Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Journey! Demolition! 15

 “The heights by great men reached and kept
   Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
   Were toiling upward in the night.”
                Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 The demolition permit was affixed to the front window, this is what I have been waiting for, our dream was  about to begin.
 We called in all the family members with a good, strong back. They were almost as anxious as we were to start this project. They had always worried about us living in this old farmhouse. As I had mentioned before we have incredibly supportive families. We are truly blessed.
 We had made a couple of deals in exchange for some heavy labour. The tin on the roof, and the good  hewn beams were to be divided between My Hero’s family, and our new next-door neighbour. They both built barns, which are still standing, from these supplies. Nothing was wasted. We even saved the square headed nails to be used again someday.
 We still have some of the old windows, my sister in law made a decorative mirror; it hangs in my kitchen today.
  The steel was off the roof, and the outside walls were gone. We were working on the inside pine beams. There were trailer loads of used building material pulling out of the driveway steady.
 We were in the middle of calving season, and litters of pigs were being born regularly. There was always a feed run, and all the hauling water. Cleaning the pens, and just doing all the regular farm chores kept us very busy. We were working from sun up, to sun down on the weekends, and every night after supper, and a twelve-hour workday, My Hero would go work on the drive-shed. This was our dream and we were not going to quit.
 M and I were trying to get used to the new compact living conditions. The kitchen being part of the drive-shed was now gone. We had moved the refrigerator, and the electric stove; we hooked them up in the living room. It was now sharing space with the wood-stove, and the gigantic fireplace with the chimney portal to the outside. The kitchen table was pushed along the wall, and the couch alongside. We had one bedroom on the left, and a stairway leading to the upstairs, which was being used for storage so was not going to be used. We were living basically in a twenty by 15 foot room. It was crowded but we knew it was only going to be temporary.
 The one hundred foot drive-shed was now down, all we had to do was remove the flooring. It was made of thick, heavy pine boards.
  A couple of days before, we had removed an old out house, and a hen house that had been attached to the kitchen. We had never used either. Some one long ago had been thinking of convenience, I guess. It was full of old medicine bottles, newspapers, and horseshoes.
 While pulling up the old flooring we noticed lots of tunnels. Rats, lots and lots of rats, they were scurrying in every direction. They had been living, and multiplying here the whole time. This old abandoned farmhouse had been their haven, we were the intruders, they had been here long before us, and they had never left.
 I am shaking reliving this memory. I remember wondering where they were going to go now. Would they be angry, and come live in our little part of the house? I never slept well after that.
 We had given away almost all of the building materials. People still to this day ask if we regret this. My answer is no. I know that all the material was used, and appreciated. I had enough memories of this place to last me a lifetime, I did not need any reminders.
 The sun is setting; we are standing in the middle of this empty building site. We are discussing the gaping hole to the root cellar, a place I was always afraid to go, now exposed to the elements. Our little home, for now, sitting on top, we decided, this was only temporary.
 I am physically, and emotionally drained, I am ready to move on. The big shovel is coming in a week. It will be digging the hole for the new foundation.
 The building permit is affixed to the front window; the window I used to scrape the frost off to see out, always dreaming of this day.
 It looks like rain.




  1. i love these story installments. you always leave me ready for more...

  2. I know there must have been some sadness at one time, pulling this old girl down. But, we must do what makes sense. I totally understand.

    And the rats... Ugh! I have only come across a few in the past few years living on the farm, but I hate every one of them. They gross me out.

  3. Old farmhouses can tell some stories---Old stories of family history and lore, of conflict and love of long ago. Slowly, one by one, they pass away and take their knowledge with them.

  4. Hi Buttons!

    So very, very new to your blog that I can see, after having read today's post, I have much catching up to do in order to be able to fit this into context. As a stand-alone story, though, I really enjoyed reading write very well and pack in so much emotion. Susan sure did us a favour by mentioning your blog! I'm joining as a follower hence forward (loved Clint's beautifully worded comment, too!)

