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Weekend

It was a fun weekend even if I can barely breathe out of my nose today. I drove down on Friday night because I discovered that like air travel. the longer you wait to make a train reservation, the more it costs. And since kids are back in college, the train is more full on Friday nights now with kids going back and forth from WIU. I would have paid twice what I usually do so I declined and just drove. I stayed up until 3 am once I got there assembling this huge poster for dad's high school reunion. We were doing it on the cheap so I tiled this 58 x 53 sunrise photo and printed it out on 24, 11 x 17 sheets and then assembled them by hand. We put them behind a window frame to make it look like you were looking out the window at it.

Saturday morning we were (Mom, Dad and Me)up and out of the house by 8 am to head over to our other farm near Bowen. My Aunt Peggy lives there. That's where the barn is that Dad and I and other relatives spent 5 years of our lives restoring and decorating. We've turned it into a conference center of sorts and we have family reunions there all the time now.

Dad's 50th reunion was last year at the barn. I was the photographer for that event as I was this year. They hired my aunt Peggy to cook lunch and dinner for them and she did it in grand style. All the fixin's and trimmin's you'd expect from a midwestern farm meal.

Another of my jobs was to periodically drive the farm truck back and forth from the house to the barn to ferry all the food out. The classmates started arriving about 11 and lunch was to be at noon. After lunch they started their afternoon of games including a pool tournament. Ever see a barn with a pool table in it?

I took a break when the games started and took a walk through the cornfield that is ready to be harvested. I gathered some squirrel corn for the city house. Why didn't I just gather the corn on my own farm? I need to make money off my corn. hehehe.

I wasn't needed for the mid part of the afternoon so I took the free time and traveled back over to Fountain Green, IL to get some more pix of this house I started photographing last year. It will make a nice post for rural_ruin later this week. Nearby is a cemetery full of relatives of Mary Todd Lincoln and my relatives as well. Yes we are related, though I'm not quite sure how.

I got back to the farm around 4:30. just in time to start carrying dinner out to the barn. It was like a feeding frenzy once it all started. But then I feel the same way about my aunt's cooking. She baked 14 pies and a whole sheet cake to feed 50 people. Of course she made a special cherry pie just for me to take home. Unfortunately, it was inadvertantly given away to a classmate so I had to settle for a pan of fresh cinnamon rolls. I can take one for the team every once in awhile.

The reunion was over by 9 and we cleaned up and headed back to our farm. I went into town to see if either Rob or Gwen were at the bar, but I spied both trucks in front of the their house and since they have been having lots of marital trouble lately, I left well enough alone and went on home.

Sunday we slept in a bit then headed into town for breakfast while the church crown was doing their thing. MMMMMMMM pancakes, bacon and eggs over easy. Once we got back home, Dad was going to follow me into town to take the 1948 Ford tractor into the repair shop. But as I got my work gloves on and stepped out on the porch, I started hearing this regular noise that sounded somewhat like a tree frog or insect chirping. But unlike a bug or a frog, it kept going as I got closer to it. I had to listen close because cars were going past on the road. But I kept slowly stepping forward and finally found the source of the sound.
A very tiny ball of orange fur was tangled in some weeds on the other side of the highway from our house. So I went over and rescued it and brought it back to our place. It was very scared and very vocal. The folks and I fell in love with it instantly and gave it food and a bath while we tried to figure out what to do with it. Finally I called around to the neighboring farms and on the third call, found the owners. It was from a litter of barn cats owned by my neighbor to the west. So he sent down a daughter that was supposed to be the caretaker of the cats. A few minutes later, a shy high schooler who looked much like ryl showed and identified the now clean cat as hers and took her home. We were all a little sad but also relieved we didn't have to adopt it or have it put down.



Then dad and I got the tractor to town. Incidentally, with the road gear engaged and in 4th gear a 1948 Ford 8 N tractor will go 40 mph which feels pretty darn fast when you are in the driver's seat on the open road.

We also hit the melon stand in Beardstown for a very sweet watermelon and probably the very last of the sweet corn for this year. Upon arriving home, Dad announced his intentions to take a nap. So I headed back to Rushville to go to the genealogy center and research some family and the history behind th old Vermont brick school in nearby Vermont, IL. One of may ancestors founded that town back in the 1840's.

After a few hours I headed back home to help Dad with a new landscaping project, lining all the sidewalks back of the house with bricks. We also removed a boot scraper that had been there for over 50 years. We are going to put it closer to the house where it will see more use and not get hit with the mower all the time.

Just before dinner a cousin of mine on Dad's side came over and brought with him a box of photos that another cousin had stolen from the house almost 15 years ago when my Grandma died. This cousin that stole the photos is now in a long term care home and is slowly losing her mind and while I would not wish that on anyone, after seeing all the unkind things she did in her life, it's hard not to see it as a vivid illustration of the phrase, "as you sew so shall you reap." The photos will be invaluable to my family history project as they trace Grandma's family back 100 years or so. So this week I get to scan and label all of them before my folks take them to NC for safe keeping.

After a meal of still tasty leftovers from the reunion, I saddled up and headed back on the road for the 4 hour drive back to Joliet. I got in about 1 am and spent an hour winding down and looking at the photos. This week is more training and catch up from the last two weeks of training.

My sinuses are completely blocked because corn is being harvested all over the state. No good deed goes unpunished I guess.

Peace,

Wander

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
ryl
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
Huh. Apparently I have a long-lost time-travelling twin in Illinwah.

They're harvesting corn up there now? Good. Maybe they'll take down the deer buffet here soon.
wander
Sep. 18th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
I'd have thought you guys would have started harvesting before us.

W
piscesdreams
Sep. 19th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear about you not getting that cherry pie but it's great that you got all those photos back! Thanks for sharing the photos... they look terrific! The one of the cornfield was especially good, not to mention all the ones of food!
wander
Sep. 19th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
It's no wonder why so many farmers are fat with wives that cook like this. My aunt and her daughter used to run a restaurant. She cooks like this all the time. No sushi and tofu for us.

W
tomyris_beat
Sep. 20th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC)
When your working in the fields all day you burn all that off...those of us with desk jobs and farm taste buds are in trouble! Glad you had a nice trip. Hope you get to spend some time at your place now and put your feet up for awhile. Tomyris
wander
Sep. 20th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, most farmers don't work in the fields anymore and burn the meals off. We all have tractors to replace the horse and ox teams and ride around in air-conditioned comfort. So I know a bunch of overweight ones, just like me. Admittedly I do own a tractor, but it can't help me build fences and repair the barn.

You know I never relax for long. Right now I'm planning my next trip to come see you guys.

W
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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wander
Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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