While we were up visiting my grandmother over the weekend, we went to visit The Home Place. Well, not with capital letters. That'd be the local retirement/assisted living facility in the town where my grandmother lives. But THIS home place was home for my grandmother when she and my grandfather were married and built it, home for my mother and uncle when they were growing up, and home for my uncle after he graduated from college since my grandmother had remarried and moved out to her new husband's farm (my grandfather died when my mom and uncle were teens).
After my uncle died - 10 years this December, and it still seems like yesterday sometimes - the long-time family friend/hired hand lived there until he died in December of 2009.
Now the house is empty.
It's out on a dirt road, but even driving up to it, you can tell it's been well cared for. To be fair, the barns are still in use. M1 found a cow in one of the stalls and came running out to tell me, "MOM! MOM! They FORGOT a cow!!!!"
No, son, they didn't forget the cow. I don't think a cow would LET you forget it. They're kind of visible. And loud. Off you go. Don't irritate the cow and stay out of the hay.
It *is* a nice-looking house. There's something to be said for old construction, which is why I didn't hesitate to buy our current home that was built in 1965. If done right, these homes really can last forever.
The census worker, who had been by the house twice to try to catch someone at home, finally called my grandma last week to find out who was living there. She didn't believe my grandma when she said the house was vacant. "But... it's so well-kept!"
Yes, yes it is. Thanks for noticing.
This might be the back door, but it's the one I've always come in. I've never even opened the front door. I don't know if it even works, though of course it probably does. Grandma says it does, so I'll go with that. I have pictures of my uncle and his dogs and my sister playing outside this door. I took those pictures with an old 110 camera that I had when I was a little girl. I probably still had the negatives till I went through and pitched a bunch of those earlier this year.
Inside the back door is the wash room. I covet this sink and would love to have it in my own utility room. It's deep and big and wide and old and solid, and having a place to soak the laundry would be WONderful when you consider that right now I'm using giant ice cream containers (strawberry swirl, anyone?) for soaking, and those aren't big enough to hold a tablecloth.
And don't you love the Lava soap on top of the sink there? Lava makes the farm world go round.
Off the washroom is the kitchen/dining room. Grandma fully intends to put new linoleum and new countertops in soon. I told her the countertops were fine, but the floor is kind of scratched up. She said if she's going to replace one, she might as well replace the other. My kind of logic.
I hope she doesn't get rid of this, though. Even if it's just left in a room somewhere, it'd be so weird to go into that house and not find it. How old is it, you ask? Let's put it this way. If you dialed the number, you wouldn't reach the house. The area code isn't even right any more. And when I was little, I didn't even have to dial the first two numbers to call anyone. Just the last five would suffice.
Though I'm not sure if that says more about MY age or the phone's.
Off the kitchen is the living room (with the front door, of all things). I love how tiny that TV looks compared to our modern monstrosities. See the chair there in the corner? The rest of the furniture is about as old. It's all "vintage." I remember there being a beanbag in this room, too, that my uncle would lay on to watch TV. He always was a little boy at heart.
This was my mother's room when she was a little girl. Of course, the furniture wasn't the same, but the room was. My mom tells a story of one night, back before there was air conditioning in the house (central heat and air now), when there was a thunderstorm while the windows were wide open. Lightning came in both windows simultaneously and met right above her bed. She said she's never been so scared in all her life as when that happened. Can you imagine?!?
This was my uncle's childhood bedroom. I love how it has more of a 'boy' feel to it.
It's been empty for a while.
Some of the other stuff around the house reflects my uncle's personality. He was a character and really, really loved what he did.
I bet you can't guess what kind of cattle he raised:
Or where he went to college:
Or even what kind of warped sense of humor he had (Read the titles of the green book and the black book... I'm not sure why I found their proximity funny, but I did):
All in all, though, the house will no doubt last for another 50 years and become a gen-u-wine hundred-year-old farmhouse.
I just have to say it, cheesy though it may be... There's No Place Like Home.