Making Up Time in Missouri

After a few weeks hiatus it is time to resume the recap of our September/October road trip. Missouri was our next destination, but we lost at least two days on the itinerary due to delays in Ohio, so this next part of our visit was truncated. We still managed to collect a few photos, though, starting with some shots from the family farm in Southeast Missouri:

Recently mown hayfield at the family farm.

I worked on local farms for three summers during high school, mostly baling hay in fields like the one shown above. It was hot, dusty work. My father used to say, “everyone has to work for a living, but you can decide if you want to work with your back or work with your mind.” Hot, dusty work was a good incentive for pursuing an education!

Once baled, the hay had to be stored under a roof to protect it from the weather. Properly stored, a crop of hay could last for a few years. The barn shown below was one of several that held hay for later use feeding cattle.

Old but stout barn. I stacked hay in this barn during a summer job when I was in high school.

Some barns were painted, usually red. Others, like the one below, were allowed to weather to silver/gray as they stood the test of time. They almost all had corrugated sheet metal roofs, and those needed painting, too, if they were to last.

Hay bales used to be rectangular, and weighed up to maybe 100 lbs each, depending on size and moisture content. Over time, most of the farms switched to much larger round bales like in the photo below.

Another old but stout barn, with adjacent hay bales.

Turning away from farms and barns, you might like to see the one-room schoolhouse in which my father first taught. That was many years ago, but the school still stands and even has a new metal roof. A wood-burning stove heated the one room in winter, and most if not all of the students walked to class each day. Water came from a well outside, since indoor plumbing was not yet common in this area. We have come a long way in the past two generations; much further than many people realize.

Unfortunately, the schoolhouse was locked and I was not able to get any inside photos.

One-room schoolhouse where my Father first taught.

One thought on “Making Up Time in Missouri

  1. Jesse. Thank you for the memories. I was fortunate to live in a community with public utilities. But, our community was surrounded by farms. I had relatives that lived on and farmed some of those farms. They were small family farms ranging from 100 to 500 acres. Those farmers were Jack’s of all trades: meteorologists, soil management specialists, mechanics, carpenters and, well the list goes on. Every member of the farm family, regardless of age, was involved with responsibilities. I am sure I am not remembering anything new for you. A large portion of farm water came from wells but cistern water was accumulated from rain and used for utility purposes. Waste disposal included slopping the hogs, composting the garden and the outhouse. I won’t go into the role of the Christian faith in the lives of farm families, but I do believe the decline of Christian faith in our country can be partially attributed to the decline of family farms.


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