Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Journey

Monday of this week I set out with two of my brothers and a sister-in-law for a town in Nebraska named Wynot.  (pronounced simply Why Not?) It is farm country in that northeast corner of Nebraska, just a skip to the SD border and a hop to the Iowa border.  I grew up in another small town just a few miles from Wynot and now we were heading back for my uncle's funeral.

I had my camera with me as I always do.  My brothers did all the driving, so that left me to look out the window at all those great photos ....

I couldn't quite capture at 70 MPH.  (We are on record as doing 80 but I won't go into that part of the trip.)

I saw many wonderful old buildings that I wanted to preserve digitally, but we had 9 1/2 hours of highway to cover and we needed to stay focused on that and let the pictures be out of focus.

Things slowed down a bit when we hit the narrow gravel roads around Wynot as things tend to do in that part of the country.  It was quite relaxing.

After the funeral on Tuesday my 88 year old aunt suggested we stop at a little bar located at an intersection of gravel roads and surrounded by farm land on all sides.  I thought that was a splendid idea and seconded the motion.  So we tipped a long neck to the life of my Uncle Johnny and traded stories with a couple locals who knew my uncle well.

I then slipped away and found a few places close by that I wanted to photograph.

No one seems to be in a hurry to demolish old buildings in this part of the county.

I think they are lovely to behold and I am grateful to those who let them be.

This was home to someone...probably many over the years.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know the stories of the people who lived their lives in this house?

Who peeked out this window waiting for someone to arrive home?

And who smoked their first cigarette hiding behind this shed?

Did some teenager slip out this window and jump off the low end to sneak out at night?

Was anyone carried across this threshold on their wedding day?

Time is winding down for this old house just as it did for my 93 year old uncle. I couldn't help but think of how this house sheltered and protected the people who lived here just as my uncle did for his family of five little girls now grown with children and grandchildren of their own.  He was guardian for many beyond his family in his service as County Sheriff for 20 years.

Johnny lived a rich and varied life.  If I had to sum it up I would say, "He had fun."  He enjoyed his life.  He seemed to instinctively know that a smile got you a long way in life and he used it often.  Not only did he have fun just living his life but he made it fun for those around him as well.

As I recall fond memories of my uncle one thing stands out for me.  He showed me that adults can be responsible, respectable. productive adults and they can have a blast doing it.

Here's to you, Johnny!  Heaven will be a happier place with you in it.

1 comment:

  1. Trish, this is absolutely beautiful!! So glad you all were able to attend Dad's funeral. Oh the memories...
    Love, Cousin Donna