Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Ghost of a Farm

When my mom was growing up, her grandmother had a 78 acre farm. There was a barn, two ponds, a spring, a graveyard (from about 200 years ago), plus some other stuff. They had cattle, 5 or 6 dogs running around, a special cow named Moo Moo, a pony named Babydoll, and my mom's favorite, a horse named King. When she went to the farm, King would be waiting for her at the fence. My mom used to ride him bareback, holding on for dear life. She took him on a trail in the woods, around the house, through the pastures, and wherever else she pleased.
Her grandmother's house was Quaker style. There were 2 doors on the front of the house- one for men, and one for women. Since the Quakers believed in purity, the men and women did not sleep in the same part of the house.
The barn was behind the house, near the chicken coops. There was as smokehouse next to the house. 'Uncle Roy', as she called him, (who was really her step-grandpa) would use the smokehouse to make the meat. In the summer, he would grill out there because it was easier.
The garden was huge. It ran parallel to the house, beside the smokehouse. The old graveyard was near the gardens, and behind it lay the woods. The spring was found within the deep woods.
And here's the most interesting thing- the woods are the Sleepy Hollow. They are the woods after which the book was written. Isn't that cool?
The two ponds were in opposite directions diagonal from both sides of the house. She would go fishing with her older brother, Jeff, and her younger brother, Jon.

The farm was pure, peaceful, and beautiful.

Today we went out to the old farm. It was a bit of a disappointment. There are huge houses built up all around the house. You have to drive literally through a neighborhood to get there. The barn was gone. The smokehouse was in ruins and shambles. Where there used to be flat pastures, the rich people in their mansions had their yards perfectly mowed in their special checkerboard fashion. That really disgusts me.
The flower garden was gone, and in its place were some weed like bushes. The vegetable gardens had also become part of someone's lawn.
However, in the midst of all of the sadness, there were a few things still there. We saw the old graveyard, surrounded by its old wrought iron fence. You could even still make out some of the gravestones and their inscriptions. We saw the rock that they used to sit on, eating their picnic lunches, and look out over Sleepy Hollow. I got to see the actual Sleepy Hollow. Oh, and we also saw the old road (which was more like a one horse trail) running along the steep embankment that mom used to take King on. You could hear the spring running off in the distance below us.
So, it was pretty cool to see almost everything my mom had told us all about. Oh, yeah! And we actually got to go into the house. It was neat to hear my mom and Uncle Jon take us through and tell us all about it.
And the mark of the Quakers? Above the doorway to the back porch were the numbers '1799' which was obviously when the house was built. It was an amazing experience.

4 comments:

  1. THAT'S AWESOME!!! That would be incredible to live in a place like that!!

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  2. man, you just descibed where i want to live. exactly. sadly, i dont know if there will be a place like that around in 10 years!

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  3. I know!! My mom absolutely LOVED growing up there!!

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