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Our Farm

May
14

Happy Sweet Sixteen to my baby! And how did we celebrate? Cake, candles, go dig some holes!


Two big, strong teenage boys + one load of posts + two posthole diggers = fence!

Don’t worry, boys, it’s only 40 acres…..and 1,379,215 holes….

But hey, there’s always the unexpected silver lining……..

Seriously, who would believe it, I’m out there in the boonies on a country road with two teenage boys digging postholes and what wanders by but two teenage girls wearing next-to-nothing swimsuits.


One of them was carrying a parasol. I thought that was a nice touch. I felt like I’d dropped into an Impressionist painting.

They were on their way to the river. So they strolled nearly-nakedly on their way there, then back, giggling and all nearly-naked.

I’m sure the boys would have been more distracted except I am paying by the posthole and they wanted to beat each other to the money.

Me, I was chilling in a chair with a cold drink, enjoying the meadow and the spring wildflowers and the oh-so-sweet scent of new land ownership.

And not just any old land, either……

This farm, only a couple miles away from the old farmhouse we live in now, is right across the river from what was my great-grandfather’s farm. My family goes back 200 years in this area, and my father grew up just down the road.

My grandmother once lived in a house on this farm when she was a girl and her father worked at what was once a gasoline plant when “Stringtown” was a real town with a church, a school, a post office, a hotel, and even a brothel.

(Hey, you gotta keep those gasoline plant workers happy….)

Now, hardly anyone lives in what was once “Stringtown” and it’s no longer a postal address by that name since the post office is gone. It’s real boonies territory, rock/dirt roads and a few scattered farmhouses. This 40-acre farm of meadows and hills and memories needs a new farmhouse, don’t you think? The hills come complete with old logging trails to make a perfect driveway….

…..to a secluded homesite in the woods.

It’s neat to think of living here, in the land of my forefathers. I feel fortunate to have been able to take back a piece of my family’s history. I hope it will mean something to my children someday.

I know my 486 cats will like it!

There’s an old oil derrick on the hill, a reminder of the time when “Stringtown” was an oil and gas boom town.

My great-grandfather owned hundreds of acres out here and had so many wells, he didn’t have to dig any postholes, that’s for sure. He had hired hands to work his farm, and there was always a “hired girl” for the house to cook and clean for my great-grandmother.

Where is MY hired girl, hmmm??? Okay, so my great-grandmother had nine children, but still! I bet they did work! And I bet they didn’t have to pay them five dollars a post hole….

Stone steps lead to what was once a church that doubled as a one-room schoolhouse.

My father went to church there throughout his childhood, and went to school there up to first grade when a new one-room schoolhouse was built across the river where my grandmother taught.

The church burned down years ago, and only the steps remain.

A pretty creek with wildflower-dotted banks winds through the property down to the river.

These are the creeks and woods my father played in as a child, hunting squirrels and playing cowboys and Indians with his brothers. Now, my children can play there.

This is the road my father trod (uphill both ways–and that isn’t a figure of speech!) every day. The one-room schoolhouse went to 8th grade. They went to high school in town. When it snowed, my father stayed at Great-Aunt Ruby’s, closer to town–in the old farmhouse where we live now, waiting until we build our “new” farmhouse.

I see chickens in the road……. Mine!

Across the country road is a hilltop family cemetery where my grandfather and great-grandparents are buried. My great-grandfather, John Morgan Dye, was the subject of the geneology project my daughter did that made honorable mention a few weeks ago at the state social studies fair.

My dad was four years old in 1929 when his father died. He’s buried in the cemetery across the road. My father wore a blue serge suit with a crisp white shirt and short pants to the funeral. He had to be held up to see into the casket. When it was done, his grandfather got down on one knee to look him in the eye and told him, “I’ll be your daddy now.”

And so we are back where we began.

