Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ozsome

The title was on a custom license plate in Kansas; I love it! Kansas is awesome to me, because it is a part of my heritage and holds a big part of my heart. (John Denver's song "Matthew" chokes me up every single time.)

My German great-grandparents homesteaded there, and my uncle still farms the original land - plus more that he's added to his holdings. I lived in the farmhouse when I was a toddler, and visited my grandparents (who had moved to town) and my uncle and aunt (at the farm) many times over the years. I have a long-standing love affair with the old farmhouse, so grand in its day, and must admit that it breaks my heart to see it abandoned (my uncle has moved to another house a section away) and know it is destined for destruction eventually. One of my second cousins and I agreed that if we came into a fortune before that happens, we will completely rebuild and restore it and live there together - we'll figure out something in regards to our husbands. :-) We visited the homestead briefly one late afternoon on our way to my uncle and aunt's home, and I took some photos and shed a few tears.

On Friday afternoon, Brian got to ride in the combine while my uncle harvested soybeans; he was a happy boy. Of course, the best thing about farming is the big machines. :-)

Family and sometimes friends gathered every evening at my uncle's and aunt's home, where we enjoyed good food and fellowship. (The woman in the white shirt with pink flowers is the second cousin who loves the old farmhouse like I do.)

My uncle's home is on a Monarch butterfly migration route, and there were dozens of them flitting about their shelter belt. I was thrilled to get my first decent butterfly portrait!

Of course, the focus of our visit was Grandma, and we spent as much time with her as possible, making more memories.

What a picture-perfect Kansas sunset! (If you click to biggify it's even better.)

That's the report on the Land of Oz from . . .

15 comments:

Laura said...

I'd help restore it too!! I love old houses, when I first moved to Oregon, I bought a 110 year old house. It was a wreck. The south wall was all dry rot, and the porch was sagging and the very steep roof needed to be re-done. I was really lucky to find some suc... Um, buyers when I sold it. I heard that they did the roof themselves (very brave), and have been raising goats (with poor fences...).

While my humble abode doesn't have near the appeal of an historic home, it mostly keeps the rain off my head for now! And my property is perfect...

Marie said...

Oh, what a great old house! And that barn too. I would love to have either one of them on my property. Your grand mother looks so full of life and energy! I can only hope I am as blessed when(if) I get to be that age.

Mom L said...

That lovely old farmhouse reminds me of the one in Pennsylvania where my Mom grew up! It's still there and ancient - Mom died 3 years ago at over 101, so you can imagine how old the house is. There was even a ballroom upstairs - I have vague memories of playing in the huge empty room with some cousins.

BTW, your grandmother is beautiful!!!

Susan said...

Those pictures are wonderful - taken with love, that's for sure. Let me know when work begins on the farm - I'm there with ya! That picture of your son with his great-grandmother is a real keeper.

Tammy said...

What a grand old house that is. I see so many houses like this (and barns) going to ruin and neglect around here. If I had the money, I too, would buy them up and restore them. My Grandma's house was remodeled (and uglified!) and I expect that as soon as the current occupant passes away it will be dozed. It had the most spectacular house length front porch--which they boxed in to make the house bigger. Time marches on I guess, but sometimes it's mighty painful. Loved all your pictures. There you were, just next door in Kansas! Was the weather still pretty warm up there? It's sure warm enough here.
Tammy

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Love old houses, they seem to have so much more character than new ones... maybe its just the history seeping out of the walls :)
Did you see Joy's new hat?

Becky Utecht said...

Great photos Michelle. I had never heard that John Denver song, thanks for the link. The farmhouse reminds me of the one Stan and I rented as newlyweds down in Pipstone Minnesota. The owners had redone the inside and we painted the outside in return for a reduced rate rent ($75/month). Of course as soon as we finished painting it, the house sold and we had to move out.

Michelle said...

I love that old house, even as I recognize that it would basically have to be rebuilt from the ground up, as it has no real foundation. It would make such a great project to be featured on one of those renovation shows....

Tammy, it was hot during the day there, but every night cooled down nicely.

Becky, I saw the hat -- it's adorable! Of course, anything on that cutie-pie's head would look adorable. :-)

TigereyeSal said...

I love that house, just from the photos. I bet it smells like a grand old farmhouse, too. Your dad is so young looking- holy cow! And your grandmother looks like a complete sweetheart.

XO

Sharon said...

I had a conversation with another Knit Tuesday lady yesterday. She's from Nebraska Germans and I'm from Iowa Germans. What a heritage. I used to have pictures of a house very similar to the one you posted of where we lived in Iowa.

Ian and I used to watch the Polka Joe show on the RFDTV channel, now gone, but all German and Czech polka communities throughout the midwest. We loved to see them relish their heritage.

Michelle said...

TigereyeSal, my dad turned 20 two days before I was born, so he IS young (relatively speaking).

What a heritage we have; huh, Sharon!

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Oh I don't almost cry when I read posts not about cats...but this one...well...almost. The Land Of Ahhhssss has a special place in my heart. Thank you for this beautiful story and the amazing pictures...the sunset is incredable. Kansas just will always feel like home in my heart...
Love Karla from the Little Apple

MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

PS: I once was caught up in flock of migrating Monarch butterflies as I went out to my mailbox....unforgettable!!

Tiggeriffic said...

There's just something about old houses and old barns.. If they could just talk ~ what a story they could tell. In my area of Iowa, there are a lot of houses and barns being taken down~ I try and take as many pictures as I can and jot down the address and the family's name on the back of the picture. Memories are made in those houses and I am sad when I see one go to the ground. You would think someone could use the old flooring or the trim or something in those old houses.. They just don't make the new ones like they used to make the old ones. Sad, but true..

Karen B. said...

What a great post, Michelle. And Kansas is beautiful, my son has a job offer in Kansas, and I hope he takes it! Though it's often not practical to save these old homes and barns, I'm with you on wanting to save that house! Our childhood memories of favorite places are often so vivid and emotional...