One of the neat things about living in Virginia is all of the little secrets hidden in the countryside. As you drive along the rural roads, you can see all of these abandoned farm houses and barns. Before I had to be so…adult…I would top, if I could, and explore these places if it was safe. It was always amazing to see the old farm tools and housewares one could find when exploring these old structures.
The same was true of our family farm when my grandparents inherited it. Nestled in a few thousand acres in the middle of no where, I would go exploring the barns and sheds to see what I could find. It was like some mystical adventure as a child, finding items that dated back to before the Revolutionary War. So many of these rare items were found on the property that my grandparents and uncle began hanging them on the walls and placing them on shelves to display for guests to see. It was like this little walk through history just by walking into the house.
There were other hidden treasures found within the walls of the actual main house. These little treasures became my escape to a world no one else ever knew about or could understand.
The family whom my grandparents inherited the farm from left clothing…lots of clothing…from the previous owners. The family who had lived there before it was passed along…two sisters. And the clothing they left was amazing.
This mini wardrobe included clothing from the late 1800’s through the 1970’s. Some of it was ugly as sin. Some of it, incredibly vintage. Dresses… skirts… blouses… shoes… costumes… jewelry… You name it and it was found in the house. My grandparents both being Depression Era children/young adults, they never threw any of it away. It was put into closets in the spare bedrooms. Like the rest of the house, you could open any closet in the extra bedrooms and talk a walk through fashion history.
And as a child and teen…those closets become my refuge.
For as long as the clothing would fit me, I would put it on at night. Every night I was there, a new dress or outfit. I would steal make up from my mother or grandmother. When my mother would have me run into the store to buy her hose or things like that, I would by an extra pair, say I had just misunderstood how many she needed and tucked them away for a trip to the farm. It was within the walls of that old farmhouse that I knew, without really knowing, that I would end up on this path I am on now.
Those late nights at the farm, long after my grandparents would go to sleep, became the one place in the world where it was safe to be me…to wear the clothing I always wanted to wear…to feel feminine and though ugly as sin, it was the closest to beautiful I ever felt.
When we sold the family farm, it was heartbreaking for me. A big reason was that farm was one of the very few stable places in my life. It was the one consistent house in my family from my childhood through my adult years. It was one place I was always safe. It was where I stayed whenever I went back home.
Sold too were the warm feelings and memories of the one place in the world where I was able to be who I really was…before I know who that was.
I still miss the farm the today…
See it on Flickr.
*Squared Hill*Under-Grass Prim
beach shed white