It doesn’t look like digging post holes has gotten any easier since my great-grandfather’s time. Whew, I’ll just sit back here in the shade…….imagining where I’ll put my garden and the barn for the horse and that house that needs to go up there on the hill. What kind of fruit trees, and how many chickens. Don’t you think I need some sheep?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 14, 2007  

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16 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-14
    8:17
    am

    Where’s the whiny smilie?? I SO would love to live in the country like that. And, yes, you need sheep. :sheep:

  2. 5-14
    9:57
    am

    Suzanne, that is the coolest story! I love to hear things like that.
    We live on the 40 acre farm that belonged to my husband’s granddaddy. It was part of one FDR’s New Deal settlements back in the 1930’s
    This link explains the history of Pine Mountain Valley, GA:
    http://www.wpamurals.com/PMVGA.htm
    The house in which we live is one of the only “originals”…meaning we have not added on to it and it still has the original siding, awnings, porches, etc. The out-buildings have fallen..a barn and 4 chicken houses, which I hate. But we just couldn’t afford to keep rebuilding them since we don’t keep livestock or poultry!
    We did, however, break down and have central heat and air put in last year…after 16 years of living with window air and a wood-burning heater/gas logs heating combo!
    :hellokitty: I love Hello Kitty, so i just had to use this!!

  3. 5-14
    10:59
    am

    I am so glad you have all those memories. And the pictures make me want to cry because they remind me of where I grew up. There is a big sub-division there now so all those places are gone except in my memories. :hissyfit: Thanks for sharing with us. BTW you have two handsome sons. The daughter ain’t bad either. I feel for them out there digging holes. Have a great day and :hug: to all. P.S. Love the new blings.

  4. 5-14
    12:51
    pm

    Oh–you are building a new house!! Yeah!!! So cool. $5 a post sounds a bit steep :wink: I can’t even get my daughter to pull weeds for $1 :roll:

  5. 5-14
    1:10
    pm

    Looks like a slice of heaven, Suzanne. :)

  6. 5-14
    6:05
    pm

    The pics are so pretty and such sharpness. :cattail: :catmeow: :hellokitty: :purr: couldn’t resist trying out all the cats lol.

  7. 5-14
    6:35
    pm

    What a great family history–my mom has done all of that for our families, who are from Monroe Co, Ohio, not really so far from your neck of the woods. She’s left the Civil War investigation to me :sheep:

  8. 5-14
    10:17
    pm

    Hey I love where you live reminds me of home. I live in town now and I have a teen age son that would not know a post hole digger from a shovel just kidding but he wouldn’t know how to use one. :cowsleep:

  9. 5-14
    10:32
    pm

    Beautiful pics, Suzanne! Wow!

    And the boys are good boys all right! :thumbsup:

  10. 5-15
    9:59
    am

    Love the pictures! Reminds me of back in the 50s when my dad and grandfather took me to see the old homestead where grandpa grew up in PA – land that came to the family after the revolutionary war. :flying:

  11. 5-15
    2:05
    pm

    Beautiful photos!! And love the new blog bling :snoopy:

  12. 5-15
    5:44
    pm

    Love the stories, love the pictures, love the bling!!! :biggrin: :cowsleep: :sheepjump:

  13. 5-16
    1:15
    am

    You realize that if you keep talking about this place, you’re going to have a bunch of crazed friends who come out there and move in, right? Okay, maybe not a bunch. But at least me!

    We’re looking at new houses and we found this great old guest ranch for sale (in our price range even!) with a main house that has 9 bedrooms, and another with 3. Sadly, That Man would not indulge me. An hour commute to work doesn’t do it for him, the rat.

  14. 5-16
    8:39
    am

    Hi Suzanne! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love the look of yours. :)

    I know you had two other posts since this one but I loved this one! The girls and the boys and giggling… lol that was good! The land and history really is incredible! I would love to live in the country again… maybe someday!

    Have a great day!
    Cole

  15. 5-16
    1:34
    pm

    Blimey!! What a great story and what a great place to live!! You shouldn’t make it sound so great otherwise I’ll be knocking on your door asking if you take in stray Brits (I’ll bring a castle and sheep if you want!) :sheepjump: :cattail:

  16. 5-16
    8:05
    pm

    I love the pictures! And the jumping sheep. :sheepjump:

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