Dying Farm

I got down to the farm today – yesterday by the time anyone reads this. It was the first time I’ve been to the farm since my grandfather died in November ’03, and it was kind of haunting. The lawn was mowed, that was surreal, – either by the Andersons (who farm the property), or my uncle Bill.

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That’s not actually the farm – that’s the farm before the farm. Belongs to the Fultons. Bet you’d never have guessed.

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That’s the farm. Tiny, and inconsequential.

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See that top box? “Air Mail.” Nobody could say my grandfather didn’t have a sense of humor. Well, they could, but they’d’ve been wrong. Do you see the little ladder? Man, he thought of everything for those Martians.

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Ze farmhouse. Close to a century old, and victim to the most horrible fate known to houses – my grandfather. Seems that back in the fifties it used to have a full second level, and an attic above that. Well, the heating bill was a bit much, so he quite literally knocked the attic and most of the second level clean off, redid the main entry (which used to face the road), and turned the place into the no-flow charming place I knew.

No, seriously, there was no front door – from the porch, you could enter the parlor (to the left), or the dining room (to the right). Alternatively, you could go to the side and enter through a screen door into the laundry room.

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The carport and shed structure attached to the side of the house. Behind those blue doors were my grandfather’s work spaces. Anyone remember that beautiful oak chest in my living room? That’s where it was born.

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Beyond the laundry tree things, you can see Bill’s house on the corner of the original property. To the left, you can see part of the ‘treasure shed’, so named because it was stuffed with books, furniture, broken electronics – essentially everything that no longer had a place in the house. This bookshelf came from there.

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The long abandoned milk house. Long after it was no longer needed for the purpose for which it was built, it continued to function as a makeshift nursery for the rather substantial feline population.

(Note: I said “Continued”. This was a dairy farm, you think anything short of catching and killing them would’ve kept cats away from the milk? Please!)

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This tree – I think its walnut? – has been around forever. There’s an old rusty windchime hanging from its branches. That’s part of the barn behind it.

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The side of the barn. Billy Anderson, I think, put that speed-limit sign up originally when he took over farming the land (but if that’s the case, why did it get pulled down?). I can’t remember when there were last livestock around – sheep as little as ten years ago, I’m fairly certain, maybe cows too? – but as a little kid I can remember a big rooster, pigs, I think maybe some goats, and of course a whole heck of a lot of cats and kittens.

There was this big orange tabby my grandmother called “Aloof on the Roof” because she would climb up the power box onto the farmhouse roof and stay there. All day. Every day.

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Another section of the barn, originally used for milking cows, more recently for random storage. There’s a door – you can’t see it – just to the left of the frame. Through the door, a sharp left, and you’re at the milkhouse.

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Both pictures of the same general area. This is where the cows were brought out to be put into a pasture. And, yes, continuing with the theme of “original useage of a cow barn”, that is a Volkswagen.

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What good is a farm without a fuel station? Dinner bell to the left.

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Continuing with the family tradition of never ever throwing anything away when you’ve got a perfectly good barn to store it in, a tractor that was probably new when George Washington was born waits to rust some more.

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What? Don’t all farms have a totem pole? I like the gate without the fence. I can’t remember when all the fences came down, don’t know why no one bothered with the gates. See those windows? That’s the milkhouse again.

0 thoughts on “Dying Farm

  1. Who owns the farm? Where is it? How many acres is it? How much do you think it’s worth? Who lives there now? Why do you deliver pizzas?

  2. Romarkin,

    1. My family owns the farm.

    2. It’s located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

    3. 260ish acres.

    4. Not much. The buildings are going to be given to the fire department as a controlled burn, and the land isn’t wanted for a housing development.

    5. No one.

    6. To make money to pay the bills.

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