The kitchen where my aunt tossed the egg shells into the sink behind her. The Hoosier cabinet is at the end of the room.
Uncle Glen, Rick, Aunt Esther, me and Jean, my father.
Me, my mother, Mary, Rick and Rusty the red cocker spaniel. This picture dated Aug. 1956
My father's grave
I wrote the entry below for Magpie Tales -- a creative writing blog. Check it out here. I copied it from my other blog Simple Sunday Supper, but I have more to add below.
A few special summers at aunt Esther's Oklahoma farm. Real butter and cream for breakfast. The crowing of the rooster at daybreak. Waking in the little white bedroom up the steep stairs and looking down into the yard from the old wood-framed windows. A green Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen. A bathroom that used to be a porch. An unused formal parlor with carpet, a wood-trimmed velvet sofa and an old piano. A rose garden. Learning to sew. Searching through the hay bales in the old barn for eggs and trying to catch the wild kittens. My aunt cracking fresh eggs at the stove and tossing the shells over her shoulder into the sink. Eating fried chicken that had just been walking around a little while ago. Feeding a calf from a bucket with a large rubber nipple. Riding on a tractor. The sweet smell of cutting into a ripe, red watermelon right out of the field. Oh, and getting trapped in an outhouse by a mean rooster. (There was a ripe smell in that outhouse, too!) A few old photographs and some family stories. Some old phonograph records. I was a modern girl from the 60's. These are the only fragile connections I have to a simpler life style that is older than time. I treasure them now.
I wrote this about my summer visits to my aunt's farm, but the pictures above are from my last visit. My aunt no longer lived at the farm. We just drove out to look at it. The weeds had grown and the old barn was about to fall down. She asked my husband to check an oil well on her property. It had some kind of meter on it and she worried for years that they had been cheating her. He looked at it and said it looked all right to him. That seemed to satisfy her. I told her I admired the Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen with its built-in sifter. We went to visit my father's and my grandparents' grave at a little graveyard nearby. That was the last time I ever saw the farm. My aunt wrote me and told me that shortly after we visited, someone broke into the house and trashed everything and stole the Hoosier cabinet. My uncle Glen had died many years earlier in a farming accident. Aunt Esther is gone now, too.