Posts Tagged ‘farmhouse’





Deserted farmhouse


     moans and groans in night-time breeze


          ghosts from yesteryear



2/16/03                      Phyllis VanVleck

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Memories of our old farmhouse,

Upon a wooded hill,

And Thanksgiving dinners there,

Linger with me still.

Our family numbered nine back then

But our table seated more,

For we made room for extra guests . . .

Ours was an open door.


Around our huge oak table,

We each pulled up a chair.

Then Mama said the blessing

As we bowed heads in prayer.

Our table wasn’t fancy,

For nothing ever matched . . .

Odds and ends of tableware

And a cloth that was patched.


We drank from pretty jelly jars,

Each different in design.

We didn’t need fine crystal;

We liked our jars just fine.

When we were short of dishes,

We’d use some old cake tins.

We called them plates with sideboards

They always brought on grins.


Our garden supplied our table.

Mom’s canning gave us more.

And we were rich in happiness

With wonderful rapport.

Aromas in the old farm house

Foretold great things to eat,

For everything that Mama served

Was welcomed as a treat


There were platters of baked chicken,

Roasted to a turn,

And warm slabs of home baked bread,

With butter I helped churn;

There were mounds of mashed potatoes,

Green-beans, corn, and peas;

Dressing baked with chicken bits;

And cranberries cooked to please.


Brown gravy made from giblets,

Golden candied yams,

Pumpkin, peach, and apple pies,

And homemade harvest jams;

Big cups of steaming coffee

And milk from our own cow;

Tasty home-bottled root beer . . .

I wish I had some now.


After dinner was over,

Dad played his violin.

My brother played his old guitar.

A guest played mandolin.

Then other members of Dad’s band,

With their families in tow,

Dropped by for pie and coffee . . .

And to practice for their show.


That old house rang with laughter,

And music filled the air.

The women discussed recipes,

And kids ran everywhere.

But the best part of Thanksgiving

Was the way that we all cared,

And the love that filled our old house . . .

The best thing that we shared.


11/16/88 – Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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           (Griffith. Indiana)


I journeyed to my old homestead

before they tore it down.

Just a weathered run-down farmhouse,

a mile or two from town.


It was built from hand-hewn timber

with roof of tin and tile,

but I saw beauty in its form

and couldn’t help but smile.


The framework of the old homestead

was broken here and there.

This relic from another time,

was well past all repair.


Gaping wounds where doors once hung

from hinges made of brass.

A crumbling chimney of old bricks,

and windows minus glass.


Inside, the ceilings wept from leaks,

and holes exposed the sky.

The papered walls were peeling down,

and fixtures hung awry.


I walked around on sagging floors

that creaked in mild protest,

hearing echoes from the past

while on this memory quest.


And then my heart was overwhelmed

with feelings memories bring,

and I was quick to realize,

that a house is just a thing.


For home is what we make a house,

by sharing time and space,

with love and grace and tolerance

and smiles upon our face.


So it wasn’t just an old abode

of ceiling, wall, and floor . . .

it was the home inside the house

that I’d been longing for


The house now dies in sad decay

But the home will never fade away.



9/7/92     Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck


5’th … Arkansas NPD 1997

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