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The Farm House Essay

1301 words - 5 pages

Throw a dart at any year in the over-sized target that is the 1960s and you will hit on something big in American history. Nineteen sixty-three has the March on Washington, the publication of The Feminine Mystique, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Humanity was marching ever onward with ceaseless progress in science, medicine and engineering. The first ever telecast of a live murder by NBC as Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald. With the U.S. on the eve of yet another war against communism as over one hundred fifty thousand military advisors are stationed in South Vietnam; the Cold War still creeping amidst the nightmares of millions fearing nuclear holocaust. However, for the Geis’ of Lexington, Kentucky, they will see a regression to a life much more arduous.

My grandparents, along with my mother Betty and her sisters, were about to leave the easy living and conveniences of nineteen sixties metropolitan life behind. Howard and Regina Geis had a dream that lay well away from the city life. Well away indeed. This dream lied within the backwoods of Barren County down an old country road obscured by the forest itself. An old country road that ran for a good mile down into the hollow…

Forty-four acres of farmland that--building from memory and photographs--would eventually become the epitome of rustic charm. The old homestead was surrounded by the kind of eerie, primeval wilderness that can only be truly felt by the unfiltered imagination of youth. Never more truer than when the fog would roll out of the thicket, over the rise and fall of the hills and creep up to the doorsteps.

Even though one could call upon memory to reconstruct the family farm and the subsistence farming lifestyle, to really tell this story we must go back to the beginning. So, I will let Betty take it from here for the moment as only she can really give the telling of what living off the land was like. When asking Betty how her parents came to own the farm she began to almost orate, “Mom and Dad had worked in order to save up money for a down payment on a farm. I was only five years old, Debbie was four and mom was still pregnant with Enita Kay. Well, when Debbie and I saw the farmhouse it was so rundown that we thought it was something out of a nightmare. There wasn’t any running water; we drew it up from the creek with those old, heavy, metal milk cans. We barely had any electricity; it didn’t work as well out in the country like it does now. If the harvest wasn’t plentiful we felt it. If we lost a few hens or a couple hogs to sickness there’d be a little less on the table. That’s why mom canned and what she didn’t can she would freeze. She would store it in the attic and whenever she wanted to fry up some loin, chops or sausage, she’d go up into the attic grab a few and pop the top, throw it on the skillet with some potatoes and that would be supper. The food was good, we didn’t have to worry about chemicals or pesticides, but we had to work for it....

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