Memory Lane

Yesterday I delivered flowers to a couple cemeteries and I drove the long way around our old farm neighborhood. As I came to our home place – the farm we grew up on – I could see it had fallen into shambles even though someone lives there. It was very sad – siding falling off the house, windows actually boarded up, grass that looks like it hasn’t been mowed in years and trees and bushes so overgrown I couldn’t see the buildings. Oh, Mom would be devastated to see this – she took real pride in a nice yard and the house looks ready to fall over! I didn’t even bother to take a picture – I want to un-see it.

One half mile south of our farm is the country church we attended all our lives – Upper Flat Evangelical Free Church.

I have Sunday School attendance bars for 13 years and I started playing for services when I was a 5th grader. There’s lots of memories here. In those days everyone in the neighborhood attended this church. All families were farmers and the country church was the central meeting place. My childhood is in this building – I remember how long that center aisle seemed as I was walking up to the piano to play a solo. I walked as fast as I could because I hated everyone looking at me. Mom would always scold me and tell me to slow down.

On the road again – I wanted to stop and see Dakota, the beagle that I kept for many years when her owner, my cousin’s daughter was so sick with cancer. Dakota is 14 now and failing somewhat but still can chase a rabbit. It will be a sad day when she crosses over the Rainbow Bridge – sad for all of us but Heidi will be waiting with open arms and it will be a glorious day for her to be reunited with her beloved Dakota.

Tanya, Dakota’s mom, is a quilter and as we were looking at projects in her sewing room, she opened the closet door. Have you ever seen such a neat quilting closet?

I love it! Maybe it will inspire me to be neater.


Here’s what I worked on last week for my round table. It still needs two borders.

All this mowing and yard work is exhausting – I get up in the morning tired so don’t any of you think that this is easy for me. Rick is in his wheelchair 15 hours a day while I’m killing myself. Next Wednesday we go back to Mayo and we hope he gets a walking cast. It’s discouraging to have this much work to do all the time. On Monday I have two kids coming to help me clean the barn. I wonder if I’ll live to tell you about it!

Now that I’ve whined, I’ll try to take a lesson on how to relax from Millie! She’s doing a good job of it here.

34 thoughts on “Memory Lane

  1. Jean

    Try and give yoyrsrlf a little break over the holiday🇺🇸weekend. You are a good woman. I commend you.

    1. Patty McDonald

      I can imagine how difficult your days have been. Living on 2 acres in southern Ca. is a piece of cake compared to your winters. In April, I hosted a retreat (from 9:30am to 9 pm) for 6 friends. It included meals and 4 projects. It was a big success with everyone but I soon remembered why I’ve only done these retreats in the fall. After 3 months of retreat preparation, I thought I’d have weeds whacked and raked in a week…..besides taking care of fruit trees, garden, chickens, 5 dogs, rats, squirrels eating the garden…you get the picture. My 74yo hubby has had a bad hip for the last year so I’m taking over this year. Before his hip got too bad, we bought a 10 x 12 pergola from Home Depot. This spring I stained it before assembly and did most of the work. Right shoulder still hurts from lifting 2 x 6’s onto roof. Been cutting and raking weeds ever since. We have hills that I’m too afraid to mow up and down so it’s been the gas powered Stille weed whacker and my strong back. I know what the saying ‘bone tired’ means. If you’re like me, I thank God I’m so strong at 66…..but I don’t want to spend so much time working outside. I LOVE TO QUILT, GARDEN, AND PAINT…but the quilting and painting have been on hold. Okay, now I’ve complained I feel much better. Ready to whack weeds again on Monday…..almost done. Maybe another week and then I’m lolly gagging all summer!! Well, except for taking care of the garden, animals, cooking, and canning. Patty Mc

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Patty – oh, Patty – now I know what I sound like and what it means to have so much work to do! I can tell you are a kindred spirit with all that work you mentioned. Women are certainly the stronger sex but a man would never see it that way. I don’t want this place to look shabby but on the other hand, I’d sure like to do more sewing. Tomorrow Reed’s dad is coming to till the garden – Reed and I are planting pumpkins and I’d say forget it but we planned this last winter and I don’t want to disappoint him now.

  2. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, do you know you can hire those kids to do some of the mowing, too? Bet they would really like the riding mower. We have a riding mower and the neighbor can’t find enough grass to mow with it. Frank says it was the best thing he ever got. It is sure nice he likes to mow our yard.
    Take a hint from that cat!! Have a nice Memorial Day. Hope you don’t get any storms.