    Today, our new vehicle just died on us...the reason? RATS had chewed through the fuel pipes to get their fix of diesel, which they apparently crave when they've ingested rat poison (or so the garage repairmen informed us!)

    Big hug,

  5. Do you have a photo of the old house you could post? I would love to see it. I don't think I could have stayed there after finding out about the rats. I'm terrified of mice and have been lucky enough to go my whole life without seeing a wild rat. You have had a long journey.

  6. It takes tough people to be farmers and farmer families. Pioneers in every sense of the word. A moment like this in a life is very bitter-sweet and full of memories. I'm glad you're taking the time to tell the story.

  7. A journey, and you never even left your land...

    You write from the heart and soul - this post reveals it bigtime. I love the flow of your words, its like a song. a good one. a ballad...

  8. i always say i would love to live on a farm but quite frankly, i am not sure i have what it takes!!

    i do love old farmhouses...

    kim from my field of dreams would have loved that wood!!!

  9. i cannot believe the hard work you all accomplished! and the rats...yuck, but they are smart and i am sure moved on. i saw one huge rat in an empty area in our barn. he wasn't afraid and just trotted out. now that we have the kitties, there are no rats or mice. thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. i missed reading yours...take care and i will try to be more regular. it is just so hard to be inside after living months with the snow on the ground and then all of the

  10. I look forward to your stories, but finding the rats, oh, my gosh that had to be just horrible. You are just amazing, every time I read one of your installments I just shake my head in wonder. You really are a pioneer. You lived what our forefathers lived. I know it must be hard to write and to relive. I know that sometimes when I relive my posts it does depress me and it takes a lot out of me.
    Keep writing though,
    Debbie is so funny about the old barn wood, I of course would have liked it but when you were doing this I was young with small children. I don't know if I would have known what to do. :) Age does bring us different gifts.

  11. Texwisgirl Thank you.B

    Nancy Who you calling old? Just kidding thank you. I still am afraid of rats. B

    Clint I love your words they are so true. B

    Desiree Welcome and thank you for your kind words. I never heard of the rats eating diesel lines before creeps me out just saying the word rats. B

    Birds and Bees I have only two photos of the old house.I always owned a camera but I never could afford the film. I also think I was not in a happy place there so I never took very many photos. I am a little sad about that now. I will try to find the photos for the next installment of the journey. B

  12. Leenie I know you know this from experience with your parents. Sometimes the story even depresses me. B

    Feral woman thank you it is nice that people enjoy it. I love writing it. B

    Debbie It is nice to live on a farm and I would not change a thing now but we had no choice but to tear that house down it was either it or us. B

    Kritter Keeper Thank you nice to see you back. I have a hard time staying in the house when it is nice and warm out also. Enjoy the sun. and Thanks. B

    Farmgirl I would have given you some of the wood for sure all you had to do was to come and pick it up.
    Thanks for your kind words and I will keep writing it is good to get it out. B

  13. Thank you for another part of your journey.
    I can only but imagine all the hard work, by everyone, that went into the demolishment. All the while being in the middle of calving season - well, I could see from your recent posts just how much work alone that is.
    At least you were getting closer to your dream.
    Oh my goodness, those rats though. Yes, I also would wonder where they would all go to!

  14. wow, what a massive undertaking! wonderful post!

  15. What amazing stories you have to tell. And the neat thing is that you are still living more stories for later. Rats?! ewwwwwww.

  16. I'm waiting with bated breath...

    Blessings, Debbie

  17. Another wonderful instalment of your life.
    Last night I could hear the mice scrapping their teeth along the poly pipe under our shower in the bathroom. It sounded like the plumber was under there! I'm wondering if it was a rat now! YUK!


  18. I just caught up on your journey: Wow!

    I hate mice and rats. They are truly unclean. I am friendly with the exterminator, in self-defense!

  19. I feel your know you were finally going to be warm and dry and safe when winter arrived. In the meantime I would have been like you though...always on the alert at night for rats...yuck! Your posts are way better than the book I'm reading...makes me wish I had one of those portable things so I could read your posts in bed :) !


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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