Monday, April 11, 2016

A Visit to the Farm

I went out to the farm today (in the middle of Kansas) and walked around……doing a little reminiscing.  After we were married (1968), the first place we lived was in a double wide mobile home parked out in a tree grove about a half mile from this place I walked around today.  We didn’t live there long, and due to some family circumstances that didn’t involve us, we had to leave the mobile home and move into this farm home that belonged to my husband’s brother.  We lived there about a year.  After about 6 months, Guy received his draft notice, and it wasn’t long until he left for basic training.  During that time, I was working the 3-11 shift at a small-town hospital about 9 miles from our house.  (It was my 1st job after graduating from nursing school.)  The pastor’s wife from the church we attended got worried about me going home at 11:30 at night to a dark house at the end of a long driveway, so they asked me to come live with them while Guy was gone, and I did.

Years later, after we had moved away from the farm, a fire came from the pasture to the northeast of this house and burned it to the ground.  I think it was rented to someone at the time, but I don’t think anyone was injured. Here are some pictures of the house-that-was.

These steps led up to an enclosed porch on the west end of the house. Immediately to the right of the cement slab was the kitchen. It had a gas cooking stove. This was my first time to cook with gas. I grew up with an electric stove, and I was rather afraid of gas stoves for some reason. One day I tried to light the oven - which you had to do with a match. I didn't get it lit the 1st time, and when I tried it the 2nd time, gas had collected in the oven, and as soon as I lit the match, it literally knocked me clear across the kitchen, and I landed on the floor. After that I was for sure afraid of gas stoves! 

That little rectangle behind the kitchen was our bedroom. As I looked at it, I told Guy, "Surely that room was bigger than that!!" Everything seemed bigger than it looks now. 

That black pipe sticking up in the middle is coming up from the basement and the dining room was over that part. 

With the dining room to the left, these steps led up to the living room on the east end of the house. On the far side of this room was a fireplace of which you can see the remains.  In that right corner was where I placed our 1st Christmas tree. Guy was still in basic training during Christmas, so I left the tree up until he came home in February. It was terribly dry by then, but I was determined to not miss our 1st Christmas together as we opened our presents under it.  Even if it was late.

Here's another view of our bedroom from the back of the house. There was a half bath to the right and a full bath to the left of the bedroom. 

These two rock houses are on the west side of the walk that leads to the porch steps from the driveway. They were smoke houses way back in the early days. I don't know how old the house was, but these smoke houses are about 175-200 years old.  The top burned out of the one when the fire went through.

This is standing on the steps leading to the living room, looking back to the northwest.  You can see the hole that was the basement.  There were also stairs from the back of the dining room leading to a second story.  As I remember it just had one or two small bedrooms up there. One night in the summer time we went up there, climbed out a window, hung a bed over the peak of the roof and slept outside under the stars.  Ahhhhh......sigh.......young love..... :)

When you stand in front of the house and look to the south, across a large yard and parking area, there is an old barn, a cement silo, and the remains of a milking barn.  When Guy's brother lived there, he ran a dairy farm.  Now there is just a partial shell of the milking barn.

I moved from there the day Guy left for Viet Nam - the day of our 1st anniversary.  After taking him to the plane in Wichita, I drove to eastern Kansas to live with my parents for the next 13 1/2 months.

As I stood and looked at the remains, I thought of our time in that old house - the beginning of our marriage.  Lots of fond memories there....... Kind of sad that it all is just a shell of cement and grass now.....