Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reflections .........

I love living in an old house.

The sticky window that won't open in damp weather, the squeaky stair tread, the tiny door to the attic ...... all have stories to tell.

Occasionally, I am blessed with stories that come from those that lived in this house.

Friday, an elderly gentlemen and his son pulled in the lane.  I asked if I could help them ......... and the son said, You will have to talk to my dad.

In 1942, at the age of 7, Marvin Gates became an orphan. He lived in a small town in southeastern Iowa.  It was the beginning of World War II  ........ and the eight brothers and sisters were alone. 

There was an aunt that lived in Davenport that tried to keep the family together but she could not care for all of the children.  Marvin was "farmed out" to a family in rural Donahue. 

He lived here in 1942 and 1943 until his aunt was able to care for him. 
So on a sunny Friday afternoon, he and his son came to visit the farm where he lived so long ago.

He told me about driving the wagon as they picked and husked corn ..... and the occasional ear of corn that would strike him as the ears were thrown against the bang boards of the wagon.

He told me of running through the pasture to go to the school just up the road.

He told me of a blind draft horse that died and the seven cows he was responsible to milk in the morning.

I heard a story about the time when he and a friend skipped school to play in Contention Creek for the day.  They were discovered and disciplined by the school teacher.

Later, Honey told me that my late brother-in-law would tell the same story.  They lived just a quarter of a mile from our home.

These were sad times for Marvin ..... but his memories of this farm and house were very special .... as Jennie and her husband cared for the small child.  He had seen Jennie in 1958 after returning from Korea and graduating from Iowa State, when he came to introduce Jennie to his new bride.

He was adopted by his aunt so his name is no longer Gates.

I let them wander .... I showed him old pictures of the house......... and we talked about the farm as it is today.

While they were here, Jesse, her son and her mother-in-law were enjoying the beautiful day.

Jesse took this wonderful photo which seems to say it all ............... for everyone on the farm that day and the memories of days past.



2 comments:

Dan Mays said...

Cathy,

A wonderful bit of prose.

Dan

linda/Il said...

Neat picture. We had some folks stop by and take a look also. It was their grandparents' farm. We know the family that lived here along with most of it's history of last 75 yrs or so but I'd like to know beyond that.
We found 1 high top young lady's & 1 child's high top shoe in the wall when we remodeled the LR. Think they fell from BR upstairs somehow. Wonder how long they looked for them. If only they could talk.