Twentysomethings Back at the Farmstead

So my wife and I moved in with her grandmother at the old family farmhouse. Its a neat old house whose blueprints may or may not have been purchased from the Sears Roebuck catalogue in the 1910s, I’ve heard but been unable to confirm. Though her grandmother hasn’t had to keep up the land, she has remarkably kept the farmhouse going for the last two decades largely through her own toil and the paid help of a couple local handymen.

And here we are. Officially boomerangers for the second time. Twentysomethings back on the old family land. Corn to the south. Soy to the north. Rolling Wisconsin hills and the Mississippi River palisades not too far off. As far as Illinois goes, it doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.

When we last lived here for a little over a year before we got married and moved south, we never really made it feel like home. At the time, we had my little eclectus parrot. We made room for the parrot cage in our bedroom, but didn’t feel we had the authority to move any of the antique furniture. We made do around it. The solid footboard of the antique farm-bed came inches too short for me to lay straight. Only the parrot, anxious to chew on the hardwood any chance she got, didn’t feel imposed by the massive turn-of-the-century secretariat lording over both the room and our existence.

This time, looking at living here for the foreseeable future, my wife and I made a pact to do everything we could to work to gain the hard-earned consent of her grandmother to move furniture and free up a bedroom closet, in order for to have at least a minimum of space our own.

It took two days of moving furniture out, our stuff in, and squirreling away the remainder in the basement and attic. We moved the antique bed and secretariat across to a bedroom used for ironing. The twin beds from there, we wrapped in plastic, and carried to the attic. Our bed and reading desk were in. We pulled an oak dresser out from the attic, moved the old marble topped dresser to the corner of the room, and kept a retro teal 70’s reading chair in front of the window. I hung my contemporary Maya oils and my wife’s yearly inspirational collage and we were in business. It makes for an eclectic combination. Best of all it feels like us and it feels like home.


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