Photos have so many meanings to people and are kept for a variety of reasons. Like most these days, I do not print many photos. Mostly because we all have a box of photos that we shove under the bed and that is where they stay in addition to being able to quickly take a photo with our mobile device and save them there for recalling at a later time. I do not want that box under my bed and so I keep the bare minimum. I can’t even remember the last time I had multiple photos printed out to share and those I do keep, I often have intentions for a later date. For many years, my dad’s sister each Thanksgiving would drag out the same damn box and demand that we all go through them and take photos out of the box. That nonsense got old real quick as everyone would roll their eyes.
Last summer I dug out the few photos I had of my grandparents place right after my dad and his siblings sold it to the Cambridge City School district after their death. I wanted to show what it used to look like with the photos I had.
This was the view approaching my grandparents home where I spent many hours learning how to sew, quilt, knit and did a lot of coloring. She even had plastic green army men and a tea set I played with often. They had a long-haired Calico cat named Moppy that had a love / hate relationship with my Pap because he would tease her often and my grandma would yell, “Herb!!! Stop tormenting the cat!” He would grin and chuckle every single time while looking at me laughing quietly too. They also had a record player I loved playing old records on. My favorite: Elvira! In between playing with green army men and my grandma yelling at my Pap, we would sit on the porch together and count the cars driving by. At that time, there was not a lot of cars that even drove by the house. Then the newspaper and mail would come and I would go running down the hill to get it.
My Pap was always making faces at me and being silly and so did my dad to come think of it. I miss those faces but hmmm, I think I do it too. In fact, in most of the photos that I have of my dad, he also is making silly faces and this was his dad below, my Pap.
This was the barn that the cows, sheep and stray cats lived in. I was never really allowed to be in with them because my dad and Pap thought I would get hurt because I was “small” and a little girl they said. But sometimes I would go anyway and I liked tried petting them all and seeing how many cats and kittens there were. They left out an old skillet for the cat food and it was a lot of cat food because there were always a mixture of different cats there waiting for dinner time.
Somewhere I have a photo of the outhouse that we all used while we were at the barns if we had to “go that bad”. We all used it and when I used it, I made a big deal about it because I thought it was funny to use. I would shout, “I am in the barn bathroom!” followed by a loud laugh of course and some girl giggling. Apparently my dad’s sister used it once and got attacked by bees so bad while she had to #2 that now when she has to go #2 she struggles slightly because the bee experience was so traumatic. I hate to laugh at that story, well…not really because she is not the nicest person I have ever met and is very bitter. I no longer refer to her as my aunt because she is a nasty soul.
See that little shack below in the bottom there with the door opening? Well, that was where you could find the coldest, cleanest well water you would ever stumble upon. My grandparents had a saucepan that hung on the wall on a nail and we all used it. No antibacterial bullshit, no soap, we all just used it and nobody ever got sick from it. It was the best damn water ever.
Each Wednesday most of the day and Saturdays some, my dad would split wood and sell it by the truck load for people. I think he charged $45 if he hauled it. He loved doing it and loved seeing people drive by and occasionally stop and bullshit with him on those days off from the grocery store where he was the manager for many years.
After my dad and his siblings sold the property and the school built their new schools and put in the roads, this memorial sign went up in honor of m grandparents. I get to see it each day as I pass by on the way to and from my home right down the road.