My wife’s paternal grandparents lived in Illinois their entire lives and they seemed content. Their roots were deep in our country – pre-revolutionary Virginia and you can’t get much deeper than that. We visited them at their home in Ridgefarm in 1965. We were a group of young California relatives coming to visit and we were very uncertain of what we were in for. We were immediately ‘at home’ when we said hello. It must have been an experience for Patty’s grandparents when four adults and five young children arrived at their doorstep as their guests for the next several days. We literally camped out at their home in Ridgefarm. It was an amazing experience for us. Patty’s grandmother did all the cooking on her woodstove. She was a remarkable woman and FINE cook.
Donna, Patty’s grandmother, was up early to get the stove ready for the nonstop cooking of the meals. She started the coal fire in the stove using kerosene soaked corncobs. She really knew how to get the most out of her stove. The food we ate came out of their garden and that was an experience for our children. Our children even used the ‘three holer’ out back even though modern plumbing was at hand.
We remembered our visit with great fondness as the years passed and counted ourselves as being very fortunate to have experienced a little of the way it was before the World became “modern”. By the way, have you ever eaten a REAL tomato? I have. They came out of Lindsey’s and Donna’s garden that was in their back yard. It was a magnificent garden The tomatoes were huge and they were very good to eat. There were many varieties in several colors – red, green and yellow as I recall. We even had fried green tomatoes for dinner once. Our children were enthralled by the garden. I think they were particularly impressed by the experience of harvesting the food that was to become our meal later in the day.