Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hard work

This is in the town of Troy, a remnant of the past, perhaps a store, or the start of the elevator and seed business we see behind it.Down the road is Trojan Farms,is this Greece or Iowa?

Great Egrets on their migration.


He came from England, already an experienced coal miner. This was just beginning to really break on the prairie, soon to leave many scars. It was a tough life not being able to stand throughout the day. There were numerous tragedies and disruptions during the workday, all accepted facts of the trade. You worked around broken fingers and numerous bangs and bruises.

He arrived home to see his wife finishing in the field, pulling a massive planter with a team of horses. She looked fairly weary and he went to clean up first. Hearing the team pulling in he greeted her with a clean smile, compared to when he left the mine.

His children would sometimes meet him, helping his tired legs get up the hill to their home. He lead her to the house and went back to unhitch the team When he got inside, she had put together some cornbread to go with the stew she had simmering. He went to give it a stir and was playfully pushed away.

The next year they were able to buy a mine, one of the deepest ever to be dug. They added another the following year. His family all became involved in the operation, at some level or other. It was a good life, a fine life to enjoy on this prairie. This bit of happiness was shared with numerous other stories, on a gentle prairie breeze, which many were to enjoy.
Cold sweat and hard work everyday
Toils of labor in sand and clay
What a way to live on this earth
Until it was the day
To collect the pay.


  1. This story touches my heart. My great-grandparents were immigrant farmers and miners. A hard working tough family that passed tenacity on to the generations that followed them. I also love your photo of the old building with its peeling paint and boarded windows.

  2. Thank you for that story! I could smell the stew and felt their anticipation of sitting down with nourishing food and family at the end of the day.

  3. Wow, this is an amazing post today. So many people today (younger generations) honestly have no idea how hard life used to be.

    I love your photos, just gorgeous. You certainly have an eye.

  4. there are many memories and a full history of people contained in those abandoned buildings

  5. Another wonderful story. What is going on with the tree? nice collection of fall photos :O)

  6. Have you ever read Seamus Heaney? He is a wonderful poet who grew up on the farm, and very close to nature... you should check him out. I think you would like him. Or... Mary Oliver? Just your style, I would think. I love your stories...

  7. In the past people worked very hard. When I travel in USA, I love to see old shops old houses and farms old barns and fences.
    In Utah we visited the copper mine of Magna and the Silver mine near Park City.

  8. I don't comment nearly enough here. Great story. And great pictures. I spent some time in Iowa in my younger days, mostly around Sioux City. It;s amazing how many similar looking places there are all over the state. The abandoned store tells a story all its own.

  9. I love the photographs and the story as well. My grandparents also farmed - not an easy life by any means! Hope that you are well,


  10. Seeing that many Great Egrets must have been a real treat.
    Coal mining was and maybe still is... as hard on the workers as the land.

  11. What an amazing story of struggle and perseverance. I love how you have written the story and the pictures that you put together are equally amazing.

  12. Nice story and photos. I enjoyed them.

  13. The lady I interviewed for this story really enjoyed my retelling about her family. Many times she would have her nephew wheel her over and have some other quip to share or just to look over my yard. I put them all together and she framed the story on her wall. There is more from this family coming.We are a country of immigrants and many lives will open for you.I rotate characters to show similarities and keep the readers interest going.My poems are like a oratorio, the chorus carries over the thought from one scene to the other.

  14. my favourite shot is the first and last. :)

  15. Amazing and nice photographs with attractive post.
    Best wishes.

  16. I think that farm implement is a planter. It looks like one. We used to have them around. They were used to plant tobacco or tomato plants. Pulled by one or two horses with the driver on a high tractor seat and the two people planting were on each side of the row being dug and then closed by the planter. It is a neat machine.

  17. Beautiful post and pictures. Very reminiscent of past lives and what it must have been like "way back then".

  18. beautiful post,great images! best regards


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