A Booth-Maycock-Poulson Reunion at the Farm House

This morning we had about 200 guests for breakfast, members of a family I’ve adopted myself into. In 1894 the Farm House in our back yard was built. Today the descendants of the family who grew up there came to hold a wonderful family reunion. This happy crowd included the 9 cousins who grew up coming to visit their grandparents here. Each of these 9 cousins had stories to tell. The Farm House is their storybook. Every room, every nook & cranny, every part of the porch and yard prompted these amazing stories. I enjoyed hearing every one of them. Here are a few bits and pieces of things I heard:

“This was the drawer where grandma hid the gingersnaps. We bee-lined to that drawer every time we came in the back door.”
“Here’s the coal chute where we shoveled coal down into the cellar where the furnace kept the house warm.”
“Here’s where grandpa kept his boots.”
“When I was a boy, the walls of this room were made from movie star posters from the Scera Theater.”
“Here’s where we took baths in a large tin wash basin on the floor. You were lucky if you got to go first.”
“Grandma’s bed was in this corner. She was an invalid most of her life. She ruled the roost from her bed. She knew everything going on everywhere.”
“Every daughter in the family had her bridal photos taken by this banister.”
“Grandpa hid chewing tobacco on a shelf just inside this back door to the garage.”
“This dining room seated 40 people comfortably for every holiday meal. Everyone came home for the holidays.”
“I shingled this steep roof when I was only 12 years old.”
“We had a 30-foot well dug in the yard. It provided the first water to the house. It came into the kitchen where there was a hand pump.”
“The garage is so narrow because of two large trees we didn’t want to cut down.”
“There is still sage brush under the foundation of this house. It was never cleared away.”
“Grandpa slept out on the back porch in the summertime.”
“There used to be ducks in the pond on the south end of the farm.”
“The bricks of this home were made from locally made sun-dried brick mixed with straw.”
“We installed the first bathrooms, one upstairs, and one down. Never had a single leak.”
“The farm was mortgaged several times to help make ends meet.”
“One year we had Japanese folks from the camps in Delta come farm berries here.”
“The tree house in the large willow was our favorite spot. Girls were NOT allowed.”
“I remember the year they paved the road. The ditch used to run in front of the house.”
“Canyon breezes blew embers from a fire down the road into our barn one night. Lacquer and paint cans stored in the barn exploded. About $1000 worth of tools melted in the heat.”
“The best days of our lives were spent in this home.”

I loved hearing every single story. Our Lewis family stories also fill that home. We bought the place in 1993 to save it from being destroyed by the construction company who wanted to put in another street of houses. We spent several years restoring the home and making it a part of our family heritage. John’s parents lived there until they each died. John’s sister, Berta, also finished her life in that home. We’ve called it our “portal to heaven.” When you enter that home, you can feel the love in the very walls. It’s one of my favorite places. I was happy this morning, to be a part of more memories made here.






by Edgar A. Guest
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ‘preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ’em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumb-marks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ‘come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.

from Collected Verse of Edgar Guest, NY:Buccaneer Books, 1976, pg. 12

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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