All our lives we have heard, "You can never go home again". Earlier this week we were to find out if this was true.
My parents, Keith the children and I had been invited to my Aunt and Uncles for lunch. On the way to Lebo, Kansas we found the main highway was closed for repairs and we would have to take a detour through the country to reach our destination.
After a wonderful lunch (My Aunt is a terrific cook!) we spent the afternoon visiting about old times. When it came time to go home we decided to take a different detour and go by the farm where I was raised.
It's been forty-three years since I have seen the old farmstead. In 1963 the John Redmond Reservoir was built in Coffey County. This reservoir covered a lot of farm land, including the farm my parents farmed. So it was with a heavy heart we had to say good-bye to the home we love and move over thirty miles away to another farm.~~This time one we owned!
The trip this week was like a trip down memory lane. Gone was the old farm house. All that was left was an old cedar tree (Which Daddy was quick to remind us Mom had backed into years ago!) and brush and water kept us from getting to close to that.
It's funny how the mind of a child is different than that of an adult. The road that lead from one farm to another suddenly seemed to much shorter than I remember it! One thing I knew I wasn't wrong about was the road was straight and now it was curved. Dad explained the "curve" had been added when the water had washed the other road out.
We took a leisure drive through the town of Ottumwa. Some people would now call it a ghost town but a better word would be a place in the road.~~There's no sign of a town anywhere! I did recognize two homes and the old boxcar an older friend of ours used to live in was still there all though all but rotted away. As we drove along Mom and Dad pointed out pieces of land where old neighbors had once lived and farmed. It was a bittersweet time to remember one neighbor who had just passed away three weeks ago a the age of ninety, as he had been OUR neighbor too on Old Crow Farm. It was also sad to think there are only two farmers (Counting my dad) who are still living from our area.
Of course Daddy and I had to argue about where the old "Western Christian University" had stood. I remember it being across from the old general store and he says it was located in what is now a pasture. I've been checking the Internet but still haven't found the answer. Thankfully another Ottumwa resident will be able to settle this one!
Yes, it's true you can "never go home again", especially when that "home" is now under water. You can however go back to where you once lived with those you love and share the stories of your youth.
So, while good farm land and the old family farm are covered with water, the memories of a Farmer's Daughter will live on.
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