Author Topic: The Family Home  (Read 305 times)

Offline mater

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The Family Home
« on: August 16, 2019, 01:32:18 AM »
I am 63. I am a retired school teacher because my dairy farmer dad told me I didn't want to be tied down to milking cows twice a day everyday.  He was right, I guess, because growing up our 'vacations' consisted of going camping at a nearby lake resort with swimming and fishing.  I can remember waking up in the tent and hearing him get dressed in the dark to drive back home for the morning milking.  He'd come back around 9:30 and spend the day and leave again around 3:30 for the evening milking.  He was back by around 7:00 for the night.  There was no one else who could do what he did the way it needed to be done until my older brother and I were old enough to take over.  Even then he would never leave for more than a couple days at a time.  From the time I was about 10 years old I had helped with the milking.  My job was to call in the cows and take our collie Lady and bring them into the pen to await their turn to be milked.  At that age I was always barefoot going down the cow paths to avoid the "careless weeds" which some might call "hogweeds.  They had vicious thorns that could penetrate even my tough feet.  Lady and I didn't have to do much.  The cows already knew the drill.
I helped dad milk from four to about 6:30 in the evening.  I couldn't help in the morning after chores because I had to go to school. 
Dad always had the radio playing in the milk parlor.  The Chuck Wagon Gang always came on singing gospel before the 4:30 news.  And we milked about 40 cows every milking.  We sat on stools and talked while we watched each cow empty out.  The milk being carried in containers and poured into a refrigerated tank that was constantly stirred by a huge paddle.  This was grade A and before he went to a more modern method which conveyed the milk to the tank through glass pipes.
This continued for years through my childhood until I went away to college.  I managed to graduate with a decent GPA with a BSE in education.  My mother wanted me to teach as she had for years.  I thought I wanted to dairy like dad.  Dad told me in no uncertain terms that he had sent me to school to do something other than milk cows.  So I became a teacher for 30 years.
I've been retired for a while now.  I have a lot to thank Dad for.  I have 80 acres that I rent to a good man who runs cattle and bales hay on the land.  And I'm glad to let him have it.  I baled enough hay while a young man to last me for a lifetime.  Dad passed away first and then mom some years later.  They left me the house I grew up in on my 80.  My brother's 80 acres is east of mine and he's already sold off 40 acres of his.  I am loathe to sell mine.  They're not making any more land and land is always money in the bank.  I'm hanging on to mine.  But there is the house.....The family home.....It's been vacant for five years now.  I could not bear to sell it while mom was in the nursing home and quite ill.  As you can imagine it is beginning to go to ruin.  The ceiling is falling down.  My brother and I do our best to keep it mowed to discourage vandals and thieves.  I refuse to rent it because of the headaches that involves and the kind of people that might trash it.  I hope that one day to sell it with a few acres to our renter.
But I go there quite often and walk through the mildewed rooms and think of all the things that happened in that house.  So much.  To renovate it would be a money pit.  And then for what?  I don't want to rent it.  So I will keep it up as best I can and remember every time I go there all the happy times and farm life we all shared in that house.  I'm thankful for the life I had there and the parents that made it home.  The life I had with dad milking and his wise counsel to go into another line of work.

Offline crazyhorse

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 02:15:44 AM »
Mr Mater , thank you for sharing the good history of you & your family.
While reading I could just imagine what a great family you had .
You are right , they are not making any more land.

I hope you have much happiness what ever direction you decide to go .

Offline bigboberta

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 10:06:05 AM »
Thanks for sharing.

Bob
Bob Guidry, Retired Firefighter.

Zone 8b.
Mahindra 3525
2.5 acres
Easleyville, LA


Online Maggie13

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 10:43:55 AM »
Sad to hear the old family home has fallen into disrepair. I understand it would be a massive undertaking to save it but you never know someone may come along that is up for the challenge.
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Online Rabbitproof

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 11:45:37 AM »
mater....thanks for such an interesting post about your family when growing up. So sorry about your family home....that seems to happen so often to the old beloved homes. They are such an expense.!! I wish you well and think your daddy was right in wanting you to have a career where you could take  some time off once in a blue moon.  However, those days of milking those cows with your father will always be in your blood....and very dear to your heart, I can tell.

Online bordercollie

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2019, 02:34:34 PM »
Mater, Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Those old houses sure do hold the memories. I am facing the same thing with the old home in se AR. I go as often as I can and try to do a little maintenance.  It is hard  to stay ahead though isn't it. I also refuse to rent because of what you also know.When I'm mowing the yard there, I can almost get a glimmer of my  elder Mama or Daddy slowly bringing me out a glass of sweet tea while I mowed. Daddy would then sit on the tailgate and watch- wishing he was able to help. Tear jerking  memory times aren't they..
   I ask the Lord to guide me on it because  I can't do it alone and neither can you. That song Precious Memories  rings in my ears  and it sounds like in yours too.
  God Bless you Mater. 
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 02:38:41 PM by bordercollie »
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Offline mater

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2019, 11:34:41 PM »
Thanks everybody.  Bordercollie, sounds like we're in the same boat.  This is a great forum to recount old memories of country living.

I would love to hear stories from others.......if and when you're so inclined.....

Offline Double B

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Re: The Family Home
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 07:40:19 PM »
Thanks for sharing your memories Mr. Mater. What great stories we have for those of us who came up in similar fashion. Our place is near Prescott, Arkansas and we finally had to tear the old house down because we were afraid it would collapse on someone but it was one of the saddest days.

One of my cousins lives in my other Grandparents house down the road about a quarter mile away and is able to keep up the old home. Being there is something that takes me back and its so special to have those memories.
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