I was walking outside when I called. I was looking at the ground behind the garage. It would be convenient if the sewage lines were there. “Hi Mom, I have a question. Where can I find out where’s the sewer line on the property?….Oh that, I’m having the roof on the barn repaired….Yes, I’ve decided to get horses to pull the carriage….Yes. I’ll give you a ride in it. So, sewer line?…. At the courthouse?….Okay, I’ll check there. Oh, do you know who put the sewer line in?…Okay, I’ll check in the Library….Yes, I’m getting my prep work done. I ordered my office furniture today….Yes, but it’s very old and well used…..No, the furniture will be mine. Why don’t you and Dad come over on Sunday? I’ll cook?….Good, see you then.
One of the boys came into the kitchen, “Tony, where are you?”
“I’m right here.”
“Can we have a bottle or thermos of cold water? It’s hot up on that roof.”
“Sure, I think there’s a gallon thermos in the basement. I’ll get it.”
I remember seeing it there. I found it on the shelves with the canned tomatoes. I needed to rinse it out. I think Pa had wine in it.
Going back up the kitchen, I proceeded to rinse it out several times until I couldn’t smell any traces of wine, added ice cubes, and filled it with water. “If you need more, just come and get it.”
I went to the Library to see if I could find any records on the house. I started to look in the archives, where the books were number according to years. My ancestors were meticulous in keeping records, something I’ll have to continue.
I started when my great-grandfather lived here. I pulled the books and stacked them on the table, by years. This would be my evening project. I started from the latest book, thinking that if he mentions anything in it, I can go further back in years. After reading that last entry, I noted that they didn’t have any electricity at that time. This meant my grandfather was the one who installed the electric and the sewerage system as well.
Now I had to go through his records from the first record until I find the information I needed. I started at the first book, which covered the first ten years. I got about halfway through when the boys came in to say they were quitting for the day.
“We got the plywood on the roof finished. Tomorrow will start with the shingles, that won’t take long. We’ll clean up the area after we’re finished. You’ll need a dumpster to have it hauled away.”
“Are you planning on staying for dinner?”
“We haven’t been invited.”
Chuckling, “Okay, would you both like to join me for dinner?”
Smiling, “It would be our pleasure.”
“Go get cleaned up while I start dinner.” As I went to the kitchen, thinking about feeding the boys, I’ll need to go shopping tomorrow.
The boys came back, and we chatted about the apartment. “What will our rent be if we decide to take the apartment?”
“I haven’t given it much thought. I’d expect you to pay your electric bill, as to anything over that, I think it would depend on how much you helped out here.”
“Paying for our electricity wouldn’t be a problem. We could work for therest of our rent.”
“We could take care of the horses, work the gardens, do general repairs.”
I thought about that, and it sounded okay. With my load at the University, I wouldn’t need to worry about the grounds and the horses. “Okay, that sounds like a deal, if you take care of the horses, the gardens, and the grounds. All you’ll have to pay for is the electricity you use. There isn’t a gas line to the garage, so you’ll have an electric range. One other thing, in the living room, behind the sofa, there’s a fireplace. That is your only heat source. So you’ll need to chop wood. I’ll have the chimney cleaned when I have mine cleaned as well.”
The house had one disadvantage, there wasn’t any central heating. I remember asking Pa, and he said to install it, they would have to destroy some of the walls. I could understand that the outside walls were thick. You could see that at the window sills. One thing that helped, the house was well insulated. The living room and the dining room had fireplaces, as well as the Library. The bedrooms didn’t have any, which was nice snuggling under the blankets at night, but you had to hustle in the morning. Getting up from a warm bed to a cold room woke you up real quick.
We sat down for dinner, and I realized that my food bill would take a hit. “What do you think about getting some chickens. We could convert one of the stalls in the barn for chickens.” I thought that was a good idea.
“Tom, we could cut a hot in the side of the barn, fence in a run. That would let the chickens out.”
“Will need a roost and nests. I might have to build the front of the stall up a little higher. I wouldn’t want the chickens to get into the barn. Might scare the horses.”
I listen to these farm boys. So I’ll have chickens. I’m waiting for them to suggest a cow or a goat.