Saturday, December 27, 2008

Old home place

The chimney is all that is left standing of our old house. I lived up in this hollow until I was around 12 and then we moved down the road about a mile. I still love this old home place because you can go up there and you would think you're a hundred miles from civilization when, in fact, you're only 4-5 miles to town. You can't tell from the pictures but the old home place joined a national park so there was never a chance that anyone could build close to us.

When we lived there we had to walk about 2 miles to get to school. We just about always walked down the railroad. To get to the railroad we had to cross a creek and to do that there was a little narrow bridge that we walked across. Once in a while it would rain a lot and we couldn't get across. I can remember going another way where we didn't have to cross the bridge. However, to go that way we had to walk through the woods and grassy areas so we were normally soaked when we got to school.

We got electricity up to the house when I was 5 or 6. Of course we had to use the outhouse since we didn't have indoor plumbing. If I recall correctly, the house was 24 feet by 28 feet and contained 4 rooms. My oldest sister and I have figured our from our ages that at one time there were 7 of us kids and my mom and dad lived in that little house. Needless to say there was no privacy but I don't remember being concerned about it.

Mom did all the cooking on a wood burning stove. Of course we didn't have a chain saw so the wood was cut either with an axe, crosscut saw, or buck saw. We raised a lot of what we ate. Of course when I was a kid I thought the garden was huge but it doesn't look so big when I go back now. :) My mom would can stuff like crazy and we always had a milk cow and raised a couple hogs to slaughter. I loved it when we slaughtered the hogs because I knew my mom would make sausage and I loved sausage (still do).

My parents really had to be struggling a lot of times when we lived up there. Of course, being dumb kids we didn't know it back then. There was always something to eat and we always had something to wear even if it had been patched or handed down from an older sibling. Us boys normally went barefooted for most of the summer .. 1) We liked to and 2) To save our shoes.

Rose and I laugh about going back up there and taking pictures. I walk back up there just about every time I'm down to visit my brothers and just about every time I take some pictures. Needless to say I have a lot of pictures of the place that are almost identical.


Rose said...

Now this is a good post!

I bet we could throw our pictures together and not know who took what!

George said...

Neal, I agree with Rose -- this is a great post. I'm glad you have such happy memories of your old home. It's too bad the house is no longer there, but I'm glad the memories are.
I, too, grew up in the country (though not quite as isolated as you) and I remember being surprised to learn when I was in school that we were poor. It sure didn't feel that way.
Thanks for a wonderful post.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Neal... I loved your post. You do have great memories of that little house and the life you and your siblings had. You were happy--and that is what counted, and you didn't lack for much (and didn't know it)--even with the limited resources. That is SO neat.

Kids who grow up appreciating what they have are much better off than kids who grow up with abundance. You --with your education and life experiences, would be better qualified to be a US Senator than Caroline Kennedy. She's never worked, or lacked for anything in her life. How can she possibly relate to the common man????

OKAY---off my soap box. BUT--I LOVED your post today. Thanks for sharing!

Tina said...

Wow, just love those mental images as you painted them with your words! I grew up on a mountain top in central pa with about 500 people.. we had in door plumbing but no heat upstairs and lived off the land..always had a deer or something my Dad had killed to fill our stomachs...I, like you, didn't know any different but LOVED growing up in the woods, with nature at my back door and memories like yours. I took my children back there as they grew until my parents passed and haven't been back since..but your post brought back all those walks to school, hand me downs and good ole cooked fast food around us!!! Thanks so enjoyed your post!!

dot said...

Love this post! When I see an old chimney standing like that I always wonder about the people who lived there. Looks like it was a beautiful spot.

Anonymous said...

Well, what happened to the house? Why is only the chimney still standing? Did it burn down or did time take it over? Does your family still own the property? Hehehe?! Ok, WoW - Am I Nosy Or What?!?!!
Great post!!!

Neal said...

No, we tore down the house and used the lumber and tin off the roof on the barn that we built. My older brother still owns the land. We were very poor so we used everything over and over as long as we could.