The Country Life in Eight Days, and
Things I Wish to Know
Packing for our move to the country is a tedious process. But, we better get in gear because we are moving to our acreage in EIGHT DAYS! May 15th is closing day. As of May 15th, another family will own our house in the city and we'll be living in an RV on the acreage as we get ready to build the country cabin. Well, we will be living in an RV we have not yet purchased because we can't let it sit in the driveway blocking the garage door. We've got to be able to get a large U-Haul truck in the driveway next week to load up our household items and the garage full of OH MY LORD stuff!
Meanwhile, as I pack breakables, I am going through boxes of old photos and feel pressured to record everything for family reference and history. So, I put photos on to scan as I pack. And I know I will be setting my printer up in the RV so I can scan photos during the heat of Texas summer daytime hours.
Today I came across some family photos that are literally over ONE HUNDRED years old! I began to scan these photos into the computer and my dad showed up for an unexpected visit. He does that...he just drives over and visits...I LOVE that about my dad. I am a bit panicked that my distance from him will be so far to make that little luxury more difficult, especially since he is in the middle of rough chemo treatment.
I showed him the photos I was working on and it gave him joy. He is very happy that I am interested in preserving family history and to helping future generations to know their origins.
I pulled out one photo I had already scanned and he got such a kick out of it! The photo shows my great-grandfather George, great-grandmother Lulu is standing outside of their house with their small boy, Raymond, who is my grandfather. We believe the photo to have been taken in the area of Grapeland, Texas around 1905.
My dad and I became so interested in the photograph that he asked for a magnifying glass. Good thing Deputy Dave needs one on hand, so I had a magnifying glass close by. We began to explore the photo, trying to figure out what is what in the photo.
Dad made a comment that he wished he could better see his grandfather's facial features. So, I went back to the scanner and rescanned at a higher resolution, cropping the photos at different segments so we could get a closer look at each zone.
I love that they seem proud, wearing their finest clothes and standing in front of a house that seems to be rather perfect for a home around 1905. My great-grandfather there had BOTH his medical degree AND a law degree. Supposedly, he was a hard man...mean.
Below is a photo I am slipping in that is a close-up of my great-grandfather George.
This part of my family came from Scotland.
Back to the photo with the house, that photo shows a lovely home with everything so perfect, especially for over one hundred years ago. In fact, I'd LOVE to have this very house on my acreage. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
Then, I scanned and cropped the right side of the photo to get a closer glimpse of the things that were in the yard. We finally figured out that there was a wood pile in the back. A nice barn is in sight, and the picket fence looks to encircle the house. The horse is beautiful.
But, I especially love the wicker chair on the front porch and the front porch posts that are ornate. Dad looked for power lines and figured the house did not have any electricity. I cannot imagine living in Texas during the summer months without air-conditioning. And I hope my great-grandmother, Lulu Johnson, had some cooler clothes that were appropriate to wear during the hottest months because that long-sleeved, high-necked, long waist-cinching skirt seems to be very hot attire.
Lulu died young, when my grandfather (pictured) was about 5-6 years old. So, she must have died rather shortly after this photo was taken. My dad believes she might have died because of pneumonia. My great-grandfather married again and had several more children...one died while running with a flute in his mouth and another died because of the old-fashioned car door handles that stuck out dangerously. My dad remembers the second wife, Dora, as his "grand-mother" although she was actually his grandfather's second wife, not his dad's mother.
When a child, my father remembers his dad saying, "Your Uncle John might still be alive if door handles had been made differently back then..." and I found that to be so sad, even today.
My dad said that the horse probably pulled the family carriage.
And the other side of the picture has miscellaneous things that we were trying to see, but it is difficult.
Who knows what has become of this house? Who knows what has happened to this area of land? Who knows so many things?
I wish to know...