Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Neighbors Farmhouse

It was a landmark, the big white farmhouse with the big red barn and a windmill. The lonely house stood empty. Memories are all that remain. The children all grown with grandchildren of their own. The old timers both now gone one to heaven and one to the nursing home.

They moved from Nebraska back in 1954, to the big old house, full of hope and possibility. We welcomed them as neighbors. They were friends of my parents, when my Mother went to work at the Osage Boat Factory their house became the daycare home for my brother and I .. and the lovely lady became our "Second Mom." Through the years, they have welcomed us back to the neighborhood twice, we lived across the road from them when we lived at the resort, presently we live just down the road. You couldn't have asked for better neighbors.
Cookies warm from the oven, kids to play with, warm loving hugs.
A piano on the porch, playing hopscotch in the yard, a windmill turning.
A claw foot bathtub, fun in the girls room, memories made.
Laughter, old stories, blueberry pies, cookies made with lard and egg coffee.
Red Christmas doilies, Christmas bread braided, warm cinnamon rolls and a pickle in the Christmas tree.
Church quilts, a precious white puppy and plants in the kitchen window.
Tango red geraniums, pretty plates, Cardinals, and orange begonias.
Buttercup squash and cucumbers, jars of pickles shared, recipes freely given.
Coffee is always on, the door is always open, the sweet voice always hollers "Come on in" Welcoming hugs. Then silence..

The house, had stood for 109 years. It had served its occupants well, it was time to move on.
On Saturday it was used as a control burn for the local Fire Department to train firefighters. For many young firefighters this was their first time being inside a burning house.

Early Monday morning, the elderly gentleman was called home. It is the end of a generation. The windmill keeps turning, the next generation is in place. Wonderful neighbors they are, part of the family that moved from Nebraska so long ago. You couldn't ask for better neighbors:)

Photos from Saturday May 23, 2009


  1. What a lovely story. I hate to see places like that destroyed. Have a nice day.

  2. That just makes me soooo sad. I love old farmhouses, they are full of such wonderful history and family life.

  3. Not the ending I wanted to hear. Kind of bittersweet isn't it? Piano on the porch....wow....that must have been something.

  4. I hate to see this. Many old homes can be restored and kept. We are presently restoring TWO houses across the street from us...one is over 100 years old and looked worse than that one. Who decided to destroy it and use it as a practice session for firefighters?

  5. Retired One, The Family decided, they still live on the property, it was a good decision. It was in too poor of shape to restore, and to hard to heat in the winter..they looked very closely at the possibilities before allowing it to be used as a practice burn. It was sad..but still a good decision:)

  6. It is always so sad to watch a fire especially one that holds such wonderful memories.

  7. That wonderful old house is now gone, but the memories of the family that lived on the third curve down the road will go on for years. We will not let them be forgotten and the time came that these wonderful people moved to the next stage that life has to offer...things change. The hearts of many of us who knew the couple are now heavy once again with the passing of the "dad". Bless them, they have touched so many of us and we have all learned something from them. Now that the old house is gone, we can rejoice in the fact that the house provided from learning techniques for the firemen. The couple of the house would be glad that they could help in this very important way. Rejoice in their lives. Nice article. TY for writing it. g

  8. Boy you are talented at writing. Your description of those who lived here really tugged at my heartstrings. After reading your comment above about the family carefully weighing their option though, I can understand. One good thing: that lady created lasting memories and lots of love that can never be destroyed.

  9. Nicely done Connie! My view every morning I woke up was of that home since I (a granddaughter) grew up just across the driveway. The family's memories will live on as well as the neighbors and friends. I'm sure a great majority of the local country firefighters once had coffee at Grandma's table and maybe a homemade cinnamon roll! And I'm sure those thoughts entered their minds as they entered the smoky building. With Grandpa's passing being the same weekend -- this family gathers to grieve and share stories. I take comfort in that Grandpa is now happier than he has been in some time and Grandma is now complete. Plus I'm sure she's been busy making carmel rolls!

  10. Dang, Connie, you certainly know how to tell some wonderful stories. Start writing a book!!

  11. Lovely memories, but so sad that they burned down a magnificent house rather than restoring it...

  12. I enjoyed your words tremendously. Wouldn't we all love to have our home remembered by a neighbor just that way. It has nothing to do with the house, but the people in it, that is the home, those who make it.

  13. Thanks for the reminder. I rarely stop to think about all memories in the places we think of as not worth keeping.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. I no longer accept anonymous comments. All comments will be approved before posting...due to spammers...may the fleas of a thousand camels infest every hair on his body. Connie