I was blessed growing up about a mile away from my grandparents' farm. The old house looks sad and decrepit now, but I have wonderful memories of a house full of love. My siblings and I learned that Grandma served ice cream or some goodies at exactly four o'clock in the afternoon. We'd take turns casually showing up around 3:45 or so. Grandma would set out the coffee and dessert and we'd wait until the big hand touched twelve. Then she'd nod at me to go get Grandpa, a stickler for punctuality.
Our daughter Jana exploring the inside.
Instead of peeling exterior paint, I see white walls gleaming in the sun. To the left of the front door was an enclosed flower garden that Grandma enjoyed. In the yard to the left there are still three big lilac bushes.
Early settlers planted fast-growing trees like poplar, which doesn't have a long lifespan. Many of the original trees have died. Not all the trees in these pictures are dead though--this was in the early spring before trees had leafed out.
This picture looks out the kitchen window. I didn't include inside pictures of the house because they seem too sad. I prefer my happy memories of doing things--weaving rugs, learning how to crochet, cooking--with Grandma.
Grandpa (Arthur D. LaBrant) was one of the original homesteaders of the area. Below, some wagon wheels and parts of a frame or two sit near the dugout. If an area has a natural spring, and the land is excavated, or dug out, the water will stay all summer for cattle and horses to drink. Another type of "dugout" was a home dug out of a hillside with a wooden front wall added.
A friend of my brother Carl had a motion-sensor camera near this dugout, and several years ago, it took a picture of a cougar! I haven't dared to walk alone there or in the coulees since.