8 Miles North of Henrietta Texas, July 28, 2017 — My mother would be one hunded years old today, born in 1917.
In this photo near the end of her life, she leans on the front fence before the farmhouse on the farm where she grew up. She (and my two brothers David and Paul) had moved back to the farm after the death of my stepfather. She’d been born Margaret Ellen Hurn, became Margaret French as my mother, and later remarried to Dr. Strickland in Henrietta.
Around the base of that tree on the left, you can just make out a dark metal band. Once upon a time, long before I was born, the tree was planted inside what must have been a wheel part. A metal band about a foot tall, and maybe four feet diameter. The tree grew and grew and grew, until the band was quite snug, about 20 years before Margaret Strickland was photographed here at the front fence.
In a recent photo from google earth, the tree is gone. I wonder what became of the metal band. I guess the two of them must surely have become friends, over the span of a century, don’t you think?
Hot Summer Nights Long Ago
My mother told me that when she was a young girl, on hot summer nights, long before the invention of air conditioners, they would make up cots at night on the upper balcony, to catch the cool and sometimes a breeze, as they slept toward the dawn. She said some nights it would be so hot, she would sleep topless with a wet towel over her. Scandalous, those days.
A Childhood On the Farm
I grew up spending many days on that farm, and here in my blog, you can read many stories that happened there. After my mother’s death, now many years ago, for one year, every single night my dreams were set at the farm.
If I had a flying dream, the farm was visible on the horizon. If I was wandering a vast house and tunnels, it was inside this farmhouse, though it often looked different. If I had a dream of conflict perhaps it took place in the field out in front of the farmhouse, or along the wooded creek at the foot of the hill on which the farmhouse stood.
Standing Eternal in Time
And here it is yet. The farm, and my mother standing before the farmhouse.
Electronic now, over a century since the farmhouse was completed on a hot summer’s day, fading gently into time, along with the smile on my mother’s face.
God bless us all.