An Adventure On The Farm

by Houndstooth on

Bunny here at the keyboard sharing a little adventure and history I learned this weekend.

This weekend turned out to be one of those weekends where there were a lot of human commitments and not a lot of time for canine adventure.  You might have heard Mom talking about how sad she is that the farm where she grew up is not going to be a part of her family for much longer.  While Mom and Dad were over at Grandpa’s house to visit with some family who are here visiting for a little while, they learned that the farm is going to be sold this Friday.  Mom has been stopping out to take some pictures there and enjoy some memories from when she was a human puppy lately.

Old Water Pump -- Tales and Tails

Old Water Pump

One of the things she has really been wanting to do is to share it with some of us dogs.  Grandpa has always liked dogs, but Mom thinks that Stepgranny is not much of a dog fan and dogs aren’t invited in the house there, so when they go over, we usually stay at home.  However, since nobody is living there anymore, Mom and Dad took me and Küster out to see it and to take a long walk around the lake and play.

I learned that the farm where Mom grew up is a special place.

Grandpa has lived there for a long time, about forty years, but before he got it, it was built by the Nauman family.  Mom considers herself lucky to know a lot of the history about the place, and I have to admit that I thought a lot of it was pretty neat.  The farm is almost one hundred years old.

Barnscape -- Tales and Tails

Barnscape

The house was built in 1914.  That’s before people had electricity in their houses or running water.  Mom says that she’s not sure when they wired the house for electricity, but when she was young, they used to have to turn off all the lights if they wanted to use the popcorn popper or the microwave, or else they had to go down to the basement with a flashlight and flip the breaker switch.  Later, after Mom grew up and moved out, Grandpa redid the wiring so that you didn’t have to live in the dark to have decent popcorn.

The crib was finished in 1919 and was the last of the original barns built on the property, although there was a Morton building added years later.  There was a livestock barn, a regular barn, a brooder house (which Mom and Aunt J used as a tack room when they had their horses) and two chicken coops.

The Crib -- Tales and Tails

The Crib

When Mom was just a human pup, a tornado blew through the farm and took out one chicken coop right in the middle of the property while Grandma was taking Mom to the basement.  They never fixed it, just slowly hauled the old wood away and then when Mom was older, Grandpa finally tore down the foundation for it.  I hear that it was a pretty exciting event. Mom said she never saw it hit, but does remember hearing the sound down in the basement.  Grandpa had told Grandma for them to get to the basement, but she wasn’t hurrying and he ran in and got very mad.  It hit just as they finally got downstairs to safety.

There also used to be an apple orchard there, but after eighty years, the trees began to die.  Now there are none of them left.  There were grape vines and another small orchard near the house, too, but the grape vines are long gone.  Now there’s just a lone mulberry tree, although there used to be a stubborn peach tree and a few other mulberry trees there.  It was a farm that fully sustained the original family that lived there.

While Mom was growing up, there were sheep and chickens there when she was young, and then as she got older, they had horses that they showed.  They kept a vegetable garden, but the farm was a hobby instead of a way of life.  They didn’t depend on it to get by, just for a little extra.

The barns are still in pretty good shape, too.

One of the things that I think is neat is that you can still see how things worked in the old corn crib.  There was a set of buckets on a pulley that went through a trough in the floor where they would shovel the corn in.   They would pull out the drive shaft attach it to a belt drive tractor and scoop all the corn up into the upper parts of the barn where it would dry.  Mom says that she’s glad she didn’t have to do all that work.

Grain Elevator -- Tales and Tails

Grain Elevator

It’s her favorite barn, though, because at the very top, there’s a window in the cupola and a board seat that runs across.  When she was little, she used to climb up there all the time and watch the view.  She says you could see for miles, across the valley and down over the Illinois river.  She used to hide up there during family gathering games of hide and seek and only Aunt J could find her.  Lots of times they hid up there together and had a good laugh while they watched the other kids try to find them.

