A Tale of Heartbreak and Ingenuity


When I was a girl, I would visit my grandparents at the farm in the summers.  There are so many things about it that are stamped on my memory and I want to share the story of the house and its origins.

The farm-house was old even then.  There is a romantic story of how it came to be.

The homesteader built a small two room house into the side of a tall hill.  It was snug and large enough for his needs with a dug out room in the back for storage.  He put a porch on the front, but most of his building skill went into the barn.  It was a magnificent building.  It had a set up for milking the cows and an ample haymow for storage in the winter.  The rest of the barn was set up with mangers for the horses and pens for the calves that he fed when he separated them from their mothers.  He had a separator that he set up and automated with greyhounds.  He would put the milk in and the hounds would go round and round so that the cream would be available to sell at market.  Eventually, he sold the homestead to an enterprising young man named Oscar.

In another location, a man busied himself building a wonderful two-story house.  He was preparing it for his mail-order bride.  He spent hours on the Victorian style building and had completed the basic part of the house.  He was decorating the eaves with intricate cut-outs and was nearly finished when the word came that his bride was arriving that week.  In order to have the surprise complete, he sent his brother on the anticipated day to fetch her.  He worked feverishly.  Night fall came and his brother had not returned with his bride, indeed, he never did return.  He took her for himself.  Broken, the man abandoned the house and became a hermit living in a cave.  Oscar also purchased this property.

With ingenuity that we no longer see, Oscar took the Victorian and moved it.  He used a team of oxen to manuever it to the top of the hill and carefully located it on the other house. As I looked at the property, I was in awe that it could have been accomplished.   He connected the two buildings with stairs, added a side porch and moved in.  Later he moved to town with his family.

First my parents and then my grandparents rented the farm.  This is where I spent many wonderful hours of my childhood.  There is a creek and seven cold springs on the place.  A deep canyon had been cut by one of the springs.  A log had fallen across the happy little  stream.  When I visited, I would go there and sit by the hour on that log, singing, dreaming, and talking to God.

In the house, my grandmother was a true homemaker.  Her tall  cabinets always shone with varnish and polish. The beautiful African rosewood clock sat atop them, faithfully chiming the hour.  The old oak table was often heavy with homemade food and fresh vegetables.  At night, after the dishes were done, we would all sit at the table and listen to the radio and play canasta.

Although it is long ago abandoned as a home, my grandparents still live there in my heart .  My dog, Stubby, waits outside the old screen door for us to come.  The chickens and other animals populate the landscape with the sounds of peace broken only by the guinea hens who don’t know how to be peaceful.  In here, in my heart, it is still alive and beautiful.

There is much more to tell, but I will cherish it in my heart until the time is right to share.

Ozark Spring 2012


Creek rapids

Judy and I went for a long leisurely ride in the beautiful Ozarks to capture the 2012  Spring.

We went out to a creek that has favorite summer swimming holes.  It was deep and very cold!  We found many beautiful rocks that the creek had sculpted into interesting shapes.  Our car was a bit heavier after this stop.

We went to photograph our beloved dogwoods and got many wonderful pictures.  I included one that has an old farm disc implement that had rusted.  The dogwoods are pictured above the rusted piece of the past.  I love this!

The following picture has a beautiful dogwood in front of several trees that are wrapped in an old woody vine.  It created interest and we loved the contrast; spring and winter.
Some of the pictures were taken on a winding back road that I call ‘Dogwood Lane’ and every spring, I wait with anticipation for the trees to present us with their floating blossoms.  When I see them, I know that winter has released her hold.  There is this well-kept farm that I enjoy driving past.  The wooden fence gives it definition and frames the beautiful dogwood.

Redbuds grow wild along the highways and cast a purplish hue over the woods in early spring.  I always promise myself that I won’t travel in April because I don’t want to miss this breathtaking show.  They came out early this year and were already beginning to get their green leaves.  They were still grand.

Not all of the beauty is in the flowers.  There are rustic old building that add to the romance.  We stopped here and picked beautiful wild flowers in shades of purple, light blue and gold.  We were jumping across small rivulets of water taking care not to fall in!!

We found this small waterfall to our delight and the sound of the water brought us pleasure. We stayed her for quite a while. There were many little surprises like this that we found and savored.

It came close to the time that we had to consider returning to our lives. So leaving more exploring for another day, we headed for home.

We had our reward – wildflowers for our tables.  We harvested some dogwoods and red buds and brought the outdoors in! It was a glorious day!!   I actually had enough flowers to fill three vases. I took a picture of my favorite – it was dogwoods and redbuds.  I like this picture very much and may frame it so that i remember this day of beauty, friendship, adventure, and fun!!