Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yesterday Hay

. . . Today Rain

This morning I woke to a soft rain falling—and it was cool enough for me to wear a sweatshirt when I went out to feed the critters. How different today is from the past week, when it was sunny and hot enough to make hay on the Union Hall farms.

Weatherwise, we were lucky. Although yesterday was cloudier and more humid than usual, all hay was baled by late afternoon. The Brown Place, our largest farm, was the first one finished. (When John Tom Brown owned the place in the early 1900s, it was known as Shady Rest.)

Adjacent to the Brown Place is the Mattox Place, a farm my husband caretakes and which belongs to some of my cousins. My great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather owned and farmed this place in the 1800s and early 1900s. The next round of cutting, raking, and baling was there. In the pictures below, my husband rakes hay. Raking is done a day or two after hay is cut, so its dry enough not to mold when baled.

Beside the hayfield are the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Street, who lived on the place in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Mr. Street died in 1837.

Yesterday afternoon, the hay at Smith Farm was finished. Here's how the hay looked a few days ago when it was cut but not yet raked.

Here it's been raked:

Smith Farm is where my grandparents lived for nearly a half century, and where my father grew up.

Part of what's left of the cabin was originally built by William Bernard before the Civil War. My grandfather added another section later.

When William's wife Gillie Ann died in 1887, he cut a small window into the cabin wall beside the fireplace so he could look at her grave while he set by the fire. 

Hard to believe that these three farms have been worked for a couple of centuries now.

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Blogger CountryDew said...

Nice shots. Our farm has been farmed for a couple of centuries, too. It is hard to believe.

4:37 PM  

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