Think about it, there is a lot of history in an old farmhouse. They are part of the foundation that built, housed and cared for each and every farm family that walked their halls. And they have sung a different tune with each member and each visitor that knocked on their door. If you ever get the opportunity to visit and/or live in an old farmhouse, just stop and listen to her. She will tell you some of her history through her own melody.
Many farmhouses are passed down just like each barn, shed and silo to the new generation that has embarked on farming. In my instance, when I married my farmer, we purchased and became the proud owners of his family homestead. We moved into an already established old farmhouse and made it our home just like the generations before us. Our house has gone through many transformations over the the years but has embraced every one of them as we entwined our lives with her strength and shelter. And for that, I respect her.
Can you imagine if her walls could talk, what history the old farmhouse could tell us? But clearly the she can't talk, so she sings. All you have to do is listen...
Every creak of the step that leads upstairs? How many farmers walked these steps with a sleeping baby, reminding himself everytime to fix that damn step?
Every rattle of the old chipped window? How many farmers looked out that window at his crops and was either cussing or praising the weather?
Every squeak of the door when being opened or shut? How many farmers slammed that door in anger as the grain prices fell or opened it joy because the cattle and/or milk prices climbed?
Every windy sway she gives you when a storm blows in? How many farmers have taken this as a warning and run around trying to get their equipment in the shed before the skies open up?
Every scrape or scuttle you hear upstairs when you are by yourself? How many farmers have heard these sounds too and are wondering what the old previous farmer is advising us on?
Every shake of the wall as you run down the steps? How many farmers have heard this as they skip a few steps hurrying to get dressed because the cows are out?
With every creak, rattle, squeak, sway, scuttle or shake she's given you, the old farmhouse is just singing to you. Are you listening?
The Old Farmhouse Retires
The storms blew in and may have weakened the old farmhouse but her farmer fixed her right back to her original strength. In return, the old farmhouse endured the farmer slamming doors, chucking his boots down the steps and scuffing up the floors with his disco moves. That's what old farmhouses do. For centuries, old farmhouses have continued to sing and dance to the tune of each farm family all while continuing to tell their own story.
Her time will come when she must retire because she has sung her last song. With a heavy heart, the farmer must make the choice to fix her up or tear her down. Many are torn down but some pieces of the old farmhouse are salvaged and displayed by antique collectors in homes across the country. Majority of collectors will be left pondering what the history is behind that old board, chipped window or squeaky door. But even still, she will be placed with honor, respect and well preserved in her new home. If they listen carefully, she might hum them a tune too.
When you drive by an old worn down farmhouse, think of all of the songs it has sung and generations she has nurtured. But most of all, give her the respect she deserves.
What song does your house sing?