Thursday, February 15, 2007

Grandpa's Barn

This is a picture of me back in the early 80's in front of my grandfathers barn. When this was taken no one lived there. He passed away in the 70's and we lost my grandmother many years before that. One of the trips home to see my mother I suggested we drive down to the old farm to see if it was still there. I was so thankful I was able to get this picture so I can keep it with all of the wonderful memories from the 50's when I was a child and used to visit my grandparents

We lived about a four hour drive from southern Illinois where they lived in a place outside of Mt. Vernon, called Horsecreek.We did not get to visit them but a couple times a year, not near enough, as they were the dearest people I knew. I'm not sure how much land they had but he farmed, with horses, they never owned a tractor or a car. There was woods, a large pond, a silo, tool shed, and this wonderful barn. Of course it never looked like this. Grandpa always took real good care of all of his property. The barn and tool shed were always very clean and neat and the barn had that wonderful smell of fresh cut hay, his loft always had several bales stacked around.

Now for the best part, he had two horses, they were just big old work horses, not the kind you show off or ride, but I loved them and would spend all of my time petting them if only I could. I was told to STAY OUT OF THE BARN, wellllll I can not remember how many times I got in trouble because I would sneak out to the barn to pet my friends. I had to stand up on the feeding trough to reach their heads and it was dangerous, (especially when I got caught) as grandpa was afraid I would fall down under their big feet and would get hurt. It was always worth the risk of a scolding or a leg switching just to spend some time with them. I have loved horses ever since.

The other great thing about the barn was milking time. Of course I would tag along, a little begging went a long way with my grandparents. You see I was the only child of their baby girl so that made me real special. We always had a trail of cats and kittens following us to the barn as soon as they saw the milk pails. There was always several old tin pie pans close by the cows stall and when he would sit down on his stool and begin to milk the felines would all be gathered around them, waiting anxiously. He got great delight in squirting them in the face for a sample of what he was going to fill the pans with. What a site! After his buckets were filled we would head back to the house, me tagging along humming as he would sing, Just a Closer Walk With Thee.

My grandmother always wanted me to have a glass of that fresh milk, she would entice me with her latest baked goodies but I never did care for it. She would skim the cream off the top and make butter. Then we could hitch up the horses, load up the milk and eggs we had gathered and ride down the road a few miles to a little corner store filled with feed sacks and all kinds of stuff that delighted a small girl, oh the wonder of it all.....I'm so thankful for these memories.

Now this was nothing like Tracy's story of a barn.....I don't think this one had owls, hope you enjoyed sharing my memory.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this most beautiful childhood story, Gail.
I felt as if I was right there with you...

Have a Great evening my friend!

Susie said...

What a wonderful post full of your precious memories. I never liked the taste of "raw" milk either. (but I did like the baked goods)
Your barn looks in about the same shape as the chicken coop I posted today!

Cat said...

It's a treasure to have memories like that! Thanks for sharing them.