Her plans to climb up there one last time this weekend were thwarted, however, when she got to the top of the second set of ladders and the whole top ledge was covered with raccoon poop.  Grandpa used to climb up there when Mom was young and shoot the raccoons because they were really destructive, but she said it has been a long time since he was up there.  She said she’s not afraid of heights, but she was not going through all that mess.  I guess we all have our limits.

Into the Crib -- Tales and Tails

Into the Crib

It was neat to see a piece of history that’s also a piece of Mom’s history.

I love seeing things that have history to them, and it was even neater seeing some that has direct ties to someone who’s lived there.  There are a lot of beautiful old farms in our area, but sadly, a lot them aren’t being taken care of and are falling into ruin.  The barns and house there have undergone some changes over the years.  There used to be an eighty year old apple orchard, but in the last ten years, all of the trees died.  That was something that couldn’t be helped, but Grandpa has taken good care of it for a long time.  He says he’s happy to be a townie now, but we know a part of his heart is there, too.  He wants someone else who can take care of it to take charge of it now.  We hear that the new family has some Labrador Retrievers who are going to enjoy running through the old pastures and creek.  The farm has always been best with a dog or two around, so we are happy to hear that news.

Küster on the Farm -- Tales and Tails

Küster on the Farm

Küster and I had a great time sniffing around out there and walking around the lake.

The Black Tornado ran around and burned off some pent up energy.  We walked out along the trail and enjoyed watching the sunset over the lake.  Mom says that when she was about four years old, they built the lake out in the cornfield.  This wasn’t her family, but they were allowed to walk out in the cornfield.  She and Grandpa used to go out every night to see the progress on the lake.  One afternoon, she decided to go out and look at it by herself, but her shoe got stuck in the clay mud and came off.  When she tried to pull her shoe free, she fell down and her pants got stuck to the mud.  She called and called, but Grandpa was on the lawn mower and he couldn’t hear her.  When he finally got done mowing, he looked around for her, but couldn’t see her.  When he finally found her, she got in big trouble for going to the lake alone.  It’s hard to imagine Mom as a human pup who got into trouble, but she did.

Weathered -- Tales and Tails

Weathered Barn Wood

Of course, we dogs didn’t have any trouble with getting stuck out there at all.  We just enjoyed all the good smells and the time we got to spend together with Mom and Dad.  Seeing the place where Mom spent so much time growing up was a lot of fun.  I can see why she grew up to enjoy sharing historic places with us, and why she turned out to be such a daredevil.  Climbing up in those barns is not for the faint of heart.  I’m also glad that while we live in an old house, we have a lot of modern amenities, like air conditioning.  If we lived on the farm, we wouldn’t have nearly as much time for adventures, because we’d be working on taking care of it a lot.  Just between you and me, I like living in town and going on adventures and having climate control a lot.  I’m glad that Mom lived the history lesson and shared it with me so that I don’t have to.  We hounds enjoy our creature comforts, after all.

Sunset on the Farm -- Tales and Tails

Sunset on the Farm

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  • Matthew N

    It’s sad to see it being sold. Best memory for Mr. Taleteller about the farm: It was were I received the First Kiss with now Mrs.Taleteller. Ya!!

  • Casey the Boxer

    What a neat place! I’m glad you got to share the experience with your momma. I know it meant a whole lot to her too.

  • Sara Blair

    Oh my, it is sooooo pretty! I grew up watching/reading little house on the prairie, and always wished that I grew up on a farm (still do). My husband, who grew up in farm country, keeps telling me it’s not as idyllic as you might think, but I still think I would’ve loved it.

    I hope the new family takes as good care of the farm as your family did.

  • catchatcaren

    this was so wonderful but we are also sad for you that it is being sold. What wonderful memories you have. When you mentioned your Grandpa rushing you to the cellar I immediately thought of The Wizard of Oz. Your farm looks like such a charming place, I am so happy that you took photos (for yourself AND for us!) I am also happy that some Labs will be living there, maybe you can go back and visit and become friends with them?

