31 May 2005

Old Family Barn and House


  1. Amira, I love this picture. It shows such great contrast of value. In the past, value was found in its' productivity - such as the size of the barn - the barn provided necessary support for a producing farm. The house, well it housed the workers of the farm. They were also contributors to the bottom line but the barn was far more important. Hands could be hired.

    Now days, we see evidence of just the opposite. Homes the size of Texas! I still like a small house, providing for our needs, rather than informing others on how we've done.

  2. It's interesting that you point this out. I agree that homes are way too big now, but the home they lived in was too small. My great-grandmother Mary raised 1 daughter and 6 sons in that house. Her two other daughters died before they were two years old. Mary died in 1935 when her last son was still quite young. She never even had running water in the house much less any other "modern" conveniences. My aunt always said that she worked herself to death.

    But the farm was as modern and up-to-date as my great-grandfather Norman could make it. He was financially well off. He had plenty of help on the farm with so many sons. Whenever I see this picture, I think of my Mary and her surviving daughter Helen trying to make that tiny house a home.

    I'm not trying to argue with you here- I just can't help thinking of the specific circumstances behind this picture.

  3. It's good to know the history behind the place. I don't take you comments as argument at all. It is just interesting to note the difference in size. Women back then did "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". Their "homes" were exactly that. Small, and overused for the space available, however, if you had the chance to talk with your great grandmother, she'd probably not complain too much.

    My mother in law moved into her first home with a doorbell and a garbage disposal just a couple of years ago. This was after 50 years of farm life in a home most now would deem unlivable. She has many regrets leaving the homestead and moving to a more modern home. I am still amazed at her guilt associated with the enjoyments we call commonplace.