THAT ONCE WAS THERE
My Grandfather grew up on a small farm in Ephraim. He was born there, and his parents died there. I lived in their home on the farm for several years during my childhood. There was an antique barn and several sheds full of treasures, complete with broken down old tractors and tools. I spent a lot of time exploring the property, creating significant memories. My Grandparents chose to sell the old family farm to fund the building of their dream home, a brand-new structure typical of suburban developments. Several years later, my Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. He quickly passed away. Unfortunately, shortly after the farm was sold, the new owners destroyed it. They tore out all of the trees and lilac bushes, broke the windows, and we watched as the home slowly deteriorated. Eventually, the house, barn and sheds were demolished, and the rubble hauled away. The land now sits empty and uncared for with only a few scraps of stone, wood, and metal to hint at the life that once was there.
I have always felt a deep connection to my Great Grandparents even though they died long before I was born. Perhaps it is because I was able to spend so much time in their home surrounded by the things that they loved. Places, particularly homes, soak up the life, love and memory of those who have resided there. I was able to call their home my home, a connection that transcends time. Even now with the house no longer standing, I am fortunate to have a collection of their things. Things that were used in that home, things that remind me of my childhood and connect me to the past. There is a phenomenon that occurs when one is reunited with objects of the past. The textures, smells, and sounds of objects all work together to prompt memories and create stories. Without these objects, some memories might otherwise by forgotten or never realized. These objects hint at the life my ancestors lived and act as a portal to the past, allowing me to recreate experiences or imagine them for the first time. These objects have become irreplaceable.