  • Jen

    What a shame to see it leaving the family. But, families move on; just how it is. I’m glad you got out there to take some gorgeous pictures!

  • Emma

    The farm is beautiful! So sad that it will be sold, but I guess that is life. My mom feels less odd after this post because she thought she was the only one that liked to take us dogs to places where she has memories and she talks about them to us when we are there. We enjoy it too, but there are no farms in her past. Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

  • Roxy

    What a great place, and so many fun memories for you. I’m sure the new owners will cherish it too.

  • ShineJake

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading about these old adventures that your mom had when she was a little pup! It looked like it was a great place to be.

  • Lovely photos and lovely memories.

  • This was just wonderful! Thank you for sharing a bit about your mom, Bunny. What a lovely place to grow up! I’m glad you and Kuster were able to visit and take in all those great sniffs! Your mom’s photos are spectacular. I hope she will make a photo collage and frame it to hang in your home.

    P.S. I just saw your dad’s comment below – pretty special! 😀

  • Hazel

    Bunny, thanks for being so verbose about your adventure! A farm from Mom’s family is so heart tugging, and I’m glad you had fun.
    I’m glad you have air conditioning at your real home nowadays

  • All Things Collie

    I’m sorry you won’t have such a wonderful place in your family. I get very attached to places, and I can imagine how you must be feeling.

  • harrispen

    What a beautiful place to grow up. Sorry to hear that it won’t be in the family any longer.

  • Parenting Furkids

    So glad you have such wonderful memories, and so sad it’s passing from your family. Hope you write a journal about it all for younger family members–to go along with your wonderful photos. Memories are things that should never be forgotten in future generations. Memories and personal history gives them a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

  • You grew up in such a beautiful place! I am sure it is hard to see it sold.

  • Sue Dyer

    What a wonderful place. such a shame it couldn’t be handed down in the family, but sadly times change. Glad your mum got to go back.

  • Too bad about the farm being sold, it’s a beautiful place! How fun it must have been to grow up there!

  • The OP Pack

    How we enjoyed reading all about your Mom’s memories of the farm and all the beautiful photos! Our Dad grew up on a tobacco farm and was so sad when all the land was sold because the tobacco planting moved out of the country. Then when Grandad and Grandma passed on, the old homestead was sold too. It is very sad for him to visit his hometown and see all the new housing developments and condos that have replaced the farm:(

    Thanks for sharing.

    Woos – Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

  • Lori – What Remains Now

    I think this is one of your most beautiful posts. Bittersweet. So glad you got to go back and get these lovely, heartfelt photos.

  • BZ Dogs

    So glad you shared your memories and your pictures. The bright red looks so pretty against the green grass and blue sky with puffy white clouds. Like a painting. 🙂

  • Michelle Day

    It’s always sad to see a homeplace sold. But it sounds like you have some wonderful memories and you will have them forever! Awesome pictures!

  • Jodi

    It must be so hard for Mom to let this bit of her past go, but her memories will always be with her. She also has some beautiful photos, honestly I thought a couple of them were paintings they are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us Bunny, I’m glad you had the chance to share your mom’s past too.

  • Words With Wieners

    What an absolutely beautiful farm. Such amazing photos… the crib shot is postcard-worthy. The buildings all seem to still be in great shape.
    I could feel the love and nostalgia in your stories and descriptions, and I know it must be so bittersweet to see it sold. Thank you for so much for sharing your memories with us.

  • Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    What a beautiful farm, and such lovely memories. It must be so difficult to let it go, but good to know that new people and dogs will get to love it also. How nice to be able to take the dogs and enjoy one last visit there.
    I love the little tidbit that Mr Taleteller shared in the comments! So sweet!

  • Beautiful post and photos. The farm buildings are lovely, so much character. It would have been great going back for one last visit and being able to take photos to look back on.