Today I wanted to feature a photo I took a couple of years ago of an old house that sat in the middle of a silage field in southern Granville County. The property is owned by the Allen Family and has been in their family for many years. Notice I said "SAT" instead of "SITS" because as of 7/5/2012, during a severe thunderstorm after weathering many storms over many years, the old oak tree that silently stood by as a partner and kept Percy's House shaded, sucumbed to the strains of life and collapsed, taking his buddy out with him.
Here's another view of Percy's House from the highway:
Passing along this scene on Highway 96 always reminded me of true Americana, displaying history as if in a live museum. If only those walls or that tree could talk to tell the story of the families that lived there; those who tended the fields as a way of life....not to make a living, but to make life itself. They weren't concerned with what new smartphone they were going to trade for, but rather if the corn would survive the drought and yield enough to preserve for the harsh winter ahead. The men tended the gardens and worked the fields while the women spent their days canning vegetables and making jellies and jams for a sweet treat. Can't ya just see a small wisp of smoke coming from that chimney when there were several inches of snow on the ground? They probably spent all summer and fall cutting and stacking wood so they could stay warm all winter.
Perhaps during the growing season, they worked in tobacco fields to make enough money for incidentals like paper and pencils for their children to use at school. Like "Ole Abe Lincoln," the gentle flicker from the fireplace and a dim, hand-dipped candle provided the light by which they read. When one of them got sick, maybe they had a remedy that we have long forgotten...time, tender-loving care and perhaps even homemade chicken soup!! Surely, there was an old country doctor that came 'round on a buggy when it got really bad. But they got by, by sharing the work-load and the burdens as well as the pleasures together. The Family Unit was what mattered....nothing else was more important.
Times were certainly simpler then which causes one to question the intelligence of our times. In our efforts to simplify life, we have made it ever more complicated. We use technologically advanced devices to help us with our daily activities and although they most certainly do help, they have added to the complications we now lament when going about our lives. We are now more globally connected than at any point in history, and yet we don't talk to each other, not even our neighbors, nearly as much. Children used to spend time in the great outdoors playing together and enjoying their friends. Now, they network on computers and play games over the internet...all the while, never leaving their homes to experience what it's like to truly interact with another human being. We spend less time making a life and more time trying to make a living. Is there any wonder why mental health professionals are busier than ever?
I say we should spend MORE time making life, than making a living. Let's all give our due diligence to separating out what's important and what's not. Spend time IN PERSON with family and friends....time is the one thing that cannot be replaced! This minute, this second..right now...as you are reading this... is gone. It can never be replaced. If we're lucky, we can add up those seconds and minutes to make a lifetime....but when they're gone, they're gone. Memories, like photos, sometimes are all we have left.......
Percy's House.....whoda thunk that such a simple place, a simple scene along a simple roadside... could invoke such deep thoughts and emotions?? Live life, love life....it doesn't get any easier than that!!!