Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Glimpse Of What America Has Lost

We ride the back roads, O Wise One and I. He is on the township board that takes care of the roads in our township. So I go with him sometimes to look at the roads. To see where they need graded, where they need gravel or signs. He get paid a whole $25 a month. We sure won't miss that will we? But the reality is someone has to do it! The downside is you become the recipient of every angry land owner who has a road issue in your township.

One of the things I enjoy while riding along is taking pictures of the old houses and buildings. The beautiful old farmhouses that stand alone and desolate. I imagine the people that have rocked on those front porches. I can almost hear the laughter of children running in the overgrown yards. Women hauling canned goods down those basement stairs. These old farms were once someones dream. A testament to hard work, carved from an unforgiving prairie. 

They now are broken into and used by drug dealers as a place to cook methamphetamine.The copper piping is always stolen.  There are hundreds of them standing in our county along with a few ghost towns even. The land mostly purchased by large farm corporations and the houses and barns left to decay. 

Beautiful barns that now fall into disrepair. No longer holding that hay or sheltering livestock. Roofs falling in and in need of paint. 

In empty fields you see daffodils growing where once a beloved flower bed stood or maybe that windmill outlasting the farmhouse and outbuildings of the farm. 

Churches that once carried the word of god to farmers and families now stand abandoned. Congregations moved to the towns and cities where cell phones work and jobs are still available. Where food comes from the corner grocery instead of the garden and you don't have to chop and split your fuel for heat. The land of Walmart and stop lights. Where you don't have to travel 45 minutes for fast food.

Roads that are plowed immediately after a storm. Where you don't have to pull over to let that tractor by or watch for cattle escaping fences. Where they don't leave village pumps still standing in the 4 way intersection. We do not have not one single stop light but we have a pump. Not everyone gets a pump. 

We have the necessities in our town. A small grocery store, a gas station, a bank, a funeral home, a butcher shop, an automotive store, a lumberyard, a bar, a school, a post office, fire department, grain elevator, a day care and a restaurant. A variety and hardware store for the latest fashions in Carhart jeans, Key overalls and the color for this year is Camo. And let us not forget those winter boots. Where the mail carrier leaves a sucker in the box for Baby O for her birthday and I leave tomatoes and beans at the end of the road next to the box for her. Our population is steadily falling. When we first moved here our neighboring farm was the town doctor and he actually would treat you on the tail gate of his pick up ..........he has now passed on. 

Sometimes it seems as if rural America is dying right before our eyes. 

In the immortal words of Willie Nelson " another piece of America lost"....

Will anyone miss it or even notice that it's gone?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. People who grew up with, or love rural, will miss it.
    People with any sense will miss it.

    But common sense isn't any more.

    Thanks for sharing the story, CQ, I think many of the same thoughts when we drive back roads, too. :)

  2. Oh I know exactly what you mean!

    I grew up in a small rural town and although then I hated it and wanted the city.

    I moved to the city and well... I hated it and longed to be back in the country. Dh and I lived there for 5 years and that was 4 years and 364 days too long.

    We moved back to the country 9 years ago -- not where we grew up but very similar area and small town, rural feel -- aka on top of a mountain and nearest town is 30 minutes away down the mountain. I love it now and wouldn't have it any other way.

    It saddens me to see the old farmhouses and I'll admit, I wouldn't mind one bit having one of them and fixing it up to make it our farmhouse. I love old houses like that.

    The picture of that church saddens me the most. To me, it's not only the building that is passing but so is this country's morals, etc... and that deteriorating church building just reminds me of that more.

  3. I grew up in the City, but continually yearned for my home in the country and now wish for a bigger country home with Chickens :o)

  4. Why anyone would live in the city is beyond me.
    It might be o.k to visit but that is all.
    I love reading your blog.
    And one day I will learn to preserve our fruit and vegetables at the moment I only freeze them.

  5. What a heart-wrenching post! More of the things I love are leaving every day. Oh, the people that think a farm is nothing have never lived the wonderful life that resides down a country lane.

    Very well done, I have a lump in my throat.

  6. If things progress as they are we just might be back to this. A painful journey but perhaps a better outcome. I'd love nothing better to be even farther out, have a barn, raise some animals and be far, far away from the cities, from fast food, from traffic, and where things can move a little more slowly and people wave to you as you drive by.

  7. This makes me so sad! I hate hearing how the "young folks" moved to the big city for good jobs and an easier life. I just wanna scream "REALLY?" My family is working hard to get out, find a farm and live of it. Groceries are out largest "bill"every month. But on a farm we could have so much of it homegrown.


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