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