My Mother loves to tell us stories about her family’s history. Some of these stories were about her Father and the farm that she was born and raised in.
My Mother is now living in an assisted living establishment in a community about an hour away from where she grew up. A few years ago I took my Mom on a field trip of family historical places. My Father was too ill with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's disease to travel far and go with us.
We drove to Jacksonville to see the house where she lived with her Aunt while she attended high school and then Illinois College. We went to the town where she first taught school. When we drove to the old homestead, we saw that it was empty with a “For Rent” sign in the front yard. We drove into the driveway, got out and walked around.
I had never been there before and as we walked around the yard I was struck by how little things had changed over the years. The old hand water pump was there, but outbuildings; barn, chicken coop, and tool shed, were all gone. You can see the grove of trees, off to the right of the house, where my Great Grandfather's abandoned farmhouse still stands.
It was early summer when we were there. Standing on the front porch looking out over the surrounding green cornfields, I was struck by how the landscape was almost identical to what it was 90 years ago. The road in front of the house is now paved and there are utility poles to score the skyline. What my Mother and her brothers saw when they stood out on that porch and walked the front yard is essentially the same as it is now.
When I heard of the subject for this WWP event, I knew I had to come back and shoot this panorama and tell her story.
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On a personal note: ▼