This is "the pond" on the old Thomas farm property that Randy and his brothers used to fish at early in the morning. They'd take what they caught to grandma and she'd fry it up for breakfast, along with farm-fresh eggs. Randy remembers how she used to serve Tang, instead of fresh orange juice, and they'd drink it in old jelly jars! Grandma also had an old stump where she would kill chickens and then cook fried chicken. Randy remembers how delicious it was. The old stump is gone - thank God!
Hunter in the barn. The barn was filled with debris, which was such a big disappointment. We could go up some steep stairs into the haylofts above, where Randy remembers swinging from one loft to the other. We found some really old tools in the barn, like the hook that is used to hitch your horse to a plow - the kind you'd walk behind. We also found some hay hooks and a tool that was inserted into a cow's nose to lead it around. The current landowner was gracious enough to give us those old Thomas tools - and we glady took them! We also came home with some planks of wood that were from the original cabin that John C. Thomas built in 1876. These items are priceless to us!
A front view of the barn. Wish I could have gotten that ugly boat out of the picture! It was 107 degrees on the day we visited the farm - hot as blazes! We would have enjoyed staying for hours if it hadn't been so hot!
This past week, my family decided to take a trip to Independence, Kansas, to visit the old Thomas Farm. For years, we've heard stories from my husband about how things were when he would visit his grandparents on the farm. Like in the morning, his grandma would send him out to the chicken coop to get farm-fresh eggs - and how it hurt because the hens would peck at his hand when he'd go underneath them to "fetch" the eggs. They'd also walk down to the pond and fish, and then grandma would cook up the perch they caught for breakfast - along with the farm-fresh eggs - and how wonderful his farm memories are. We've heard about how they'd play in the barn up in the hay loft - and just story after story after story about "the farm."
Well, we finally got to see the farm - and while it was quite disappointing that it isn't being kept up as nicely as the Thomases kept it up, it was still a very special day to spend some time at the farm. As you stand and look up at the barn, it's huge, so I can only imagine what it must have looked like to Randy as a little boy! Our son, Hunter, who is in one of the pictures, told us on the way home that one day, when he can, he's going to buy back the Thomas farm so it will be in the Thomas family again! I want to post more pictures about our family roots vacation so I can preserve the memories, but I wanted to start with the barn. I will always remember the way it smelled, the way it looked, how I felt just being in it and realizing the history it had. I can just see my husband as a little boy having the time of his life swinging from hayloft to hayloft up on the second level. What great memories he has of that barn - and now so do I!