The Farm, Part I

Growing up I couldn’t understand how my friends could have grandparents who lived in the city.  I thought all grandparents lived on farms where the fun and adventure never ended.  My grandparents had been suburbanites but moved to this piece of Texas heaven when I was a tot–it’s all I remember as their home.  I could certainly brag all the live long day about the talents and special qualities of this man and woman, but I won’t…well, maybe just a little.  He:  kind of a genius–seriously–funny, and generous.  She:  a sharp wit, organized, and serious down-home cooking skills.  When my husband and I talk about the kind of people we strive to be in life, we mention two couples.  One couple, our friends Greg and Rachael; the other, my grandparents.  For both couples, their doors are always open to whomever is standing there, accepting, kind, generous.  That’s how it has always been at the farm.

The drive to the house is long.  I’ve been up and down it a lot on foot, but mostly I’ve traveled it straddling a Kawasaki or Honda dirt bike–or if someone else called dibs on the fast ‘cikles, as my grandfather called them, I puttered down the road on my grandmother’s pokey blue scooter.  PaPaw kept all the bikes oiled up, gassed up, and sparkplugged up for all us punks who wanted to Evil Kenevil it for the day.  And if that weren’t enough, he would plow trails for us through the tall grass or in the woods.  City gramps can’t do that.

Before my grandparents built their retirement home on the farm, they built a little two-room cabin.  The bedroom and bathroom are upstairs and the kitchen and living room are on the bottom.  There is only an outdoor staircase between the two.  I only have vague memories of their time living here.  After the main house was built, the cabin became a storage building and a place where the magic begins for my NanNaw’s bread.

My grandfather’s antique gristmill lives on the bottom floor now.  He used it to grind wheat berries and dried corn to make flour and cornmeal for my grandmother’s baking.  The deep freeze is here, too, where NanNaw stores all the bread she makes–these days about 9 loaves a week–for the family to take home when they visit.  I took 6 loaves (greedily) when I was there last week–but only because I don’t get my fix as often as the rest of the Texas family.  They understand, I hope.

I took this photo on my visit to say good-bye to my grandfather.  It had only been less than a month since I came for our last normal visit, but he had declined rapidly.  He was thin and most comfortable to stay and sleep in a recliner in the living room.  It makes me sad that this room looks ready for him to operate the gristmill with two chairs ready for a friendly chat with a neighbor.

Upstairs was like you left the farm and entered a pink Shangri-la.  PaPaw might have been a farmer and machinist by day, but NanNaw made sure he was swaddled in pink at night.  Most of the room is empty now, however vestiges of the pink remain.

Though now sun-bleached to a pale blush, the nightstands that flanked the bed were covered in pink faux fur!  How awesome is that?  Go, NanNaw!

Beyond the cabin is my grandfather’s shop.  I know the smell well inside.  This is where he fixed motorcycles, cars, trailers, boats, tractors, and made stuff out of metal.

He died in January, but the calendar shows the last time he was in his shop.

Metal shavings and curls–things I associate with special men in my life.

Thank you for indulging me.  I’ll take you in the main house next.  See you then.


  1. Peggy says:

    They have the special gift of hospitality and always eager to lend a hand. Those 20 acres hold a lot of memories for all of us.

  2. Melanie Scott says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I was looking forward to this post & can’t wait for the next one in the main house. Aren’t Grandparents the BEST!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. My grandfather passed away 2 years ago–5 years after my grandmother. Their home meant the same to me as this farm does to you. When the house was sold outside of the family last month, I went in to take pictures of all the details I remembered growing up. I have never known a day when this house was not in my life until now. I know someone else will rip out the old metal cabinets and fix the hole in the basement wall. I know they will paint over my childhood chalk art on the basement wall and replace the rickety screen door. But for me, they are intregal memories that I wanted to cherish forever. And taking these pictures was not only extra insurance, but an extremely cathartic way to say goodbye.

  4. Donna Aitken says:

    Keep it all coming. I could never tire of seeing what you have captured. Again, Angela, thank you.

  5. I’m loving this! I never knew any of my grandparents. (isn’t that sad?) What a sweet walk down memory lane this is!

  6. I’m so glad you have these memories … thanks for sharing them …. I’m looking forward to the next post 🙂

  7. Love, Love, Love It!!! Even through pictures, the farm seems so peaceful, so fun, so memorable and so right! Grandparents are the best! I’m loving this and can’t wait for your next post. Only wish I’d taken pictures of my grandparents homes and things I can now only remember.

  8. What a wonderful tribute! I look forward to the next post.

  9. true beauty. this post is about the most beautiful ‘things’ in life…

  10. What a wonderful and touching tribute! I enjoyed reading this.

  11. Again such a beautiful life. These are such great posts.

  12. Oh and love those furry dressers.

  13. Jan Tucker says:

    Thanks for taking us down Memory Lane. Such Precious Moments indeed.

  14. good Kharma keeps the wheel turning

Speak Your Mind