Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Old Houses

We spent the weekend in north-central Illinois visiting my parents. I wish I'd had time to take more pictures of this old house. My grandfather grew up there in the early part of the 1900's, when there was a patchwork of thriving family farms in these rural townships. Now this house (and many others) are magnets for vandals in their isolation in the corn and soybean fields. Next week the volunteer fire department is going to burn it down to practice their firefighting skills.

My kids did get a chance to sleep on my parent's sleeping porch (above), which I see has only eight double windows, not the twelve I remembered. This does make a total of sixteen handles to crank when a storm blows up, however, as it did at sunrise Sunday morning, so my kids got to experience that part of my childhood.

The Happy Feminist has an interesting post on Home and Rootlessness. I grew up in the same house my that father did (the one pictured above that his father built), went to the same grade school a block and a half away, and even had the same third grade teacher, who retired the year after I had her. I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors in the area (see Captivity of Sylvia and Rachel Hall), with grandmothers who were interested in genealogy. I think this "sense of place" probably contributed a lot to my adult interests in archaeology, history, and environment. And though it's hard to imagine living in my hometown again, I know I would feel a great sense of loss if it vanished or was bombed out of existence - and not just because of all of the family members that still live there.

1 comment:

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I wrote something on this topic, or somewhat similar -- I thought you might like it.

Also, I am reading 1491 finally and wow!! What a lot of new ways of looking at the world. I'll have to digest it for awhile.