Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Home Is Devoured - Part II

The way I remember my home the best - before the windows were changed; before the porch was enclosed; before it was painted yellow - the home of my youth.

My Home Is Devoured by Paula Shane:  Farm life has its disadvantages as far as growing up is concerned, too. I consider the lack of social contact with other personalities the worst. It takes time to understand other types when you have never been exposed to their behavior before. It is hard for a farm lad to understand some of the antics of town boys, for farm boys have not been in close contact with them before. It is equally hard for some farm girls to understand the "giggly airs" of a town girl trying to be impressive and popular.

Most farm youngsters don't come into contact with town life until they begin high school. Living on a farm can cause difficulties in transporting teens to the important high school social activities. They need this "out of classroom" contact to develop a well rounded mental attitude. Here they find another view of the ever changing "town class". They also find the chance to develop their own personality a little more.
The final disadvantage really has little to do with farm youth but more with their parents. Farming is no easy task and the milk and egg checks aren't exactly high. What I'm getting at is simply this: A person who wants to make a big financial success of himself has no business on a farm. A man should possess almost unlimited strength and indefinite endurance to make farming really successful. For always the elements are against him; drought, hail, rain, frost and many more. Farming may be a good life but it is not a luxurious one.
The future of the small farmer is not hard to see, for it is a thing of the present already. A farmer with 360 rented acres of land, two hundred chickens and ten head of milk cows cannot survive against the organized farms where everything is done on a large scale. The "little guy" must either find a second means of income or modernize and "go big". He may even have to quit farming and retire. It would be necessary for him to retire for he knows no other type of work.
The farm will always be home to me in thought but not in actuality, for the farm I know will soon be a thing of the past.

The pictures of the barn I have interspersed throughout were taken in 2000. They illustrate the slow deterioration all the outbuildings suffered from lack of use and lack of funds for repairs. My home was devoured by time. Forty-nine years after my story appeared in The Smoke Signal, our family farm was sold to a neighbor who pushed down all the buildings, trees and fences. I have not been back to see what it looks like. I may never drive by that portion of Adams County again. I will keep my memories of the way it was and the way we were - a family growing up in the country.

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