Tuesday, February 5, 2008

As Time Goes By

This is the converted granary where the Bag Lady's parents lived when she was born. The Bag Lady's mother was from Nova Scotia, and was raised in a 3-storey house over the store her father owned. Imagine the culture-shock moving from the city to the country. No electricity, no running water, no plumbing, no central heating...

(Note the tree)

The Bag Lady’s cousin Leah, who writes the always entertaining blog, The Goat's Lunch Pail lived with her parents across the yard. Unfortunately, the Bag Lady can’t find a picture of their house. Here is another shot of the house after a few up-grades.

(This is Pal, the old farm dog, who was the Bag Lady's trusty steed when she was a wee child. He was very patient with her, allowing her to ride him like a horse. When she was around 2 years old, she was sitting astride her trusty steed when her brothers and cousin took off running across the yard. Her mother watched in horror as Pal leaped to his feet to follow the big kids and bucked the Bag Lady across the yard, landing on her head in the dirt! No harm done...maybe...)

After the Bag Lady’s parents left the farm, her father’s parents moved into this house. When her grandparents died, Leah’s family moved in. The house underwent a few renovations through those years, but remained basically the same.

(See how the tree has grown? The lady is Leah's mom)

Sometime in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s (the Bag Lady’s memory fails her, but she’s sure that Leah will set her straight in the comment section!), Leah’s father built a brand new house and the old house sat empty.

The house was eventually demolished, but the tree remained for many years.

The last time the Bag Lady stopped in at this farm, which has now passed out of the family, she barely recognized the place. The ‘new’ house that Leah’s father built is still standing, but even the tree is gone now. Big steel grain bins stand where the house and tree stood.
Time marches on.


Leah J. Utas said...

Those crumbbuns took the tree!

Ah, it was good to see Pal again. That dog had incredible patience. He was my pillow on many a sunny afternoon.

Since you asked we moved into the house in early February (or late January) of 1969.

Three-storey house to converted granary? That takes courage and grace.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Isn't it interesting how people used to do so much themselves?

My father lives on a high desert farm in New Mexico where his father built both houses on the property himself, as well as various outbuildings.

My grandfather installed electricity, running water and various bathroom appliances one by one over the years and my father well remembers the joy with which the family greeted the arrival of an indoor toilet and later a shower.

My father and uncles are capable of doing pretty high-level home and grounds repairs, although they usually prefer to pay someone else to get dirty for them.

I'm married to a man who can barely plug in a toaster without mishap.

My, how times change!

the Bag Lady said...

Leah - Pal was the best, wasn't he? I was pretty sure it was around 1970 when your dad built the house, but wasn't positive.

BG - my dad and his brothers were all that way, too. It was a matter of neccessity in those days. If you couldn't do it yourself, you went without!
I will someday post a photo of the hip-roof barn they built. It was a beauty.

the Bag Lady said...

Oh, and Leah - almost broke my heart when I realized they had put those steel monstrosities where the house and tree had been... actually, the road in front of their bins seems to me to be where the tree was. It has all changed so much, it was hard to tell. I hate to tell you, but I'm pretty sure the barn is gone, too. It was all too much for me, so I can't say absolutely. Plus the near-accident we were in because I didn't expect anyone to be there, especially driving an 18-wheeler, hauling grain...

Leah J. Utas said...

The barn? Oh those Assorted Very Bad Words!

If memory serves, Pal started out as Cousin Gary's dog, but it was better for him (Pal) to have place in the country.

the Bag Lady said...

Now, see, there's something I didn't know about Pal. Actually, there's probably a lot I didn't know about Pal, but what I DID know was he was a great dog! I can even still remember what he smelled like! Dust, with a hint of dog and eu d'assorted barn smells. Exactly what a farm dog was supposed to smell like!

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh yeah. And he always smelled warm to me. There's nothing more settling that the smell of warm dog.
Scamp just didn't have it the way Pal did.

You missed out on the Great Skunk Encounter. We couldn't go near the dogs for three weeks and couldn't pet them for six.
They learned.

Anonymous said...

I love your old pics...my grandmother was raised on a farm in N. Dakota, pretty much on the Canadian boarder, so I am sure some of them would be similar to yours. I have seen one where she is a schoolteacher standing in front of her one room school house - all 4 feet 10 inches of her surrounded by hulking farm boys!

Reb said...

Now see Sis, I told you you would have photos that I don't too!

I do remember the houses, although I was the city child and never lived in them. I didn't know that the grandparents lived there after ours moved out though. Who lived in their house, or was that when it was left empty?

JavaChick said...

My Dad still lives in the house he grew up in. That is where my siblings & I grew up as well. The house has been in the family for generations, ever since it was built (I can never keep it straight - great-grandfather? or great-great?). There are some pictures around from way back when, and it's kind of surreal to look at them.

My siblings and I are all pretty determined that the house should stay in the family. I expect my parents will be there for a good many years yet, but someday it will be passed down to another generation.

There are conveniences to living in the city (even a small one like I live it), but I still miss living in the country.

the Bag Lady said...

Leah - I do remember hearing about the great skunk encounter, though!

Missicat - we are practically related, then! My dad's mom came from Nebraska - in fact, when they emigrated to Canada, they went through N. Dakota to get here. And I'm glad you enjoy these old photos! I wish I could find some of the place in Nebraska.

Reb - I am not sure if they lived somewhere in between or not, but I do remember going to visit them in this house.

Javachick - you are so lucky to have that house still in the family! The house our grandfather built in 1929 is still standing, and one of our many cousins still owns the land, but the house hasn't been lived in for many years. In a perfect world, I'd love to restore it, but haven't won the lottery yet!

Scrumpy said...

I think it is so wonderful that you have so much of your family history. I wouldn't even know most of my relatives if I saw them on the street.

the Bag Lady said...

SB - the more research I do, the more I realize how truly spread out our family is! To be honest, I didn't realize there were 5 of my relatives living nearby until I started doing the family tree.
Hell, you and I could be related!