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Weekend Rewind

Yesterday was too busy to post but I promised some good friend in NC I'd post more often, so here goes. I took the train down to the farm on Saturday. There were only about 60 people on the whole train so everyone had their own pair of seats. I had two uninterupted hours to read my book, "The Chases of Cimarron" which is basically a biography of a frontier family who managed to establish a cattle ranching empire in NM, TX and CO following the Civil War. Very interesting look at a lot of historical figures. I watched the Illinois countryside drift on by. Lots of farmers harvesting their cash crops of soybeans and corn right now. Thank you to all you folks using soy based diesel and ethanol gasoline.

I got to the farm around noon and found my cousin Alan had harvested our 50 acres of corn. It did surprisingly well at 171 bushels an acre. And if we sold it right now for $3.34 (current price)we'd make a little over $28,000. Good thing we don't have to rely on the farm for a living isn't it? Half of that goes to Alan and then when we take out the cost of the seed and he spraying we end up with enough to pay the taxes on the land and make a few improvements.

Drought has hit Central Illinois recently, which is OK because it helps the corn and soybeans dry in the fields and we don't have to pay to dry it at the elevator. But it would be nice to have some green grass, even if I did have to mow it. Dad and I got busy trimming trees around the farm. In fact we both got a little too happy with the chainsaws but it does look better. We didn't need so many mulberry trees anyway. And we got the dead apricot tree down. Only one left of the original 6 Grandma had when she was alive. I guess everything has it's time to live and die.

In the afternoon, Dad and I concentrated on our landscaping project in the back of the house. We put new bricks on the end of the sidewalk and lined the other sidewalks with bricks laid on end. That should help stop the mud when it rains...if it rains. When I got here in 94, this was just grass with a part in the middle where Grandma had some hostas and tulips. Then I got the bright idea to take out all the grass, lay down plastic sheeting and put 4 inches of mulch down and start a container garden. So I hauled all the old galvanized buckets and enameled milk pails up from the barn and planted sweet potato vines and cornflowers hollyhocks and morning glories, And we built a gazebo, Dad and I. And put in new fencing and new wooden gates. And on the 7th day I rested and looked out over my creation and saw that it was good. Then I moved away from the farm and only came back on the weekends and over time, Mother Nature took everything back over with weeds. So now, guess what we are doing with it? Planting grass again.

Mom, Dad and I went out for Pizza that night and later, I went up to the bar to find my friends Rob and Gwen. I hadn't got my weekly dose of small town drama and marital problems in a couple weeks. Turns out they were storing and saving it for me. Rob and Gwen need to be locked in a bare room with a single lightbulb hanging from a cord in the ceiling. A mediator should be standing in the middle directing each one in turn to talk or shut up. No food or water until they work out their silly assed problems and get on with their lives. Seriously, I love them to death but the ongoing drama they are causing stems from a pretty stupid incident in the first place. But neither of them will drop it and they are both pretty selfish as well. Add to that the presence of one of our favorite bar bands, Rectified, formerly Hanover Phist. The band manager and wife of the lead singer had just found out that the nephew of the lead singer had been killed in a hunting accident but didn't want to tell the lead singer/husband until the next day at home. So she was crying and blubbering about that all night and at various times hauling me outside to cry on my shoulder or get a hug. I did get to dance with her though. It's funny, she comes about up to my belly button so slow dancing is interesting. I danced with Gwen too and told her she looked really pretty (because for once she wasn't wearing the typical ripped jeans and ratty t-shirt). She said Rob had told her she looked chubby. I just rolled my eyes.

Rob's younger, former criminal, brother Randy hauled me outside once as well to talk about Rob and Gwen. I told him what I had told each of them individually. If they really cared about the relationship, they would find a way to put their shit behind them. The problem is Gwen got pregnant with their first child before she had time to get tired of being a party girl slut. So now she wears interesting clothing, hangs out in bars and flirts with everyone. Rob on the other hand, spends way too much time on the road doing his job (road construction) to be home minding his responsibilities there. They both had a choice for Rob to take this job, he didn't have to. They both like the money he makes and spend it like crazy. Rumors abound that Gwen has slept with most of hte men and some of the women in town, except for me of course. (I don't believe she has slept with anyone, I'd have found out.) Ah well, everyone has problems right?

The night ended quietly with only one catfight and Gwen getting drunk and showing her boobs. I made it home by 1am.

Sunday I spent helping Dad hook up the new USB turntable we got and started recording our hundreds of albums, and then running the various software on them to clean them up. I hadn't heard my Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon Original Master recording in years and it sounded better than a CD. I'm sure I'll be recording all Fall and Winter. I found that back in the late 70's or early 80's I had been looking around for an Album cover for my Black Sabbath - Paranoid album and had reached for whatever handy. Come to find out, I had stuck it in a Village People album cover. Sorry Ozzy. That's a major sin against the metal gods isn't it?

I also showed the folks some of the scans I'd done of the hundreds of Grandma's family photos that were stolen long ago and had recently been recovered and returned by another cousin. Some real local history in there. This is one of my favorite ones. It's My Grandma's sister and her new husband when they were first married in 1913. They were both 17 at the time. He looks like he just figured out he made a big mistake:

And here they are 50 years later, realizing there is nothing to be done about it now:

Also a great photo of my Grandma and her sisters from 1919 when Grandma was 13 years old. That's her in the middle:

I took the very crowded train back Sunday night and sat next to a drunk blind man. Not a single seat free on the train after my stop. It was loaded with drunk college kids...what fun. And now another fun week of meetings and learning the new job.




( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
your grandmother was gorgeous!! :)
Sep. 25th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Yes she was. even when she was much older, she would have been described as a handsome woman. Tomorrow I'll post a pic of my grandfather who was considered quite the ladies man before they married. I think he probably took one look at her and decided he didn't need to look any further.

this was the family in 1929. Grandma is seated on the left side, lower row:

and this is Grandma in the early 90's a few years before she passed:

Sep. 25th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
They just harvested the corn down here today. I saw a couple of people picking up after the tractor as I came home.
Sep. 25th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Yup, time to gather squirrel corn. Winter is just around the corner now. yuck.

Sep. 25th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
Your journal is one of the most interesting ones that I've ever read. Hands down.
Sep. 25th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Well thanks. It's an interesting life. Just wish I had more time to post on it.

Sep. 26th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
LOL at the first two pictures! Poor guy looks scared! lol

The pic of the three ladies is incredible. Beautiful!
Sep. 26th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
I've got tons of pictures of that guy and he looks slightly scared in all of them. I wish I had a pic of all three of the brothers together, in their youth, they were very dashing and handsome. There was fourth son Uriah Lawrence who only lived about a month. He was born in 1888. When his brother Fred, lost an arm in a sawmill accident years later, they had a funeral for the arm and buried it right beside the little brother. That story makes me cry every time someone brings it up.

Sep. 27th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh what great photos!
I love these photos! Things were so different back then, no one smiled. Is that because they thought it wasn't appropriate or they had bad teeth?

I am finally feeling healthy again... walking is such a pleasure when you can do it.

Miss you!
Sep. 27th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh what great photos!
I miss you too love. Mostly I miss your hugs and our long talks. I should be seeing you in November though. Mostly they didn't smile back then because taking a photo took several minutes and it was easier to hold a stern face than a smile. I don't think people were generally sad back then. I've read my grandmas letters and life back then didn't seem any worse than today. I'll be posting more of the old photos today and tomorrow along with a back story of where they came from.

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )