Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A crucial part of growing up in Lyman, Utah. This picture was taken on the road to my parents house. There were red ants everywhere. My brother once found a monster ant hill on the hill and they found many parts of his body to nibble on. My sister Tori once got an ant farm. The black ants that came with it were amazing, but I must say that my quart jar home made ant farm with local red ants was awesome. Until my brother put grasshoppers with missing legs in there -they was nasty!
This is a picture of the hill taken from the road, yeah, nasty little patch! Me and my cousins and neighbors learned to stay clear of them.
Oh, better shot of said hill and cactus.
The hill deserves its own sign. My dad put this up sometime when I was in middle school. It was funny. This is on the road that leads to my parents' house. My super funny sister decided in her 'mad at the world pre-teen stage' to add a few lines to the 'I' and make it say HELL. I am not sure if she actually used black paint or just some black electricians tape, but it said HELL for a long time. This sign is sentimental to me for some crazy reason.
This is the gate that separates my parents' road from my grandparents' yard. It was always tied with twine - I remember orange twine when I was growing up and going through that gate 20 times a day during the summer.
These limbs are silver maple limbs. I remember when my grandma planted this tree. I was in my second year of college and thought I wanted to be a forest ranger. I thought it was great that I knew the Latin name of the silver maple, Acer saccharinum. My grandma was not so impressed.
They are a sweet part of any reunion and all my cousins and uncles would agree. There have been many a crab apple fight and they will always remind me of my grandma since she planted so many in her beautiful yard.
My grandma's broom could be found outside her front door hanging on two empty spools of thread. I love it. It makes me want to do that too. Hey, maybe I will go hang some spools in my garage.
My grandma kept an amazing yard and garden. She made things grow that shouldn't have on that dry clay-soiled bench in Lyman. She was truly a wonderful gardener and she always had snapdragons growing in the summer. I learned that snapdragon flowers can be pulled off and made into little mouths when you squeeze their sides together on my grandma's front walk.
My grandma did upholstery work and she had 'the shop.' She recovered many chairs and sofas for many of the folks in Wayne County for many years. It was a forbidden place for us kids to go when we were little - maybe that is why I am fascinated with it.
Not much, just a watering trough, but when I was little it was the best place to get a drink in the summer when you were on my grandma's side of the hill. It used to be a bathtub, that is so redneck now when I think about it, but that is just how it was then. We used to play a game when I was around 11 years old called "reservoirs." We would turn on the water, let it run until the trough ran over, and water would run all over the dirt between the tator pit and the road. We would then turn it off and make streams, rivers, and reservoirs with the mud. After our amazing systems were made, we would turn the water back on and see how long our dams would last until they overfilled and broke.
Wow, where was my Nintendo DS?
Oh yeah, didn't have one!
This shed is full of my dad's old tractors now, but back in the day it was full of little stalls full of ewes and their baby lambs. I remember my dad telling me he would pierce my ears for me for free when he ear tagged the sheep. I knew he was just teasing, as usual, but still the thought of it made me nervous! I loved watching my dad and grandpa dipping the brands into the red paint and marking the sheep. I loved that the metal brands looked backwards going on, but by some wondrous miracle, the numbers always came out the right way!
The scene of the near death experience for my five year old self. My dad was my hero! He gave that onery old buck a whoopin after it rammed me into the fence. I thought I would be trampled and die a horrible death, but I am sure it was just a stiff nudge!
The chicken coop
My grandpa and grandma had chickens and here is the latch to another off limits place for us little grandkids.
The latch was up high so us little ones could not reach it and let the egg layers out. I remember going in there with either my grandpa or grandma to gather eggs just a few times. It was a magical, dusty, smelly place to me where I expected to find a golden egg. My parents had grandparents had a sweet trade - my grandpa would bring over a dozen eggs tucked under his arm and would take back a gallon of milk that my brother milked from our cow. Good trade. I can still picture my grandpa walking up the dirt road with his cane in one hand and the eggs under the other arm. How sweet.
I just loved the look of this everyday sight - the old barrel full of twine in the stack yard.
Black electrical tape
I love that the pitchfork is repaired with black electrical tape. Since my dad is a lineman and just a Mr fix or make anything guy, we always had black electricians tape laying around. It was used to fix just about everything. I have currently a shovel that my dad gave me and the handle is loving embraced with black electrical tape!
The old brooder
The brooder used to live here in this empty spot next to the corrals. When I lived there, it was never used as a brooder for chickens, but as a saddle shed and storage shed. I grew up knowing it was 'the brooder' but I never knew what a brooder was until I was in high school. I thought brooder was a fancy name for saddle shed! The brooder was torn down quite awhile ago, maybe 10 years ago, but I bet longer. I am pretty sure I learned a few cuss words in the brooder, just so you know.
This gate separated my grandparents' property from Wendell's property. One year Wendell had the biggest, meanest bull any of us had ever seen. We used to sneak around this fence and look at that big old boy, then dare each other to get closer and closer! This gate was a magical gate, and of course off limits!
I stood right by where the brooder used to stand when I took this picture. It is of the road obviously, but it is a special road. It is the road that my cousins and I used to race our horses down on our way back home after a fun ride. All of our horses knew this was the racing road and they knew as soon as we turned the corner up by the Vandyke's that they should get to going. One time Roxy (my horse) was trying really hard to beat Mitzi (my cousins' horse) and just went full throttle to the end of the road. I thought she was going to run straight into the brooder's front door she was so intent on keeping up her momentum. She stopped so quickly right in front of the brooder I am pretty sure I went over her head and onto the dirt. Mitzi always won.
This is my dad's old dodge truck. I can not remember what year it is, but he loves it. One day when I was 14 or 15 we were down at the field doing chores. My dad let me drive home, about 2 or 3 miles maybe. I pulled up to the gate which was only half way open and I stopped so my dad could get out and open the gate. I was happy with my clutching abilities! My dad told me to just keep driving and we had a bit of an argument about me driving through that sweet little hole in the gate. I told him I couldn't fit and he said I could. I was a stubborn 14 year old so I thought I would show him and so I drove - right into the railroad tie fence post. My dad said a word I had only heard a few naughty boys at school say, and I didn't know my dad even knew that word! I was shocked -by the impact and the fact that my dad knew that word and said it! I have since enjoyed knowing my father as an adult and knowing that he does know those words!
There is a propane tank behind the gardening shed in my grandma's yard. The one I used to play on is not this one, it was much smaller, but it is in the same place. My cousins and I used to climb on it and pretend to ride the pig. It was a pig because it had a little circle-thingy on one end that was called the pig's tail. I am not sure how many we used to fit on there, but I remember having a good time hidden in the lilac shrubs playing on the pig. Oh, and the compost pile was on the other side of the fence - awesome! Lots of memories there too.
I remember when these stairs up onto the hill were made, the cinder block retaining wall, and the sidewalk cement poured. I thought it was the perfect little shady, romantic place to sit when I was little. My cousin's daughter Bella was sitting here and so I had to take a picture. It was so darling.
The coolest place to play when you were a big kid was on top of the storeroom. It was built into the clay hill. You had to be big to climb up there, and also to have the guts to stand on the edge and taunt all the little kids that you were up there and they were not. It was a great day when it was my turn to be a big kid and get up there. I remember the tickle in my belly as I looked down on the rest of the world, and all the little kids. I think I remember the boys having peeing contests off of there too!
My Emmitt on the magical stairs covered in the white clay dust of the hill, nice and dirty. What a good time we had at the reunion. I think my kids enjoy it as much as I want them to. I took a ton of pictures, with lots of volleyball and the whole gang. If you can make the link work, it takes you to my facebook photo album of the 2011 family reunion.