  3. Michele

    I love your notes. I have no doubt that the physical work associated with a farm is ten times harder than what we endure in the suburbs. I also think you are focused on the important things in life. God bless and keep you and your family safe. With love and prayers from another quilter. P.s. one of my favorite T-shirts is a purple Country Threads shirts I bought from you years ago.

  4. Carol

    We should all be a bit more like Millie! She looks exactly like my tuxedo Kitty, who spends 90% of her day in that position!
    I hope your trials ease up a bit, you’re only one person, doing the work of a dozen. Take care, don’t be the next one in a wheel chair…what then?

  5. Diane

    Please do hire some of those kids to help. We did because my husband’s arthritis was so bad and he doesn’t like the way I mow. It does help. I worry about you. I feel bad about your house. That is very hard to see. Millie looks so peaceful. I hope you can get some rest this weekend.

  6. Kathy Hanson

    I hope that you can take a bit of a break for the next two days – enjoy church and remember that Monday is a HOLIDAY! The work can wait, hire some of it out and renew yourself – if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of others – you have been doing that but you certainly could use a break and deserve it! Millie has the right Idea – we could all take a lesson from her!! You are amazing!

  7. Kathy

    Whine all you want Mary cause I feel for you! It’s not work I enjoy doing taking care of our smaller yard if I had to so I’d be complaining. I went through it for a couple of weeks one year what you are experiencing and I learned it’s not easy getting help from others. Next summer will be yours to enjoy. Let’s hope the walking cast gives Rick some freedom to do some things around to give you a much needed break.

  8. Rhoda Ebersole

    You do have more in your plate than most women at your age. You are like the women of the revolutionary wartime who ran the farm while the men were away fighting in the war.

    Can you hire out the mowing maybe until Rick can help you again?

    It is very depressing to see a place that had been well lived to fall into disrepair from others neglect.

    Sending hugs
    Rhoda Ebersole

  9. Colleen

    You are a good woman to have the children help you.

    It is sad that your family home is falling into disrepair.
    I don’t know if this is possible (certainly not now) to see if the owners need help to get their place in better condition ? In my area there have been a few times when a group of helpful people have gotten together and done yard work/ home repairs/ painting for our neighbors that have not been able to keep up with up keep due to illness or ability but I don’t know how it was all started and communicated to all parties… might be just best to not drive by.

    I wish you a nice quiet holiday weekend and do what has to be done and put what can wait on the back burner

  10. Pat Smith

    I get exhausted just reading your posts, and you deserve to do all the whining you want. I’m a little older than you and can’t see how you do it. I’m hoping you find some mowing help and hope Rick gets a walking cast. I’ll bet he feels frustrated by inactivity. I really appreciate your posts and don’t know when you find the time to write them. I’m hoping they are as therapeutic for you as they are enjoyable for me.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat – yes, they are! I’m so glad you’re all there to listen when I need to whine! Smile!

  11. Kathy Schwartz

    I like the photo of the church. Such a pretty red roof. It looks like the church is still in use today. It is a classic country church.
    Millie has it made in the shade, for sure.
    It is awful to see a farm site in shambles. Especially for the people who used to live there. It makes you wonder how this all happened.
    Don’t work so hard!

  12. Paula

    Mary, I think of you during the day and how much work you are having to do right now. Hope very soon he will be back on the tractor and giving you a rest. You mean so much to your readers. Just regular work on a farm is hard without having all the extra you are doing now. Paula in KY

  13. Launa

    Mary, Love the table topper block you showed and the two delightful ads!!!
    Was sad to read elsewhere that Cheri Payne had passed. I won a tiny table topper she had made and always think of her wonderful primitive projects.
    Certainly wish my sewing room closet was as tidy as the one shown.
    Shouldn’t be long and Rick will be out riding the mower. Hang in there n enjoy all the critters and your screened porch as much as you can.
    Was nice to see and hear about your day trip.

  14. Jeanice Domino

    Millie is so cute! I am sorry that you are working so hard. It is not as easy to keep up at our age. it is sad that your home place is in such shambles but, your church looks good yet. Blessings to you this holiday weekend! i hope you find time today and tomorrow to put your feet up and read a book.

