Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Home Place- When Dirt Holds your Heart

The Indiana Farm- The Home Place

Today there is the addition of the children's play center and a fenced in area in the back of the house.
My growing up years it was GARDEN. One of the gardens.
There was the "behind the barn" garden, the "across the ditch" garden and sometimes cantaloupes down the road on "the 40."

The barn and out buildings

The barn was built during the Civil War and an old newspaper clipping tells the story. We grew up watching these buildings get scraped and slathered with paint. Painting- every summer we were always painting SOMETHING.
Not so much anymore.

Small grain bins- not like the BIG farmers next door.

The low-slung building served as garage and shop.  I can still feel the pull and tilt of the body to slide that big door aside to get to a vehicle.

Late Spring trees without leaves show the white house
 -black shuttered facing North.

The Bay window was added when I was living there and new windows replaced the single panes and the storm windows and screens that had to be changed out each season.

The large blue spruce was planted when I was about 3 years old and this was still where Grandpa and Grandma Graft lived.
The broad expanse needed trimming just so you could into the the front door, and the spot right behind that was where the windmill stood and creaked the night song that soothed all to sleep.

The "add-on" in the back housed the Kitchen and Back Room (the utility room and laundry)

 I guess the original structure  built probably before 1900 didn't have a kitchen.
Would like to more about that part of the story.

A view from the road at the back of the 60 Acres.

My parents sold the farm in 1993
 and moved"into town-"-in Ossian.
Now that both of my parents have died- us- four siblings, are working to keep it together. Mostly because of my brother, Kim, it works to manage it and rent it out to be farmed.
Soybeans and corn mostly.

Sometimes winter wheat.

I recently came across a poem that my mom, Kay, had clipped and saved way back in college.

I doubt that my mom was thinking about marrying a farmer. Perhaps a world traveler and adventurer.
 But, there was something that yearned in her soul,
 for the land-lover.
The one that saw hope in mounds of black dirt.

Erv and Kay by the blue pick up truck in the barn yard

And what calls out to us, this yearning of life
 that rises out of clods and bursts forth
 ripe lushness to harvest?
This intimate look at the cycle of life
 that allows nothing to become amazing.
 And it gets under your fingernails,
 and slides down a sweaty face 
and drips onto tiny patches of brown.

Erv, resting outside an antique shop in Leesburg,
 on a visit to Virginia
Waiting always patiently waiting

And who predicts when this dirt-lover gene
 gets passed to another generation?
When all that matters is a "Tara-Like" grasp of
land-loving DNA?
And the eternal hope springs out of barren ground,
 even though we toil knowing
that to dust we all shall return.
For it does not matter,
 because the acreage is the keeper of the memories
 that wraps you close and nestles you gently,
because dirt holds your heart.

1 comment:

  1. Keep these memories coming Connie! Keep them alive!

    Love you so much!


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