The road was filled with ruts and weeds. Whispers from the past could be heard amongst the chirping of birds, the buzz of jumping grasshoppers, and butterflies that dotted the wildflowers.
The weather-beaten buildings and homes still stand. There are no more windows that hold curtains that floated in the breeze, the wallpaper has long since peeled away and the paint has faded from the years of changing seasons.
The porches have given way and yet, as I close my eyes, I can see the family gathering on them. I can see the grandparents sitting in rocking chairs, over there is the porch swing that holds mom and dad. There are children of all different ages run about playing tag, catching fireflies and as I look up just around the corner, I can see girls playing with their dolls. The young men leaning against the porch’s railings are already talking about the year’s harvest.
As I glance just beyond the homes, I see a mighty tree that still stands. He holds the many secrets of this family, and I can see that even he is weary from the years that have come and gone.
The night is warm, and yet there is a gentle breeze, and fresh lemonade is served. The sun is setting signaling it is time for bed as morning will come early and chores will need to be done.
I soon hear a voice which brings me back to the present, and I see as my husband points to what was once a sod hut. I realize at the moment; how hard life must have been for this family.
This family came to settle upon a barren land so that they could lay claim to a piece of property, that one day they could call their own.
Here is where a family stopped and began to lay a foundation, grow crops and sink their roots into the soil of this land. A real home would soon be built, children would be raised and a legacy would begin that these settlers had no idea would be passed down to so many generations.
This is the McDowall Homestead, and as I listened to my mother-in-law tell story after story, I begin to want to help in keeping this legacy alive for those behind us.
I smile and my heart is warmed with the reality that this is something that most people only read about in history books. Yet, in a short span of time, I have had the privilege of capturing and living these events.