Sunday, July 20, 2008

If These Walls Could Talk

Good Morning.

With the heat of summer upon us, we've been spending most of our time inside. But, as it cooled off last night, we decided to go for a drive, take Sox for a run, and take a few pictures. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about an abandoned house a few miles from us, and I wanted to go see it again.

Wesley first showed me the house a couple of months ago when we were running Sox. The house is tucked off the highway out of view, surrounded by a grove of trees and rolling hills. It's an old two story wooden house on the prairie, with a couple of outbuildings that have fallen down. It's been abandoned for years.

Although some parts of the entrance have fallen off, the main structure stands firmly. A dirt road gently winds past the place, and fat black cattle graze nearby. Last night, a herd of antelope stood sentry on a nearby hill, quietly watching us. As I got out of the car to take my pictures, Wesley warned me: "Be careful where you step, there are rattlesnakes around here!"

The house fascinates me, and triggers my imagination. Apparently, the farm family who lived there had a number of children. I imagine they had a large garden, full of fresh vegetables. They must have raised chickens, pigs, cattle, and possibly sheep. The children probably rode horses to a country school, weather permitting. I think of the farm wife, raising her family, and keeping the household going. In the early years, she probably didn't have running water in the house, yet somehow managed to do laundry, cook, and clean, using water she carried from a well. I wonder how often she went to town, or if she went to church. I can only imagine how tired she must have been at the end of the day. I'm sure she knew how to sew... mending and altering clothing. But, I wonder if she made clothes for the family. I wonder if she used her scrap fabric to make quilts for the beds, to keep her family warm against the bitter winter winds. Did she ever have any feedsack prints? So many questions...if only the old walls could talk.

Standing there on the prairie, I took a few photos, and peacefully reflected upon the history of the place. I said a quiet greeting to the farm wife who once lived in this beautiful place. Although her home may be abandoned, I wanted her to know that I respected her space, and recognized her life's work.