The original purpose of this blog (at least in my mind) was to document our life as I moved from the big city to a (very) run-down 1940's farmhouse on a (very) small eastern Kentucky farm and endeavored to teach myself home renovation, how to farm, how to home school, how to cook and preserve the food I produced, and tried to follow my dreams.
Ten years later, things are totally different from the way they started. The house is almost finished, I've learned the basics of how to farm, G. has graduated and moved on to follow her dream of becoming a helicopter pilot, I married the man of my dreams five years ago, I wrote my first novel (unpublished. Trust me; you're welcome.) and I've become a fairly accomplished cook (not tooting my own horn; that's what my family says...but then again, they rely on me to feed them, so they may not be totally impartial. Hmmm....)
Time to move in a new direction.
It all started with the house.
Ten years ago, our house was...well, let's just say most rational people would have looked at it, said, "Oh, HECK no!" and bulldozed the place. But most people who know me will agree--I'm anything but rational.
When I bought it, the house needed: new plumbing, foundation work, a complete rewiring, new windows throughout, new doors throughout, the central supporting wall rebuilt, new flooring, new floor joists, structural porch supports added, and all new siding. The bathroom and kitchen both needed to be redone although they were "functional" as-is, the septic system was...elderly, there was no working heating or air conditioning, there were three unusable fireplaces that needed to be dismantled, and there was old termite damage in one part of the house. There were no outbuildings, fences, or fruit trees (there were 5 black walnut trees.) But it had a new roof, great neighbors, came with 10.6 acres and a stream, and only cost $20,000.
If only these walls could talk.
Our house dates to about 1941-2. The family who built it hauled a portable saw mill onto the property, felled the trees off the land, milled them right here, and built the house. The frame is oak, the siding is tulip poplar and some of the remaining upstairs flooring is (we think) chestnut. It is part of this land in a way no other house could be. It was sited to take advantage of the prevailing winds and the direction of the sun. Originally, it was a story-and-a-half, but sometime in the mid-80s, the upper half-story was removed and three bedrooms were added out to one end.
What does all that have to do with this blog?
I'm glad you asked.
With our world more and more resembling the late-1930s (a lingering Recession/Depression, spreading societal breakdown, and a rumbling threat of war across the globe), I've been thinking more and more about just how people lived in the 1940s. How did they cope with the struggles of the war effort, specifically the shortage of goods and food? Which made me wonder...
Could a family today survive 1940s rationing?
We plan to find out.