This picture is the first one to give me the idea for If These Old Walls Could Talk. It's the farm house where my mother-in-law grew up. After his parents divorced, my late husband spent many happy hours here with his grandfather as a surrogate parent and teacher. His grandparents were still living here when we met and his grandmother permanently moved to town after grandpa's death in 1982. Aunt Dinah and her husband lived here for some time after that until economics forced them to the cities to make a living.
This probably never was a fancy house. I remember it as a house of enameled tin cupboards, linoleum, wallpaper and contact paper. A bedroom was made into a bath when plumbing was brought indoors. A couple of lean-to porches had been added on.
The water was collected in a cistern from the windmill.
The fins of the old blue impala stuck out of the doors of this garage.
This old hump roof barn was just leaning a little, the first time I saw it. Now, it has collapsed to less than half its former height.
I also remember there always being room for company at the table. My husband talked of fried bologna for breakfast and milk stored in the freezer because they were so far from town. He talked of grandma letting him and his cousin roll cigarettes in this old wash house from newspaper and coffee grounds to "get it out of their systems". I think he got the scar on his lip from the same cousin in a tussle over a toy truck.
I remember picking cherries and the auction held there to sell the farm equipment. I remember these old folk out in the road ditch digging sandburrs and stickers when he took me to meet them for the first time and the old upright piano on the porch that we brought home for our daugher to learn on.
I only have a few years of memories from this house before things changed. I know there are many others who have more and every one of them felt like a V.I.P. when they were at the farm.
That's the kind of grandparent that I want to be remembered as.