This 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.
This 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.
When 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.
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.
Antioch Christian Church where we attended church when I was a child. My mom’s fruit pies were famous here.
Recently I decided to try writing poems about a few family members. Months ago on this blog I published a poem about my Grandmother along with the marriage photo of her and my grandfather, who was so much older than she (22 years) that I never knew him at all. In June I posted photos of the trip I took back to Missouri where I grew up. While a few things remained the same, I felt very sad about some changes and kept thinking how my dad must feel if he were watching. He died in 1996, lived in the same house for 80 years and on the same farm all his life. He labored long and hard to make the homeplace beautiful.
The house where he was born
Only the old carriage house stands.
The young man who farms the land cannot bear to tear it down.
The ancient burr oaks and black walnuts
bulldozed into waste piles or sold for greed.
The house he lived and loved in for eighty years
still stands on land his family owned for more than 100.
Strangers live there:
He sees the well trimmed lawn,
new picket fence,
The pond he proudly built and stocked with fish reflects the summer sun.
The tree filled park between the pond and house
He wonders why someone would destroy such beauty.
The walnut grove where he ran cattle
The pond where his grandson caught the giant turtle
plowed over and planted to corn and soybeans.