I spent many summer days and nights with her at Grandpa Mosel’s. Their house was the grandest I was exposed to in my early years—two-story, with a front porch as wide as the house.
Hydrangea bushes bookended the front steps. One giant snowball flower was a perfect bride’s bouquet in the hand of a young girl.
Inside, the floors and the woodwork were made of wide pieces of oak. The master bedroom had gigantic built-in cedar drawers and cupboards from floor to ceiling.
I loved to go upstairs and see all the beds lined up under the eaves. (Dad was one of seven.) There was a bathroom in the home with green tile.
Their barn was a giant red one that housed the usual varmints, dry smells, cattle manure hay, and tools. Close to the cattle tank stood a crumbling block pump house shaped like a silo that dripped cool refreshing water on the hottest summer days.
My aunt and I often walked out to the pasture and watched the stock cattle. One of my uncles had a couple horses. The aged sandy cattle trails were deep trenches to small girls.
Coming back to stand inside the pump house walls was better than imagining ourselves in a desert oasis, a welcome respite before we headed back to the house.
A cactus filled a tattered five-gallon bucket and rested near the yard gate that led to the back porch. The cactus was there for years and I think finally bit the dust in the seventies.
At that time, my brother was farming Grandpa’s place and the hogs got out. Those hogs rooted under the fence and demolished the whole lawn looking for grubs. The grandeur of Grandpa’s front yard faded into memory.
As a child, were you blessed to play on a farm?