Above is my youngest sister and my parents, obviously on her wedding day. Poor old Dad was feeling pretty rough that day and, for once, looked close to his age. Well, that was as old as I had ever seen him look anyway. Still pretty good for someone just shy of his 85th birthday, but normally he looked twenty years younger than he was. He had just driven five hours to get there, while fighting a wicked case of the flu, so he was entitled to look a little haggard.
The photo above is of the old homestead, or at least the house on the old homestead. The first home built by my great-grandparents on the farm was a smaller, wood frame structure, about a mile to the west. That home was the one built of necessity. But from the moment they arrived in the area as pioneers, they knew where they wanted to build their “dream home” one day. The farm prospered, and the dream home eventually became a reality. The part to the left, with the large window, was completed in 1896. The part to the right, with the two porches attached, was built in 1906.
My grandfather was second-youngest of their eleven children, with quite a gap between the older eight, then the younger three. All of Grandpa’s older brothers had acquired farms of their own by the time he was a teenager. So, he gradually took over from his aging father. In 1910 he brought his bride to the farm, and soon the house became home to a third generation.
My dad was the second of their children and, like his father before him, he stayed on the farm, gradually taking over. He was a confirmed bachelor, or so it seemed, and it was just him and his parents in the house after a time. But eventually he married, much to everyone’s surprise, and soon the house became home to a fourth generation.
You can’t see the scenery around the house, but my great-grandparents chose well. It really is an idyllic spot, with beauty to be seen in every direction. I often used to gripe and moan about how easy my “townie” friends had it in comparison, with no endless chores and heavy farm work to do. But in reality, I wouldn’t have traded places with them for anything. I grew up in one of the most beautiful spots in the whole wide world, and it will always be the place my heart calls home.