Several have told me that they’re enjoying the pictures from my childhood, so I’m continuing with the nostalgia kick from the childhood farm where I grew up (I can do that since it’s my blog and it is supposed to be about my life and adventures), I’m sharing two photos today.
The one above shows the “back” of the house (the barnyard and barn were to the right of the picture), though it was the entrance to the house that was always used. There are two doors…the one on the right led into an enclosed porch area. My sister and I would wait on that porch until we saw the school bus pull up on the road in front of the property and then we’d go out and climb aboard. There was a thermometer outside the window on the right side of the photo and I recall standing there in full winter regalia while it was showing -20F on the thermometer…and we were waiting for the bus. I recall one morning it was so icy that when I went to get on the bus, I actually slid underneath it, but the bus driver noticed so I was in no danger..other than embarrassment.
The door to the left also connected to the porch, but as you can see, it was a lower entrance and if you went straight in the door you’d be heading down to the basement. The spooky, scary basement. I hated going down there alone as a little boy. I always imagined that someone had gone down there and was awaiting my arrival with a knife and that they’d butcher me. You see, my sister had something to do with that, too. We had a train track that went through the property and she told me that she’d see the train stop out there and see people get off. She probably assumed they were hobos, but I think she was just trying to scare her sweet little brother. One time she told me that she’d seen them stop out there and two men got off and buried something alongside the tracks. She said it was a body…and she got me out there with a shovel and made me dig to see if we could find it. At any rate, the basement was dark and had its own wet, musty smell. The laundry was done in the basement and there were shelves where our mom would store canned fruits and vegetables from the garden. There was a large freezer down there, too, that loaded from the top through two large hatches. If my sister had done something mean to me and I threatened to tell our mom or dad, she’d threaten to put me in the freezer. It’s a wonder I’m sane, but we get along fine now. We have ever since one Christmas on the farm when my folks gave me a couple sets of boxing gloves and after I gave my sister a bloody nose once, she stopped doing such things to me.
It is sad to see the state of the paint on the doors and eaves. The rest of the house was clad in aluminum siding (from Sears as I recall). I remember when dad bought it and it was installed. They said it had a lifetime warranty and the aluminum siding doesn’t look any different, in spite of the hot Iowa summers and cold winters. All it would need to spruce it up would be a good washing.
This second picture was on the south side of the house and shows the old clothes line where our mom would hang out the laundry to dry. It had wire instead of rope or cord that went between the two posts and it looks like that is still the case today. It is very possibly the same wire that was there when I was a kid. The window on this side of the house at the extreme right is in the room where my sister and I slept as young kids. The window frames have been changed as has the roof – which was just shingles when we lived there. Now it’s aluminum.
Sad that no one lives in this house any more. It has great memories.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1807, lightning hit a gunpowder factory in the small European country of Luxembourg, killing more than 300 people. Lightning kills approximately 73 people every year in the United States alone, but victims are almost always killed one at a time. The Luxembourg disaster may have been the most deadly lightning strike in history.
The earth experiences 8 to 9 million lightning strikes every single day. In a typical year, the United States will see about 70,000 thunderstorms somewhere in its territory. This produces approximately 20 million lightning strikes annually. A bolt of lightning can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit in instant heat. There are 100 million volts in an average lightning bolt, which can be as much as five miles long.
In 1807, Luxembourg was occupied by Napoleon’s army. The French dictator used the country to stockpile weapons and ammunition. Many underground bunkers were built for this purpose. In the southern Luxembourg city of Kirchberg, a fortress built in 1732 was used as an armory.
When lightning struck the fortress on June 26, the ammunition housed within ignited on contact, causing a massive explosion. Two entire blocks were completely razed by the blast, which caused several other fires to rage nearby. The London Times later reported, This city has been plunged into the greatest consternation and distress.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: When a person sees the Milky Way at night, they are seeing only about 0.0000025% of the galaxy’s hundreds of billions of stars. Since the dinosaurs supposedly died out about 65 million years go, the sun is estimated to have traveled about 1/3 the way around the Milky Way’s center.