a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Worked

in the old house.

On a farm multiple buildings always means something needs repairing, sorting, or improving. This house was where my sister was born and where two siblings were born that we never knew. 

Thanks to varmints and dogs chasing said varmints there is some disarray inside this small three room house where three generations have stayed at different times.  

The death of Mom, the watching of Dad until his death, the ice storms, the tornado, and health and life in general has kept me from doing a proper job keeping the outbuildings in order.

One year the chickens laid eggs in the attic. The dogs have continued to search and seize any trespassers that entered the old home.

After the tornado the loose tin caused some water damage.  The roof was repaired but water has caused a floor joist to fall.  Know this is a box construction house.  No two by's.  No four by's but a simple floor joist system and roof rafters with board and batting connecting the two.  Paper and cloth was used for insulation if you can even call it that.

Primarily used for storage I have my work cut out for me. I am slowly sorting things that have ruined from over sixty years of storage, saving what I can and repairing as I go.

One room is on a slant so I slide in, grab a box and run uphill to get it to level floor and repeat and repeat. I sort and stack in a solid room.

I sort, reduce, protect and stack.  I would carry a sack to my throw a way pile while keeping the "good" stuff.  When I needed air I would carry a box of bottles from my other project and place it in the lean-to kitchen.  A thousand steps, a million steps....maybe more.  Until the muscle cramps and promise of rain stopped me.
An old wringer washer
a wood cook stove
A complete school desk from a one room school house

I've written how two small houses were pulled up the creek by horses and a sled joined by a common roof. A lean-to kitchen was added.  This was in the early thirties so there is no way to tell how old the house or houses really are.
  
I remember being warm in winter with no insulation.  I remember the smell and taste of Mom's biscuits.  I remember Dad setting us out during the first snowy morning to run around the house to keep our feet warm all winter. .I remember hauling water from the same spring we use today. I remember the weight of all the quilts in winter and the cool breezes of summer. I remember the love.

In this house with each box and bag, I remember.  Yes, I remember.  This is the reason I work in this old house...to save those memories and perhaps, just maybe, make more.
Just in case you were worried, I have not lost my marbles.  In fact I may possibly have five or six generations of marbles, so I'm in good shape.

24 comments:

Maggie said...

What a lovely meditation on reclaiming space and memories!

Saucy Kodz said...

What great memories you have in this place of the past. Bringing it to life and perhaps securing treasures from your past is indeed worthy. I love the olde wringer washer as my Mum had one and also the wood burning stove too, which is in my basement, still in working order. I like yer marbles too. lol, hugz to Marcy

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love the way you wrote this. I can feel the memories in each and every line and with each picture.

Sandra said...

that marble shot is AWESOME.. i love it. pure ART... and the stove and washer are fantastic.. i know how much work doing this was... you should be exhausted today... we had a washer like that but not the stove. but i saw many of these stoves in home in KY in the early fifties and remember how toasty warm the kitchen was in winter and how hot in the summer. great post wonderful memories and so glad you shared them.. i can see them pulling that house on the sled...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Must be amazing to have a place you connect with like that. Bet you'll find many treasures in there.
Hopefully no snakes.
Chickens optional.

Linda Wildenstein said...

working on a project of love like yours must be very satisfying. I should imagine that you will be rewarded with even more memories and brushes with the past. Lovely thoughts my friend, Linda

John Gray said...

thats stove is one of the most beautiful things i have seen in a long time

TexWisGirl said...

a labor of love and family history.

ellen abbott said...

love this post. generations in one spot. a rare thing these days.

Karen S. said...

I especially like the thought of chickens laying eggs in the attic. I would never say you've lost our marbles, I'd say share this with whatever folks you can. I can see this place shared (well in tidy shape) but what a place of memories for you, but also history, especially for folks (incredible eager little minds) that have no idea how one made each day begin and end. We have a place here Murphy's Landing that is on a large scale compared to one simple house, but oh such a place of learning and discovery it is.

Karen S. said...

Here's a link to Murphy's Landing, and I know you've seen some photos from some of my visits there.
http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks/the-landing.aspx

Linda Kay said...

Hard work but probably exhilarating to get it in better shape. There's so much to preserve in these old buildings, that it's a shame that they aren't kept in good shape. But like you said, too many things interfer.

Farm Girl said...

Oh my goodness and filled with treasures! My greedy self just would give anything for that cook stove. Not to mention those marbles.
I think I would wish I could see it in person. I would help you rebuild it.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I so wish I had a stove like that...and a place to put it. I remember my grandmother cooking on one and it was the best food ever! blessings, marlene

A Quiet Corner said...

Physically and emotionally exhausting, Gail...and yet you are lucky!...:)JP

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

A lot of work, but things that matter are. Hug.

Susan Kane said...

Like Alex, I believe the treasure hunt in not over. Looking forward to hearing the progress.

Mama Zen said...

What a rare and beautiful thing!

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

Aww I love this! Your heart is showing in your memories. I'm inspired to write again at the Ruralhood.

carolina nana said...

What treasures you have in there. My mom had an old wringer washer just like that one you have. I wish I knew what happened to hers. I still have her old wood cook stove in my kitchen.
Love the memories
Blessings
Marilyn

Sandy said...

Lovely memories in your parents old home. I can't get over how beautiful that stove, washer, desk, and marbles are.

LindaG said...

I know you don't feel it with all the work ahead of you; but you are so lucky to have all those boxes and things to go through. Would love to be able to help you with it.

Those appliances are priceless!

My Granny, whose cookbook my brother just sent me, had a wringer washer when I was growing up. I often helped her do laundry when I visited.

Wonderful post, Gail. Have fun and God bless. ♥

Susan Anderson said...

Hard work, but so much reward. And a treasure trove of memories.

Perfect.

=)

DesertHen said...

A house full of memories...the BEST! I love that stove!

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