Life in a country ditch

“Some things are worth repeating.”

That seems to be the message I get from the country ditch that seperates my home from the gravel road.

Our home was built in the 1930’s. The square footage is aproximately 900 square feet.

It has been painted many times, but the siding, the roof and the interior remain much the same. The top photo is a really dreamy picture of my house taken in winter.

But I digress. The first part of the house was moved to the current land and originally served as a wood shed farther down the road.

A man and woman needed to build their home, family, and farm, and the woodshed was where they began. They had 4 children and they all lived in our tiny house.

One of the children’s rooms was in the attic. You walk on a catwalk bridge and get to the original woodshed part of the house. The shingles from the woodshed are all preserved in that part of the attic.

There is a door cut into the old siding. This upstairs little room is all finished off in hardwood. Sometimes I think of the young boy climbing the attic stairs and going over the catwalk to his room.

I came to know the history of this farm  a little at a time.

We found a popcorn box filled with bills that told of lives working hard and what they paid in monetary values. We gave these documents to their living relatives. But, as it would turn out, I am closer to the original lady of the house than I would have ever imagined. I never met her in life.

She died alone of cancer after surviving her husband and the many spring floods the river brings to us.

A couple of years ago one of the children visited us. She was older than us and said, “My, how things have changed!”

About four years ago we discovered our ditches were not  filled with weeds, but with ancient flowers planted almost 100 years ago. We do what we can. I am happy to let Minnie’s flowers brighten a country ditch once more. I found out that Minnie always saved the wishbones from chickens and dried them on the kitchen window. Then she gave them away unbroken, just like I do.

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7 Responses to Life in a country ditch

  1. chlost says:

    Hollyhocks. My grandmother had them around her back porch area. Every summer they attracted huge, fuzzy yellow and black bees. As kids those bees scared us to death, so we did not like to go near that porch. The hollyhocks make me think of those bees to this day. I have never planted any around my house. I love the thoughts of the families who live in houses over the years, their stories being kept by the house. So fun that you have learned about those families who were there before you. Are you staying dry?

    • bdale56 says:

      Hollyhocks also attract hummingbirds. They probably looked like monster bees to you when you were a kid. I kind of like bees, though they always have my respect. It’s wasps I don’t like! So many houses and places have stories to tell. And many are interesting! We are dry, while the Northern half of the state, as you know, is drenched. So odd to be the ones left out of a big flood. My deepest empathy goes out to my Northern neighbors.

  2. pixilated2 says:

    Beth, thank you for sharing the story of Minnie and the hollyhocks today. Mine are looking a bit chewed on and I was afraid for them, but then I saw your picture today and I guess I needn’t worry! Every time I work in the garden and see them I think of you and Minnie. I’ll be excited to see mine bloom next year! xo, Lynda

    • bdale56 says:

      My flowers are a bit chewed upon! I never really noticed til you pointed it out. But they are doing quite well. If you have gardening friends who would like some of Minnie’s hollyhocks, I would be happy to send them seeds in the fall. Really looking forward to seeing yours in bloom!

  3. Goosebumps are rising on my arms reading that bit about the wishbones. And the flowers in the ditch, what a lovely, lovely gift from the past.

  4. bdale56 says:

    I had two wonderful grandmothers! Each was different and I loved them dearly. Although I never met Minnie and have never seen a photograph of her, I find myself thinking of her often. You are so right. I have been given a lovely gift from the past!

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