, but the memories are intact. Sometimes it just takes a picture or two to bring them out.


  1. This was really moving. Time can change a lot, but it can't take our memories.

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  3. oh gosh, that was the best post ever. It's so hard to see it in the shape it's in. The men hanging out, well, mostly working inside of the barn. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the first picture was .... I wonder if that mechanic-grease-with-a-hint-of-gasoline smell was still there? I'm sure it's gone, too. We will ALL always have the memories, and that's pretty ok.

  4. I love this post and the pictures. While it makes me sad to see it like this, it is the same for me, it brings out SO many wonderful memories, some of my favorite times in my life. Catching lightning bugs, playing baseball, "honk your horn", the swing, the tire swing, volleyball, rides in the trailer that grandpa made pulled by his tractor, corn on the cob, long walks with cousins, coffee and strawberry shortcake made by grandma....I could go on and on and on! Thanks for the wonderful post, Mom!

  5. Thanks for the memories!!!


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