With both parents in their 80s, I come home for ALL major holidays. My parents are both relatively healthy for their age, but things change quickly at that age (sometimes it's like a sad version of watching a toddler grow up) and I don't want to regret missing time with them. I love to come here in the summer, when everything is green and alive, but the holidays are bittersweet, with many quotes from the Book of Better Days.
After a busy morning helping cook Thanksgiving dinner, eating Thanksgiving dinner, and finally cleaning up the good silver and china we use for Thanksgiving dinner (no dishwasher for these), I decided to take a walk, and finding my camera in my jacket pocket, took the only non-New Orleans photos on this blog. We've owned the farm since the turn of the last century, and various branches of my family have lived in the general area since Kentucky was part of Virginia.
This is the house we always refer to as my grandmother's house (I grew up in a comfortable 1960 bastard-colonial ranch across the road, where I'm writing this post), although my great grandfather bought the place. The original part of the house (on the right hand side) was a hall and parlor house built in 1835 that may have replaced an earlier house on the site. The house grew over the years until it arrived at its current configuration shortly before my family bought it.
My grandmother grew up here and later presided over a farm, children and numerous grandchildren. My father was born here, a late 7th month baby whose doctor didn't bother to weigh him; his 82nd birthday is in a couple of weeks. Alas, the only people who seem to be interested in the house (like me) live elsewhere, so the house has fallen into a sad decline - my grandmother died in 1986 and not much work had been done to the house for many years before that.
Behind the house are a series of fields and pastures. The dairy barn is now used to board horses, but there are several tobacco barns like this that are still in use, even after the end of tobacco price supports. In the summer this field was planted with soybeans and looked like a rich green tapestry when I visited in early July. It will soon be planted with winter wheat, and when I visit my family after Mardi Gras we'll see the acid green shoots coming out of the dark earth.
If the weather holds, I'll take more pictures of my lovely hometown as the weekend progresses.