Saturday, May 20, 2017

this old house, part 2

Almost all of us have fond memories of the houses that we grew up in, a fact that I covered in my post of 9/27/15:

I lived in the little white house on Third Street in St. Paul for more than 20 years, and my dad lived there for 44. That’s a considerable amount of time, but it pales in comparison to the time my uncle Harold lived on “the Stenson farm”

Harold and the rest of the Stenson family moved from “the little house on the prairie” in 1929 (see the link below) and he called the house on what used to be known as “rural route 3” his home for more than 80 years. The house likely dates back to the early years of the 20th century, and it’s still the property of the Stenson family – at least for now.

As a kid, I made a lot of trips to the farm, and those trips continued even after I reached adulthood. Initially, the gathering of the Stenson families was “Christmas on the farm”,   but it morphed into “Christmas in July” when the Kimmes family joined the clan.

The old apple orchard is gone, and so are the machine shed and the windmill. The barn still stands, but it has not housed cows for decades.  The house is also one of the few homes that I have ever been in that has an actual “root cellar”- but no basement.

Harold passed away at the age of 95 on May 11 of this year. Although his sister Grace had also lived to be 95, Harold turned out to be the sibling who lived the longest, since he passed away roughly 7 months into his 95th year.

Despite the fact that Harold had some emotional and physical setbacks in his life, he was always a pretty cheerful guy, and he was always in his prime after he had had a couple of beers, a pleasure that he enjoyed until very recently.


According to one of his daughters, he lost his “chipper” a few times during the last year of his life, so his passing was not a surprise to those who were close to him. 

Since I live in Arizona, there is virtually no chance that I would be able to get to his funeral, and it’s also not likely that I will ever see the Stenson farm again, but I’ll always have the memories of a great old guy, and a great old farm.

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