Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sold the farm, visited Cliff Morrow, etc.

Cliff and Marilyn Morrow

A rundown of our Tekamah, Nebraska, activities.

This entry will be quite long, click on any picture for a large picture. Where you see a Runza, click on it for a super size.

Last Friday we (Mrs. Jim, Karen, Billy, sister Lois, bro-in-law Jim W, and I) were in Tekamah, Nebraska to sell our farm.

It would be by auction, as more farms than not in that part of Nebraska are sold by auction. If there is interest in the farm, there will be several bidders. Hopefully the farm will sell near its full market price that way. At least around market price.

The farm did sell, there were several interested buyers, the buyer was a local farmer who also had two sons who were farming with him. These fellows were still in their twenties I would guess. So that worked out real good. [Sometimes large corporations or absentee investors buy and then rent to the local farmers.]

Cliff Morrow had invited us to his farm place for lunch after the sale. Cliff had cooked some of his 'famous' BBQ burgers. We also had some of his very nice and tasty buttered farm grown sweetcorn. Additionally there was delicious potato salad and brownies and ice cream for desert.

You won't go hungry at Cliff and Marylin's house, it was all very good! There are a couple more pictures of us at the bottom of this post.

Now, for a tour of my dads farm:

The view driving into the lane. The ground was frozen, until spring, so there wasn't any problem where we might get stuck.

As we got closer, I could already miss it. I just had the feeling that this farm which had been in the family for around eighty (80) years would soon not be ours any more.

Karen and I always liked this nice old barn. It has stalls for ten horses on the right, Minnie, my school horse stayed inside there on cold nights.

On the left are stanchions for twelve milking cows. Dad generally had eight or ten cows, he sold the cream in town for butter. At the other end on the left is a pen for the little calves who would be weened and taught to drink when they were a day or two old. Upstairs is all hay loft.

The corn crib. We kept all the grain there except for the overflow corn. Upstairs was a loft to keep equipment that could be lifted by block-and-tackle to up there.

Dad's (Grandpa's) Office

When Uncle Lester retired from selling Pioneer Seed, he recommended Dad to be his replacement. Since our house was only four rooms with two unheated porches, Dad used this old chicken house for his office.

I remember when Dad's uncle, a carpenter, helped him to build this house for the baby and growing chickens. Those small doors on the bottom were just the right size for the chickens to come and go as they pleased.

Also I remember helping Mom catch the chickens who wanted to sleep all night up in the trees. The catcher was a long heavy wire with a handle for us and a hook at the end to catch the chickens by their legs.

They had to be brought in to keep them safe from the coyotes, bob cats, and other animals. The chicken hawks mainly operated in the day time, but Dad kept them away or dead with his rifle.

Mom's 1974 Mustang II stayed here until they moved to town in the 1980's. I have it now, it only has 67K miles.

This is the house where I was born. Probably around the turn of the 20th century it was brand new. It had two bedrooms upstairs, a living room, and a country kitchen. Later two enclosed but not heated porches were added.

The porch on the right is where I had to sleep when my sister was old enough to have her own room. Cold mornings would find frost on my blankets where my breath would freeze. You can see it is fallen in now, first entered by the raccoons, then finished off by the tree.

The porch on the back of the house contained an added inside bathroom. There was a shower and washing machine area behind the bathroom (1950's). Also there was a water pump in the basement when Dad dug the new well in the 1950's.

In 1949 we had a blizzard with snow so bad that Dad could walk out that window in Lois's bedroom, onto the porch, and on the snow. We couldn't get out any door or downstairs window until Dad dug down and cut us a path.

Mom never used this wash house. The people who lived here in the 1920's may have. Mom would take the clothes (and me) up to Grandma's for washing. She got a Maytag with a gasoline engine in the mid 1930's.

We called this the 'chicken house.' The laying hens lived here and at another newer chicken house beside it. Before the house was moved onto the property, this was the farm house. The folks never lived here, as the newer house was moved onto the property when Dad was a child.

I also remember when we dug and cemented this cistern. Most of it was above ground to help the pumps for the house. As it was above ground water could be run to the stock tanks for the animals if the other well couldn't keep up.

Lois and I would sled down those cistern sides. They were steep so the sled would go a long, long way. I have the sled now in our garage.

After the farm visit, we visited our cousins, Jean and Dwain, who live on a nearby farm of their own. We had a very nice visit, as we always do when we come up.

It snowed the day after we visited the farm. Lois and Jim had arrived in Blair that night (late).