  15. Pam

    Mary, thanks for sharing your whole life…the good, the bad, the happy and sad. Just shows how much alike we all really are.

    I have heard that my Mother’s house has been torn down but haven’t had the heart to see if that is really true. Maybe… day I might drive by. My Dad spread her ashes on the property she loved so much and I wouldn’t doubt that she might be unhappy with her home being torn down.

  16. Norma

    Ah, Mary take care. I really enjoy reading about all you share.
    My husband and I live on my home farm. We had dairy cattle for years then when the prices got so low we sold the cows and got other jobs. The barn needed a new roof but it cost so much. Now the barn needs to be torn down and we find that almost as much as the new roof would have. We just finished siding house so that will be better. I need to weed flower beds too but this week I was hurrying before work and tripped on a sidewalk. Hit my nose,chin, hand and both knees! Now I have two bruised looking eyes and hands and knees that will be hard to work with for awhile.
    Take each day as it comes, don’t hurry and make a little time for what feeds your soul.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Norma – your accident sounds pretty bad! I forget what could happen to me and then what would we do? Hope you’re back to normal soon!

  17. Kate Schloemer

    Oh Mary don’t ever consider it whining to do all that work around the farm! Lol.. i totally understand how you feel. After I lost my husband 4 years ago, I was so frustrated that first summer to have all the outside work to do plus try to keep my house in neat order. Lol by the end of that summer I guess it got to be my routine… and either sit and have a beer or glass of wine to drink!!!!

    Isn’t it sad how people don’t take care of their property??? I wouldn’t have taken a photo either, much better to remember what was.

    Enjoy your week and don’t over do it

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate S. – love your advice – I’m enjoying a beer on the porch right now!

  18. Susie Q

    So glad to hear help is coming to help……. and if you don’t finish the work I encourage you to get them to come again in a few days…… you are worth the “expense” and I am sure it is an expense. I would love to have a gardener help me 3-4 hour a week….. but no takers…….

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susie Q – these kids say this is the only time they can come and yes, it’s an expense -$25/hr. for each of them but they do a good job and I need the help.

  19. Kate

    Oh, I know how you feel about your homeplace going into decline. When both my parents died, my nephew bought the family farm thinking he could be a farmer. That didn’t last long and he let all the out buildings and the wonderful old barn ,that my dad took such pride in, fall into shambles. The roof of the barn was caving in the last time I saw it and I have been told the barn has fallen down completely. I can’t go by there any longer and wish we had sold the farm to someone who would have taken care of it.
    I don’t know how you get all the work done you do because I know how hard it all must be. I wish I lived nearby so I could help you because I love farm work.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate – it’s so sad when a barn disappears – that’s why we put siding on all of ours this spring. I hope whoever lives here in the future will keep it up and if not, I hope I’m gone and won’t know.

  20. Louise K.

    I’m sorry you had to see your childhood home like that.

    Just hang in there with Rick…easier said than done! My husband broke his foot a few years ago and lots of extra work was heaped on me. He recovered, thankfully, good as new and we did get through it.

  21. Vickie

    I am constantly amazed by what you get done! Caring for all your animals and the yard work and now helping Rick and not having his help. On top of your community service and trying to sew. You are amazing! Remember that you cannot get everything done and there’s always tomorrow! Just thank the Lord for giving you the strength and the helpers to do what you can. God bless you!

  22. Susan the Farm Quilter

    At our church we have a group called Helping Hands where we volunteer our time and talents to help anyone in our town that needs it. Is there a group like that in your town? If we were closer, our farmers (and families) would come out and give you a hand! Remember, you are probably the only one who would ever know if you skipped out on doing a job (like those hills!). You can’t take care of hubby if you hurt yourself or wear yourself out to the point of collapse!! Be gentle with yourself, you are important!

  23. Jo's Country Junction

    I’ve had a few down-er days lately too. There is so much to do this time of year and the weather certainly didn’t help. I’m finding that each little thing that I do get done gives me a little spark. I got the fairy gardens out, cleaned and replanted. It was such a treat to see while I sat on the back deck and had a beer lastnight. Hopefully the front planters will happen today…then I can sit and drink a beer and look at them tonight. Sometimes slow and steady is what I need to win the race…and a beer in between!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo – sounds like a great idea – I will adopt your plan with pleasure! Yes, spring is wonderful and terrible all at once!

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