Dust in the Wind
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
As the strong southerly wind blew away more than a hundred years of dust, I was thankful the memories couldn't be swept away as easily.
By 9:30, the machine made the first "chomp" with its massive jaws and the walls began tumbling down. The garage had been added when I was a kid. It went down much more quickly than it went up.It was a morning of mixed emotions. No one had lived in the house since Grandpa moved out. It wasn't a practical candidate for renovation. It was poorly insulated (though Grandpa insisted otherwise). It would have cost far more to renovate than it would to start from scratch.
With the propensity for old farmhouses to become havens to meth labs and other criminal activity, my parents felt fortunate that the house escaped that fate.
So it was time ... time to say goodbye to a house whose very rooms were stuffed to the brim with memories, even though the people and the things that made it a home were long gone.
It took little more than an hour for the entire structure to look more like the pick-up sticks we used to play with as kids. And not long after that, many of the remnants of the old two-story house were pushed into the hole.
By 2:20, all that was left was broken up concrete. The cement was from the slab by their garage, where my folks would park during our visits and we kids would run through the garage and through Grandma and Grandpa's back door.
The brooder house also ended up in the cavernous hole. Grandpa, a K-State fan through and through, painted it and many other outbuildings purple after Grandma died.
That little brooder house was the first home for each spring's arrival of chicks. We didn't have chickens at home, so it was an adventure at Grandma's and Grandpa's house. We'd run out and watch the fluffy yellow chicks grow and change as they got stronger under the glow of heat lamps.
We grew and changed, too, at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Tomorrow: What makes a house a home? Memories live on ...
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