Monday, March 15, 2010

Cowboy or Farmer?

Anders loved this plastic ride around pony and he wore this pair of overalls until they literally fell apart.


Wadestown, WV : A bend in the road, a garage with a tiny store, a post office and a church. Turn the bend and head up the hill and you'll find a gate and a driveway on the right. Open the gate and head down the hill and you'll come to a rill and a foot bridge. Cross the bridge and come around the house and this is the sight you'll see in the fall when deer are in season.
This is where my kids and I lived from 1988 until 1992. Wild and wonderful West Virginia. We lived in a tiny house without TV or internet. If you had to go to the bathroom and it was chilly out you had better plan ahead. The outhouse had a heater with a switch in the house, but you needed to turn it on about 10 minutes before you made the chilly trip out there or you would literally freeze your buns off.

In the winter if you wanted a hot bath  it involved a big galvanized tub pulled up close to the wood stove and heating water on the propane stove. You could have a hot shower in the summer, but you'd be showering out in the yard using the warm water from the garden hose. For a cold shower you could use the indoor shower, but that water was COLD. It came out of a spring on the mountain and flowed downhill to the house in a pipe.

I wanna be a carpenter

This is Anders. That is  Grandpa Dave's hat on this head and I suspect that is his hammer too.

Grandma Dorothy's guessing wall

When I was little my Grandma Dorothy went to a lot of auctions. Her house was full of beautiful antique dressers, chairs, davenports and interesting old books. Some of her more interesting finds ended up on what I thought of as the "Guessing wall". Some things on the wall I knew what they were for and some things remained a mystery for years.

A few of the oddities on the wall in this picture include: a calf weaning appliance that looks like something from a castle dungeon, a hand auger, a mold for making a "pudding", a kraut cutter, and a butter mold.

Now & then

My Great grandparents' house now . . .and a long time ago...
I love this old farmhouse. It sits at the front of our farm close to the road. There was a lilac bush in the front full of lavendar blooms in the spring and an apple tree in this side yard. We used to pick the little hard green apples and my Great Grandpa would whittle a short stick sharp on both ends so we could spear apples on it to make "dumb bells" so we could play "strong man". Ok so I'm a girl... at that age it didn't really matter.

There used to be a big carpet in the living room that had roses on it. I remember sweeping it as a child and up until a few years ago I still had that carpet. Walking through the house now it seems small. But it was big enough to hold a whole lot of love. Years ago my great grandparents, my great aunt and uncle, my mom and her brother were all living there in the summer. Mom says she never felt like it was ever crowded. Years later my parents lived there and I moved in with them while I went to nursing school.

This is the house where my great-grandmother taught me to bake sweet rolls and big soft loaves of bread. The house where we would all sit down to dinner and when my great grandpa was full he would look up suddenly and say "Look at that bird!" When you looked he would slide his leftovers onto your plate. He was always full of mischief like that.

There used to be a workshop on the back of the house with a ceiling so low that I still wonder how Grandpa Webb, who was tall, could ever have done anything standing up in there. The workshop is gone now, replaced a patio and a 3-season room.

My daughter and her husband live there now. She's planted tulips beside the sidewalk and painted the rooms in cheery colors. That old house is still full of love.