My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I believe that one of the unsung pleasures of country living is the burn pile.  This is not a bonfire, but rather a large gathering of various objects, not always wood. In the past when we had access to an excavator the burn pile would be in a deep pit and all manner of things would be disposed of, burned and then buried. There must be dozens of such “garbage” holes around the property. The original farm house was buried in this manner; knocked down by the excavator and shoved into a hole and burned. I have seen my father truly frightened on about half a dozen occasions, one of them was when he was standing on the lip of one of these burning holes and almost fell in. I remember this even when I am throwing things into our less dangerous, level to the ground, burn pile. Fire is so powerful.
Garbage disposal is a world wide problem of course, and acutely felt on our ranch where we have all manner of things requiring safe disposal, including at times dead animals. The early settlers in the area shoved what could not be composted over banks. I spent hours as a child going through these garbage sites collecting the bottles of deep amber and blue and interesting tins that were not too rusty. The garbage of that era is so much more attractive then today with our plethora of plastics.
My childhood collection of bottles from the farm garbage dump.
It is very satisfying to clean up around your property and home. I have burned a huge amount of personal papers and photos over the last few years, it is such a visual statement of an ending.
This year, as part of our very intensive spring cleaning, we burned a number of outbuildings. The perfect way to spend an afternoon, tractor work and a fire.
A big burn pile is better than television!
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