As a child, I loved going “down home.” That was the tiny, very rural residence of my grand-uncle and his three sisters. Three had never married, and my grandmother was a widow, but was that place a FAMILY mansion in my eyes!
My father had been raised there after his father died, and for some reason, my mother fell in love with the farm, the hills, and the relatives. It was literally, “down home.”
That is where we went for Christmas. Where we went for any occasion that had any meaning. It was rural Minnesota with very skinny dirt roads, so that meant getting stuck in winter snow and spring mud. But that was part of the experience.
Then, those grand relatives got old. They started dying. No children. What would happen when the last of that generation died off?
I didn’t follow the legal ramifications. My wife and I made a trip to the vacant farmhouse once with only partial dreams of living there. Too remote, what with our own blossoming family.
Then came the day of the auction for all the personal things inside.
(I am brought to tears as I type this.)
I wanted the Teddy-bear and guns from the attic. I wanted the leather gloves from the drawer in the china cabinet. Maybe one of the bow-backed chairs where we kneeled for evening prayers. I can still smell the green-blue, peeling paint.
I couldn’t do it. I saw people carry off treasures, got back in my car and drove away. My heart was broken.
So, I can feel for some neighbors down the road who have just sold off all their livestock and closed down their farm. It was the last farm in that county. It has been in the same family for over 100 years.
I don’t know the owners, but I empathise with their tender feelings.
I also wonder what will become of their land. Will it be paved over? The STANDARD EXAMINER article didn’t talk about the future of the land..
What if it joins all the other dying farms? Where will the food come from? The flowers? The smell of freshly mown hay?
I can’t go on. . . . .