Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Touring Ste. Genevieve

After we visited my great-grandparent's house, we drove a few miles to my grandmother's house. If you recall from the previous post, she was the only tuberculosis survivor in her family and she raised six kids--four of her own and two of her sister's kids. This house is located right off Highway 61, not far from the Mississippi River.

Ste. Genevieve has been flooded several times by the mighty river. In 1975, the water came up and Grandma's house was flooded halfway up the first floor, leaving mud and debris everywhere. The chicken house was flooded nearly to the roof. In 1993, Ste. Genevieve experienced a record high flood and Grandma's house flooded all the way up to the second floor. The flood swept away the garage, but in the front yard, her cement statue of the Virgin Mary survived every flood.

A few miles down the road on the other side of Highway 61, we stopped by my Mom's farm, the place where she was born and grew up. Her cousin now owns the farm and the house has been added on. I can remember visiting the farm when my Mom's brother owned it in the early 70's. One night, I got up to go to the bathroom and ran into a nightstand. I hit my eyebrown on the corner of the stand and it began bleeding. I woke up everyone who wasn't deaf with my screaming. I still have the scar today.

To the left is my Mom standing next to the copper urn where her mom made apple butter each year. They had a rough life on the farm--getting up at four in the morning to milk the cows and walking miles to pecan trees and blackberry bushes. There was no heat in the bedrooms upstairs and her brothers had to suffer through the cold winters. You know those old stories about "I had to walk a mile to school?" In Mom and Dad's case, it was several miles away.

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