Missouri Roadtrip-the Home Place


6CC097FA-6B1F-4C37-8170-6026A42B8C30This is he house where I grew up north of Fillmore, Missouri.  My dad lived here in this house from 10 year old to 90. He died in the month after his 90th birthday.  The house stands on the land my great grandfather established after he arrived from Switzerland in the mid 1800s.

3A97C88F-30A5-4A32-99E3-5E4D8E1172F5This is the only building left at the site of my grandparents original house and barns.  It is an old carriage house.  In this photo my daughter and grandson are taking a look.  One of the original stained glass transome windows from the house hangs in my own house. My grandparents were Lilliebelle Werth and Pleasant Lightle.

 

D44A6726-4FF1-4FB0-9F89-47F7E7C98391When I was a child, this was once a chicken house but mostly the farrowing house for our registered Hampshire hogs.  Later I learned that when first built during Prohibition, Dad held dances here which the sheriff checked to make sure there was no alcohol.

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This is corn and soybean country. The view reaches across the land from the back of the home place.  We met the young couple who own the house now. They keep everything spic and span just like my parents did.  I am grateful.

 

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Antioch Christian Church where we attended church when I was a child.  My mom’s fruit pies were famous here.

Christmas Thoughts


Snow falls in a
driving wind.
If the roads become
too awful, I will
celebrate Christmas
alone.
An awful experience?
No.
Beauty lies outside the windows and
in my heart.
Heat radiates from the fire.
Food fills my refrigerator.
Music bursts from CDs’.
Joy!!
Christmas always brings delight and
reflection.
You do not have to be a Christian to
feel the meaning:
Kindness
Tolerance
Empathy
Giving
Receiving
Accepting
Families
Friends
Love
Joy!!

Grandmother


We sit on the wooden swing suspended by silver chains

hanging from the bungalow front porch ceiling.

She, elderly beyond her years, grey hair piled atop her head,

thin and wrinkled.

She stays with us sometimes when Aunt Julia goes off

on one of her adventures.

Cattle graze across the road in front of the house.

It is summer.

A bull mounts a cow.

Suddenly, out of the silence, Grandmother speaks,

“Men and bulls are just alike;

they are only interested in one thing.

A bunch of good for nothings!”

Her voice is vitriolic.

And I, a child, maybe twelve, innocent and ignorant,

sit there shocked,

amazed,

embarrassed,

astonished

to hear my grandmother talk that way.

Now, nearly fifty years later,

I wonder about her life,

what in it caused this secret bitterness

she spilled just once on that idyllic summer day.

I look at her wedding photo.

She has a steady, unsmiling, pretty face,

marrying a handsome man twenty two years her senior.

Were they happy, sad, or probably a bit of both?

I remember what my mother, her youngest daughter, told me

snippets here and there.

A hard life, endless guests

never a break from gardening, cooking, canning, cleaning.

I look at other photos of my grandmother

taken before I was born,

older, nearly as wide as she is tall, never smiling.

I remember her in an old lady’s flowery, lavender dress,

thin from years of undulate fever.

I remember her feeding me bread, butter, and sugar sandwiches,

Easter egg hunts at her house,

and later, at another house, walking with her to the corner store.

I never remember her smiling.