Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Old things...

Why is it, as we become older, we think more about things that intrigued us in our younger and formative years? We hold dear those few antiques that my wife has received from her family over the years and they hold special meaning to us as they adorn our home. They provide a certain comfort that eludes the shiny, hi-tech gadgetry that visits the consumer today.

Why is that?

As a boy I remember visiting my paternal grandparents. They owned a small farm in Wells County, Indiana, and it was always an adventure to spend time at their house. The place was a treasure trove of memories tucked away in musty old trunks, dust covered shelves, and abandoned, creaky old buildings. One such memory sat across the road, up a rutted lane; an old farmhouse, long abandoned, and lovingly referred to by my Dad as the "home place". It was the residence where he and his nine siblings were born and raised. When it was no longer capable of containing the 12 souls that occupied it, the newer house was built and the "old house" was left containing only the echoes and memories of its past.

A visit to the "old house" was always a part of my trip to our grandparents. Walking across the road and up the lane was a delicious prelude of things to come. There was a rusty hand pump outside the house that served as the water source in bygone years. Walking across the worn boards of the porch to the weathered door never ceased to cause me to wonder how many other footsteps had gone there before mine.

The door opened to a large room, which by today's standards would seem modest. Lighted only by the sunshine cascading through ancient windows, I could easily find my way among the rooms. My imagination would provide scenes of activities that must have taken place in those rooms! The laughter, the kerosene lanterns providing reading lights at dusk, the scuffling of feet on the bare floors; oh, what blessings, tears, and emotions must have filled that place!

Upstairs there were things that had been stored, but forgotten. There was an English sidesaddle that spoke of an earlier genteel period when women sat modestly upon horseback comforted by this instrument of carriage. There were old and faded photographs of stern looking people dressed in their Sunday finest captured for posterity through the magic of the camera. There were farm tools such as scythes and other handtools replaced now by more modern means of production.

All of these, having no animate life, were alive with the memories that clung to them and have become part of the fabric of who I am.

What memories will my children and grandchildren have? What experiences will urge them 50 years from now, to post their childhood shadows to some public place?

How will I be remembered?


  1. Beautify written Dave. You are da man!

  2. Beautifully written I meant to say! Feel like I am chatting with you on FB! Good job!