The next day in the snowy weather, over the snow covered highway, we went to Tekamah to meet with Mr. R.K. Robertson, the realtor who would do the auction and to visit cousins. We had an excellent lunch at Rumors Cafe with R.K. before settling all the necessary details.

The day of the auction:

This large Christmas tree and Santa were in the lobby of the bank. Upstairs we would soon have the auction in the community room. Coffee and donuts were served and it was a nice social affair. We got to visit with cousins and friends, many of whom we hadn't seen for several years.

Santa liked Mrs. Jim, don't you think? Who wouldn't? (She is the best wife I could ever have had.)

We had to say goodbye to Herman. Our farm was one and a half miles north and five and a half miles to the west.

Mom and Dad's tombstone. Dad picked it out when Mom died, Lois and I went with him to Fremont to select, set the lettering, and order it. Dad's date of death was deferred until eight years later.

Julie and Karen had a nice visit, their first in quite a few years.

Those girls had many childhood play days when we would come up to visit the folks. From the church nursery to the tricycles, then bikes and horses, and finally cruising Main Street on Saturday nights (Cliff blogged about that). I never did play golf with Cliff, it was always farming time when we would come, or winter.

Julie played the organ and piano for both Mom and Dad's funeral. Cliff sang. Thanks again, guys. The folks thought so much of you all.

The Cliff Bunch and Jim Bunch eat. They both eat good!

Like I said, Cliff knows how to feed. From left to right are Karen, Julie, Marilyn, Cliff, me (Jim H.), Mrs. Jim, Lois, and Jim W. Billy was sitting by Karen but he volunteered to take this picture for me.

That reminds me. Both Cliff and I were hurting on the camera situation. He needed to get to Omaha to buy a new battery charger, mine has a broken flash. Adi pulled it onto the tile floor when she got too close to the charging cord. It hasn't worked since.

Remember that Marilyn picks up and delivers here animals. She does that on Thursdays and Fridays, she goes all the way from Decatur to Blair, and further. When we visited she was grooming at least eight for the Friday thing. Julie helps her quite a bit too.

For some other posts and pictures of the farm place, click here. You can also try the Jim's old home place tag below.

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Good post Jim. It was a pleasure to renew old friendships. Thanks to the WHOLE Jim bunch for the visit. Come again.

Mon Dec 10, 08:22:00 PM CST
This s wonderful narrative and a great set of photos. Next time I go north, I'll see if I can find your old place and get some pics of how it looks now. I suppose the new owners have plans for it.
Cliff, I'm working on getting your pictures to you. Thanks again for the nice dinner (noon).

Janell, I think the new owners will farm the west 80 acres with corn and bean, then use the east forty for livestock.
Sounds like you had a great visit with the Morrow's. And in typical Morrow fashion - they didn't let you go away hungry.
Your family farm history was really interesting - thanks for putting that up. Sometimes when I visit back there I look at some of those farms and pick out a building and mentally say, "And that would be my office" - much like the office your Grandpa had.
I truly enjoyed reading this Jim. I know it must be sad to see the farm sell with all the childhood memories you have of it. I'm glad some farming folks bought it.

Looks like you had a grand time visiting Cliff and Marilyn! Glad they fed you well, and also glad Julie and Karen got to visit as well.

All that snow is pretty but makes me cold! It's very warm here today in the 70's. Perfect for me to do some outside chores.

Great post Jim!!

thanks for the pictures, I know it must have been hard to see the farm go.

Great post, I'm sure it was a hard day. I have some experience with sleeping on an unheated porch, but for some reason I have stronger (not better!) memories of how cold the bathroom out there was.
I loved reading this post. I know how sad it is to have to let go of something. I went through the same thing when I had to sell my parents' house.
Well, you had a nice trip.
That farm holds so many memories.
I'm glad you had a nice visit and LOTS of good food with The Morrows.
Hi Jim ~~ Great post and some
good photos. Guess you were sad to see the farm sold, butglad you had such a good holiday. Nice to visit Cliff and his wife. I agree with you
Our computers are unisex because they
sure have all those symptoms and more. Thanks for your comments.
Take care, Best wishes, Merle.
Gidday Jim,

That was a very interesting post on your dad's farm and your early life.
I really enjoy reading stories on people's early life, altho' no doubt you were somewhat sad to see the old farm pass out of the hands of the Hovendick family.
Hi Jim,
My eyes teared up when you mentioned how much you'd miss this farm that has been in your family so long. I'm glad, though, that the sale did go smoothly.

Enjoyed reading and seeing your family history. These photos turned out nicely!After a heartwrenching time like this, I'm not surprised the Morrows took all of you under their wing.

Take care and Happy New Year,

Green-Eyed Lady (Gel)

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