Daily Archives: June 17, 2012

A Barrel of Family History

Eight summers ago, when I was pregnant with my oldest son, my dad retired from his long standing career as a police chief and took up a more proper grandfather trade of tinkering in the garage. Over the years that tinkering has been a real boon for my sister and I as he’s gifted us with many handmade toys for our children and refinished furniture pieces for our house. The dresser above was once painted white. Well, it was mostly painted white with chips and peels of paint all over it (you can see the top of it here). Two years ago my dad visited and before I knew it he had hauled it into his truck and a few weeks later brought this back. Isn’t it beautiful? It serves as the kids art cabinet now, full of paper, markers, paint and crayons.

This stable I saw a many years ago on one of those beautiful all wooden waldorf inspired websites. The price was astronomical, I probably would have had to sell my children to afford it. But upon seeing this, Dad came to my rescue and built one for me. Including an entire nativity full of hand carved figurines. During the off season it doubles as a farm stable. I love this piece! It is always out with a basket of animals nearby for play.
On Friday he showed up at our house with this wheelbarrow in this truck. It came from his grandfather’s farm, which he grew up on. My great grandfather farmed 30 acres, a couple hours south of here, 2 of which he deeded to my grandparents in the early 50’s for them to raise their family. My grandfather, a carpenter, built their house and, together with my grandma, they raised their four children there.
Over the years my dad has told us stories about a childhood filled with butchering chickens, turkeys, cows, drinking raw milk from their dairy cows, tales of the barley & hay crops, and walnut orchard harvests. Most memorable are his stories of ghosts seen in his grandparents old farm house. Mysterious boots stomping across the kitchen floor at night time, people, long dead, standing and pumping water at the well in the backyard and other ‘folks’ seen walking up the stairs. I loved hearing those stories. That farm isn’t there anymore, unfortunately, it was sold to developers and is full of tract homes now. Luckily this wheelbarrow remains.

I parked this newly refurbished wheelbarrow on my front porch and I think I shall keep it here. It’s so bright and colorful, full of family history and most importantly it reminds me of my dad.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!


Filed under Uncategorized