Guilt and the Homestead Mentality

| 5/20/2010 11:39:35 AM

A photo of Drew OdomThis past week I was in Dayton, Ohio for my "day job." After I landed at the airport I had to drive about 13 miles to the center of Dayton where my company's office is.

As I was driving I past what seemed to be about a 60-year old farm in less than perfect condition. It seemed so odd to me sitting there on its own – one house, one large barn, two silos, a chicken house, and some fencing – less than a mile off of I-75. There were no cars in the driveway, and no real sign of life there. It is a miracle I didn't run off the highway staring at the potential of such a homestead. I immediately began to wonder, "Who owns that? Do they still live there? What did they used to farm? Is the soil still good? How did the Interstate get here so close to them?" And then it hit me.


I felt a pang of guilt in my stomach as I pondered how we had allowed places like this all over America to be overrun by "progress." How long would it be before that farm became an exit ramp or a TravelStop or some form of strip mall?

I guess I have reached a new place in my relationship with the land. I can no longer pass by such a home – an institution, if you will – without silently mourning the loss of our agrarian society. And for what? Progress?

What about you? Have you had these feelings recently? Where do your thoughts take you?

5/24/2010 2:44:17 PM

Dave, so true, about the size of the imagination!

Mountain Woman
5/23/2010 2:21:25 PM

Hey Andrew, Our place is in Theodosia, Missouri. A beautiful, small, ranching community on Bull Shoals Lake. Just feel as though we are doing our part preserving this piece of history and both MM and I love small houses. I also have lots to say about McMansions and the destruction they have done as they have sprawled into rural lands. We hope some lucky person or couple is going to love the farm we are redoing. It's not about profit. It's about saving history and land.

5/22/2010 8:34:02 PM

@funny farmer - Bless you for your efforts. I could talk all day about the McMansion issue - its rise and, now, subsequent fall. It is a sad state of affairs for sure. But the same way we, as a nation, allowed it to occur, we must now pick ourselves up, reestablish what is important and necessary, and provide what salvation we can. @Shannon - You summed it up. It IS sad to watch. Indeed.

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