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a minute of manners and musings
January 9, 2011Posted by on
Saturday was crisp and sunny around here. My favorite kind of Saturday. We decided to call up some of the fam and eat lunch at the farm. It’s a farm that has been in the Lewis family for 100 years this month. 1-0-0. One. Hundred. Years.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
We ate lunch inside what we call the barn, but what was actually an old store house. A mercantile. The walls, ceiling and floor are the original tongue and groove, there are wooden shelves all around and the orginial wooden counter still stands. Because there are farm implements and tools still inside, it’s like stepping back in time to be there. The Hubs has worked hard to make the barn a place where we can go to do just what we did yesterday – be together. How appropriate for a place whose formative years spanned the time when that’s all people did for entertainment – be together.
They didn’t have Direct TV or smartphones to keep them connected to their tweeps. They read books. And talked. Are you thinking, Oh, the agony? I wonder what some previous Lewises would have thought about a crockpot sitting on the same counter where they measured out flour to sell to their customers. They would probably do something akin to rolling their eyes.
The Hubs and I…we love sentimental journies. Ben must have gotten that same gene because he wanted to show both of his grandaddies where he shot his first deer. I guess we owed that deer that much since he was in the chili we ate at lunch and was hanging on the wall overhead the dessert. I realize that sentence alone could make some people very uncomfortable. Sorry. Just keep reading.
On our way through the woods, I chatted with my FIL and listened to him talk about his memories of growing up and working in those fields. The way he described the weather, his dad, the chores…it was fascinating to be standing on that very dirt with him. At one point, he laughed a little and said, “Now, I don’t know why I remember this. But, I can remember the first time I plowed ‘longside Daddy. It was in this field, right here. We were plowing peanuts. He had a 2-horse plow and I had only a 1-horse plow.” Then, he laughed again as if there were more to the story. There probably is.
‘Fore long (I’m in the spirit now), we came across a cat’s face. (Sorry, again. I’m not talking about a dead animal. Just keep reading) This one was new to me. I didn’t know about a cat’s face.
Daddy and my FIL explained to us how people used to notch out a place on a pine tree, wedge in a piece of tin shaped as a V and hang a bucket underneath to catch the turpentine. These tins started at the bottom and would be added to the tree going up, so there could be tins as high as a grown man’s head. Daddy talked about finding these cat faces in the woods “as a boy” and how there would be foot paths zig-zagged from tree to tree from people gathering the turpentine. His daddy owned a saw mill so he remembered how farmers would bring their lumber to the mill without taking out the nails that held the turpentine buckets.
Apparently, that was bad lumber-to-the-saw-mill etiquette since the guys at the mill had to cut these pieces out with an ax and if it went through accidentally, it dulled the mill’s big saw blade. Tsk, tsk.
Now, I wouldn’t be a very good mom if I didn’t show you this picture of Ben’s deer stand. The very site of his very first slaying.
It was a fun and educational sentimental journey. I am usually the very one who thinks we have to plan something in order to get people together. But had we had an agenda yesterday, we wouldn’t have done what we did – just be together. And talk. And it wasn’t even close to agony. It was more like heaven.
But, now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not ready to turn in my USB cord and build a grist mill in the back yard. The thing is, I dropped my cell in the toilet on Friday, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about things. But, if the replacement phone doesn’t show up tomorrow, I’m going to have to start smoking just to give me something to do with my hands. It would be my luck that my ashes would burn down the barn. After 100 years, that place is just an organized stack of fat lighter, anyway.