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Sunday, April 28, 2013

SUMMERTIME AND PORCHES



Lancaster Porch


Porches of all kinds are the heart of summertime memories for many of us. Heading into the hot summer, comfortable porch chairs would be dragged out of hiding and placed facing the road. A few folks felt more comfortable sitting on porch stairs.

Porch mornings would be a quiet time for observing nature or listening to a neighbor child screaming as a hairbrush was pulled through their tangled hair. Afternoons were fine for reading a book, working a crossword puzzle or enjoying a good magazine.  Evenings were best just sitting and thinking or chatting with family and/or friends. 





Duncantown Porch 


My memory bank of porches is full  -- great-grandmother and four-leaf clovers -- laughs and heartbreaks --  my dad and dogs -- boyfriends and girlfriends -- my cousin and root-beer floats -- my kids and a raccoon and more. So full that in fact I could write a book just about my life with porches.

I bet you have some favorite memories . . .



Thursday, April 25, 2013

HISTORIC CHIMNEY GATHERING IN LANCASTER





These rooftops accent four historic chimneys that stand tall against the blue sky. The top spikey object to the right is from a church across the street -- it's a spire. The buildings were built in the 1800s. 






Although this photo was taken in color it took on an almost monotone quality when I developed it in lightroom. I liked these gray tones for these old grand ladies and their chimneys.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KIRKSVILLE, KENTUCKY


Kirksville


You begin by driving west around a curve, past old garages, an empty antique house, a newer church and a few old  homes -- you are practically  to the other side of Kirksville within about three minutes. There is no chance you will miss the church's high white steeple and the large white wood building that once was a general store for folks. 


You will find the unincorporated village surrounded by 
farmland and some newer homes. You can continue driving west on this same road which leads you to the next little unincorporated village and then continuing leads you to the end --  the Kentucky River. Here the Kentucky River is meandering and rather untouched by our society.



Kentucky River


When I drive through a little place like Kirksville and the nearby areas,  I am reminded of Richard Dorson's words from his book,  American Folklore -- to paraphrase -- the people bond with the land through memories, ancestry and close family ties. His words run true in rural Central Kentucky. 



Sunday, April 21, 2013

LIGHTROOM PAINTING OF EARLY 1800s HOUSE




Mixed in among farm outbuildings is this early Appalachian 1800s house form -- it was probably once the main building on this farm. Now it sits picturesquely near the road behind a wire fence -- its limestone rock chimney decaying as is the rest of the house. Now painted black over a metal exterior such vernacular house forms are rarely seen as I travel about Central Kentucky.  



Saturday, April 13, 2013

APPALACHIAN VERNACULAR FARMHOUSE




Standing on open Kentucky farmland, this mid to late 1800s Appalachian vernacular farmhouse appears abandoned but yet perhaps not?  It has signs of non-use but there could be other reasons for this. 






Here we have a pane missing from
 the window's six over six lights
 of its upper story window sash






Notice the two boarded up windows. What circumstances 
could be the cause of this farmhouse's forlorn look? 



Thursday, April 11, 2013

SHEEP'S-FOOT






Sheep's-Foot

found at a construction site 





Patterns, shapes, and oddities can be humorous or startling subjects to photograph.  A Sheep's-Foot roller is rather an oddity. It compacts soil at construction sites. It was given its name after an observer commented that the pattern it left behind in the soil looked like a herd of sheep had passed by (RitchieWiki).








Sunday, April 7, 2013

LIVING THE GOOD LIFE





Yesterday , I had an electrical fix-it man out to my house to fix a few needed repairs. 


When I greeted him at my door I was amazed at how young he was. At first I thought he was a teenager collecting for some good cause until I saw the worn work-belt hanging with tools around his waist.



He had a shy smile as I told him my problems and then he promptly went off to work on the areas.



After he finished we engaged in a bit of small talk. He told me, with a proud smile, that  he was a new father of twins and that he had been with the repair company for five years. Here stood a very polite man who was twenty-three with a youthful look of sixteen.



I asked if he was from Kentucky. He said he was -- and continued, "it's a country place where mostly my aunts, uncles, and grandparents lived around us  -- up on the ridges and down in the holler." He then added after a pause,   "I was raised in a place where the closest store was about thirty miles from us. We lived without electricity, got our water from a spring, and raised a large garden. This is the only kind of life I knew when I was growing up. It was a very poor place."



He added, "I never knew what it was like to throw a light switch until I met my wife who lived in a town. She never knew that life could still be lived the way me and my family lived until she visited the place."



I asked him if as a child he played outdoors a lot -- I always am thinking of today's children with their short attention spans from television and videos. He smiled and with a determined voice said, "Oh yes,  we played outside from breakfast to dark.  It was expected. This was our way of life to be outdoors all day." I then asked if he and his siblings and cousins made up their own activities. His response was "sure did -- we had woods and a creek -- made up all kinds of things to do. Even though I live in town now sometimes I still get a strong feeling to move back to where I was raised."



Then it was time for him to move on to his other job.



After he left I thought about his life realizing that his childhood was lived only a few years ago. 



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HANGING OVER THE CREEK





Otter creek is a lovely body of water that runs through Madison County. It even has some mini-falls that are moving quite swiftly this spring. 

I was driving along one side of the creek a couple of weeks ago -- admiring this vintage farmstead's backside when I noticed a small structure that was halfway hanging over the creek-side. The backside of the old wooden structure had stilted wooden legs built to the upper part allowing the whole structure to remain level.

Now what was this structure/outbuilding used for?  I believe I have the answer? Do you? Come on -- have some fun and try to guess. Here is a close up of the outbuilding.