Sunday, March 28, 2010

Renovations & a Few Sentimental Moments

Obviously, if you are visiting the blog then you are seeing the major renovations that I have made to the design today. Since rain is keeping me from traveling to my research spots today I knew this was my opportunity. It's still a work in progress. I have things I want to add, such as separate pages about me at the top, and the places my family has traversed, as well as adding other items on the side, but I think it looks cleaner, and easier to read.

I also really liked the barn design. Since I am a native Hoosier, and an intense basketball fan (go Butler!! I attended there once long ago), among my other sporting lives (racing, softball, football----the list could go on)-- I felt the design suited a good old Hoosier girl just fine.

It also reminds me just a bit of my grandfather, Herman Eckardt. He died when I was 5, but I have a few vivid memories of going to his dry cleaners to see him. I can still hear and feel the sounds of the wood creaking under my feet as I dashed behind the counter, ran into the back room where all the dry cleaning equipment was, and danced among the freshly cleaned clothes.

However, it is not the dry cleaning business that attaches itself to this blog. My grandfather, who had spent his life as a ice cream salesman, a liquor store owner, and cleaning clothes, decided in the last years of his life that he finally wanted to fulfill his life long dream and decided to buy a farm. Even now when I think about this I silently smile at this tall suave man who purchased special cows that never belonged on a regular Southern Indiana farm and thought somehow that he and his rag tag family members (being my mother, father, and two older siblings) could take care of all the chores on a farm by coming out each Sunday to help. But try he did, and they all still have stories to tell about life on that farm that I will never remember since I was too young.

These stories included someone (can't identify who or this will be my post) falling into what seemed to be a frozen lake, but were saved when an aunt who had never even stepped into a pond in her life came running out of the farmhouse full speed ahead and took flight as she dove straight into and saved that dear life. The stories of one family member on each side of the tractor as they went down the row of corn to pick it? Boy can you tell I was too young to work on the farm.

Several years ago we learned that Grandpa's farm land had been purchased by a church and the buildings on it, long overgrown or turning in on themselves, were going to be razed. Our family took two different trips out to the farm, video camera and cameras in tow in order to learn all I could about the history of this hallowed ground and the man I never had the chance to know. We each took bricks from the chimney of farmhouse, a chimney my grandfather had built onto the house. And we all also pulled off sides from that barn. I keep two pieces behind the door in my house, waiting for that moment of inspiration that will tell me exactly how to best honor the man with those pieces of that barn, part of his dream.

So it seems only fitting that in redesigning this blog there happened to be template that in playing around turned into the side of a barn--red paint and all! I couldn't ask for anymore.


Greta Koehl said...

I love the blog's new look and I am really enjoying the new Blogger options. It's great that your family could at least take parts from your grandfather's old farm; I wish I had a brick or something from my grandparents' farms.

Deborah Andrew said...

Kim, I really like the new look of your blog. Your story reminds me of my mother and the house she grew up in. It too has been abandoned and is falling down.

Many years ago, one of her siblings had a pencil drawing done of the house off of an old picture from when they were living there. The last time my mother visited the house and realized how bad of a shape it was in she took a couple of pieces of wood off of the house. I have suggested that she has a frame made out of the wood. Then she can take the pencil drawing picture of the house and put it in the frame. Sort of the house framing the house. She hasn't done it yet but I still think it is a good idea.

Anyway, love the new look and keep up the great job.