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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trip to Miller

We Knew

We knew the hands that drove these nails,
We knew the feet that trod these trails.
We knew the love that filled this place.
We knew those strong arms, that sweet face.

We knew the smells from Grandma's stove,
We knew the simple joy of our Grandma's love.
We knew the narrow, worn steps that led upstairs.

We knew the names of all the mules and mares.

We knew Uncle Trecil lived not far away.
We knew he never did have much to say.
We knew we were always safe in Willis' care.
We knew he'd keep us safe from "the unseen bear".

We knew, we hoped the the barn would always stand.
We know the rocky soil will always be Adcock Land.
Because we knew the hands that drove those nails,
We know our very own feet have trod these trails.

Not quite the same drama as depicted in 'The Trip to Bountiful' but never the less an emotional day as Husband, First Cousin and I ventured to the former Adcock Family homestead.  This 80 acre farm is just a few miles outside the small, dying town of Miller, Mo.  We did not drive in from the direction of the Pete Muth coined roller coaster hills.  Nor did we drive down the tree canopied lane remembered by another First Cousin as a favorite road to ride with Uncle Trecil.  We three did walk the hallowed grounds in the area known as the Adcock Hills.

In 1870 the name sake patriarch, John Adcock, came to the Miller, MO, area from Tennessee.  The hilly, rock ladened area was occupied by Adcock family members from 1870 till the deaths of beloved Uncles Willis and Trecil in August, 1988. These two brothers were the last Adcock occupants and laborers on the family farm, a span of 118 years.  Willis, as the oldest, had never left the home farm.  Trecil had moved to the Yinks place a couple of miles away to be more independent.  The other surviving siblings, two brothers and three sisters, one by one left the farm beginning in the late 1930's till the late forties.  WWII had a direct impact on this migration from the farm and the ensuing marriages.  Grandpa's early death left Grandma and her two son's to run the farm.

During the 40's, 50's and 60's the prodigy of the three sisters and one brother spent time "at the farm" especially during summer vacations.  With the Missouri heat and humidity the North Dakota cousins viewed the visits as time in Missery!  The Kansas cousins would spend summers living in the area, then with aunts and uncles in the surrounding towns.  One sister married an air force career person.  Those children came and went according to the duty assignment of Uncle.  Eventually they settled on a farm in the same county.  To a person all the grandchildren still remember Grandma's biscuits cooked in the wood cook stove.  Trips into Miller for a visit to the MFA usually meant a soda and candy if  the uncles were feeling generous that day.  And of course the old outhouse was a less than stellar memory for the group!

Today's visit for Husband and First Cousin was about marking "The Spot" on First Cousin's GPS.  The marking was important in that no matter how many trees grow or trees are cut down, no matter how many houses are built or torn down nor how many other things can happen to the landscape, the homeplace can be found.

As we walked and talked about everything from picking berries for Grandma to make cobblers to dead horses in the ravine to feelings of sadness that the barn had fallen words formed in my mind.  A series of pictures Husband and I have taken over the course of many years are of abandoned homes & businesses are our 'Somebody's Dream" series.  I offer the poem to the Adcock family as a tribute to this smart, determined, loving and caring adopted family of mine.  A family that started with somebody's dream.

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