The House on the Corner

Today, on the eighth day of November, we highlight the blessing of HOME, beginning with the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Home. Does the word give you a warm, pleasant feeling. Or do you recall a house filled with more tension than love? Is your first thought to a childhood home? Or perhaps you prefer to think of where you raised your children. Is it people? Or a place?

Unlike many of my elementary and high school classmates, I did not live in the same house my entire childhood. Then again, we only moved once during those years — from “the brick house” on main street in the village–to “the farm” located four miles of paved road outside of town.

“The Farm” consisted of more than a house. Yes, the two-story frame house with basement and small porches was where we slept, ate, and spent some time together. But the farm was more — if you look behind the maple tree (which contained a bee hive) and the taller elms, you can see the tall barn and the granary. A red chicken coop and/or hog shed (same building served both purposes at various times) in the background and the white brooder house (for young chicks) near the maple tree completed the primary structures. Much time was spent in all of these buildings. It varied by time of year. However, the barn — with morning and evening milking — was a constant.

Do I remember the house with fondness? Not with the degree of joy for the more encompassing “The Farm”

Looking for a romance set on a Midwest farm? SEED OF DESIRE introduces three cousins keeping the tradition on their grandfather’s, and great-grandfather’s piece of land.



Celebrate the Harvest

Belated Thanksgiving Wishes to Canadian readers!

Growing up on a small farm in the upper Midwest, the end of November always seemed rather late to celebrate the harvest. Grain was usually cut, thrashed, and stored by early September. (Some years it was a race to finish late in August before the free labor – children – returned to school.) The final crop of hay followed close behind. Corn, our other crop at the time, often was cut and/or picked in October.

I live farther South now — not tropical, but enough miles to change the seasons a little. (Global warming plays a part too.) Houseplants come inside late Sept or early Oct — before frost nips at the tips. Gardens are tapering off — a few peppers and tomatoes hang on for the excellent gardeners. Apples, pumpkins, and root vegetables are ready for picking and digging during October.

The puzzle artist stylized a harvest from days gone by — perhaps you can find elements of your childhood in the scene. Did you grow up rural? Or take a fall drive to admire colorful leaves and end up at an orchard?


New England Trio

Shall we take a journey to the Northeastern portion of the United States.

In school, we were taught New England consisted of six states. I’ve managed to set foot in all six, two of them twice, three visits for two others. Fond memories of the trips return the days I drink my coffee from any of these three mugs.

These three have much to offer the visitor. I’m not a snow skier, so my visits were at other times of the year. June — when children have been released from school was a popular time for vacation. When not required to consider the school year — September became a favorite travel time.

The rural portions of these states remind me of home — many of the same trees and bushes as the upper Midwest where I was raised. Ocean shoreline — power and beauty — weather the rugged portion of a National Park or the waterfront of a small city — became a place I could relax and recharge. My imagination filled with sailing ships and the stories (and goods) brought back from faraway lands.

Will I return? So many things to consider — but I’m sure I could find new sights and experiences in any of these three states or their New England companions.


Using Resources at Hand

They called it practical. The concept had been around for centuries. Then in the late 19th and early 20th century they made some mechanical progress and refined the idea.

Every farm in our Midwest community had one. One by one, for a variety of reasons, many went to another source of power. The one on our farm was an exception — working as designed until the early 1990’s.

We called it Wind Power.

This example (still working at a county park) is able to swivel and take advantage of a breeze from any direction. Ours pumped water into a concrete cistern. We could also move the pipe and fill the stock tank.