This photo includes primary features of my childhood memories. One unique aspect to it is that, as arranged, the large farm house completely obscures the even-larger barn!
As is, it helps provide a record for sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Documenting what was with the hope that it bring some gift to what is.
We have fairly simple digital technology available to us today by which we may document and store an amazing amount of family information. The blog that much of this material was copied from in 2017 (now dysfunctional) was my entry level way of doing that.
I also discovered early on (about eight years ago) that many who didn’t know our family at all still found enjoyment and stirring-of-their-own-memories in reading what I shared….so feel free to borrow my memories or use this as an encouragement to document your own.
This photo, taken by my father, Immanuel Larsen (who was born in 1898 in Nebraska), presents our farm house as it would be seen if you had driven down our 3/4 mile long driveway, from the country road, and here you see a portion of our farm yard.
The upstairs windows are those of The West Room – the bedroom that actually had two closets,where three older brothers slept in our early years and which became the guest room a couple of decades later when aunts from California came to visit and we young ones watched with wonder as the galvanized chamber pot was brought out of a dark storage place for their use.
Because It Was Common Courtesy that Aunts from California Were Not Expected to Attend to the Outhouse in the Middle of the Night.
In later years, the cardboard boxes filled with 2″ X 2″ black and white photos from the early 1900s were stored there, always available for dreaming-back-through as we challenged ourselves to identify sixteen aunts and fourteen uncles pictured in their younger years as they were going and coming from World War I, driving a 1926 Model T to picnics, and getting married.
One of those closets would be the one in which we discovered one of those big brothers’ Marine uniform and found that it had a pack of really old cigarettes in a pocket – which then challenged us to sneak them out of the house for a try at smoking – I’m here to tell you that such stale cigarettes are a good preventive for young teens who want to attempt the forbidden.
The purposeful row of four windows on the first floor allow the afternoon light to flood the sun room during spring, summer, and fall. That unheated room was tightly secluded in the winter by use of internal French doors that led into the living room and formed an internal thermal barrier of sorts against the subzero weather systems raging in from the northwest, over unbroken prairie from the Canadian border. This sun room had been an open porch for the first thirty years of the house’s life, until Dad enclosed it to be the sun room.
The sun room had a viciously bright green couch featuring a plastic fabric covering. If we forgot about its limits and sat on it too early in the spring when the room was still very cold room, the weight of our sitting would split a long tear in the “fabric” which would then be held together with duct tape.
The sun room held a book case built by my dad filled with the open-ended stream of National Geographics, Naval Institute Proceedings, and Readers Digest Condensed Books that had been delivered to our mailbox (P O Box 22 on the rural route) by Hugo Bruegger who was a sturdy and permanent part of our life in Dane Valley. He lived in town, of course, which made his daily passage through our community a bit more of an event. In later years the town created a small park and campground for travelers and named it Bruegger Park in his honor.
The single west-facing window on the first floor provides a view from the sewing room – a wonderfully cool place with a rocking chair in which to read a book on a warm summer afternoon. There was a matching north-facing window just around the corner in the sewing room.