Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Great American Pickers

We enjoyed a FABULOUS Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of food. Lots of family. Lots of fun! We started with J's family on Thursday. It is very quiet when compared to the three ring circus of the events with MY family.  Dev enjoyed his birthday, even if it was shared with a major holiday.  Friday found us headed to my mom and dad's to meet up with my 2 brothers, my sister, and their families. .including their spouses and 9 more kids.  In all we total 23 people!! All hanging out in my parent's house. .it is VERRRRRY noisy!! 
On Saturday, my aunt and uncle joined us for the party.  After lunch, my mom, her sister, my sister, and I went for a short drive to the homesteads of my Great-grandparents, and my grandparents. 
The homes have been empty for a VERY long time.  The people that own the land have been instructed that they must bulldoze all of the buildings down.  SOOOOO, we decided to try out the role of a "picker" (someone who makes their living looking through other peoples stuff and selling it). 
While we had no intention of selling the stuff we found, we were interested in finding little bits of remnants of our family tree.  This house was where my great grandparents lived. 
There was a little storm cellar that we were considering a visit into.

Oh brave one.  As we all walked very gingerly into dark and scary places, my mind kept repeating the words of a Berenstein Bear book that I have read many times to my kids. Spooky Old Tree. .Have you ever read it?  It is about 3 little bears who take off to explore the "spooky old tree." One with a light, one with a stick and one with a rope.  They end up losing all their equipment and get a good case of the shivers!
A good case of the shivers indeed!! I was so proud of myself. .Despite broken floor boards and evidence of lots of yucky critters. .I was able to be a big girl and site see through the house all by myself!! Our tools consisted of a hammer, ONE pair of gloves, and a set of fancy "girl" tools that my mom had in her car.  Oh yeah, and we wouldn't want to forget the miniscule flashlight that mom THOUGHT worked better than it did!
We thought that this might have been one of my grandpa's first vehicles.  Jeremy (the car expert) thought that it was a model A from the late 20's. 
I got tickled to see all of these little lids screwed into the roof boards of one of the little sheds. If you look closely, you can see them. .they went all the way to the back of the shed.  They screwed jars of "stuff" into them to keep them at hand. .you know. .stuff like bolts and nuts and nails.

The lighting and angles weren't good for getting a picture of the other house.  But there, we found some cool doorknobs and knob plates.  By then, our creative juices were flowing regarding what to do with our treasures.  As it began getting dark and our time ran out. .we had started scavenging pieces to use to make some birdhouses out of our ancestory.  Hopefully, they won't destroy the homes before Christmas. .giving us a second chance to return to the houses with more tools to finish collecting some things.  We found some tin embossed to look like brick (to use for the roof), some old wainscoating (to use on the house), some old doorknobs, fancy hinges and knob plates (for decoration and perches), and some old spindles (to use as a stand on the bottom of the house). My aunt and uncle are very crafty that way. .and will be able to easily fashion the bird houses.  And what a great sentimental piece for us!
It was pretty amazing to try to imagine how the house looked in it's prime. .and to picture my ancestors in their prime of life too.  I wonder. .will my children and their children and their children's children ever wander through our homestead imagining the family who once lived there. .remembering the things that were done by much younger people than they remember. .being thankful for a family tree???
I hope so!! Wishing you all a GREAT week!


  1. Wonder what it was like to live there in the prime of life? I can tell you! Me and several batchelor buddies lived in the same EXACT model just a few short miles away in the rural Newton/ Whitewater area. It was COLD! You could feel the hair on your legs blow in December too! (inside the house that is with the windows closed too) Great memories of hand cranked Ice cream on the porch in the summer. It's a miricale any one of us got married. Probably because none of the gals saw the house! DJ

  2. Good times!!! Can't wait to go again!!


  3. That is one of my FAVORITE things to do! I love imagining what took place there so many years ago...

  4. What a great experience! That must have been so much fun looking for little tid bits of treasure and trying to imagine how they lived their lives.

  5. Fun fun!! Nothing like hunting for treasures!

  6. Sounds like fun! I thought of you as we drove into town last weekend to visit Mom and Dad. Maybe we can find a few minutes to see each other in Marion over Christmas! I don't comment often, but check in on your blog regularly. Great to glimpse into your busy life!

  7. AH, Lori!! I miss you girl!! If you check back to this post. .I'd LOOOOVE to hook up at Christmas-And. .You are welcome here ANY time!!

  8. That looked very interesting to see all the old houses and things that were your family's. That's neat to make the stuff you found into things!