| One of the coolest houses I've ever been in was my Great Aunt Maggie's house. I didn't know it at the time, but they were poor. It was a two story house with a garage out back. The public gravel road ran on their property between the garage and house. There was a fence along the road to keep the turkeys in the yard. There was a forest around the garage.
To one side was a big swing that a bunch of kids or adults could sit in at one time, and it hung from two trees. My recall may be fuzzy, but there was a shed or a chicken house behind those trees. Next to that was a huge garden. It supported them all year long and gave a little extra for trading or selling, and some to slop the pigs.
For most of my childhood, there was a pigsty on the far side of the driveway. We weren't allowed around that. The outhouse was nearby. I guess no one told them the outhouse shouldn't be near animals. At first there was a water pump near the back door. Later, the sons converted it to an electric pump and wired it to the house. They kept a bucket hanging on the spigot, so that they could throw a switch, like a light switch, inside, and get water. You had to turn it off pretty quick to keep from wasting it. Then you'd walk out and switch the full bucket with an empty bucket.
There were deer skins on the walls and antlers. TV always had a football game, while the wood stove warmed up the room. They cooked on the big wood stove in the kitchen and washed dishes there in a big metal bowl. Those ladies had sterile hands, dipping into that hot water like that!
A big table seated everyone when we dined there. I loved sitting on the back porch, even when it was cold. Then they enclosed it, and put screens up which made it nice for summer, and kept you dry.
There was a Episcopal church up at the top of the hill in back, where their property began. I only learned years ago, it wasn't a community church. It was owned by the family of the man who married Aunt Maggie. He was a sweet man. A church homecoming usually meant his family and in-laws.It had a pump organ, which I was allowed to play a few times. The small cemetery turns out to be just his relatives, and now his descendants.
They hunted and fished and farmed.Aunt Maggie sold handcrafts. When they were younger, when my dad was just a boy, they were caretakers of other people's property. When I came along, they were retired, poor and land rich. Their son bought the adjoining property which was the stopover for stage coaches. It had been kept up, but unused for decades. Today the land is worth a mint, and is still in that family.
When we were kids, that house with its oil lamps, minimal electricity, wood heat, and outdoor water, and an outhouse and livestock in the yard was a cool place. It was a place of mystery. We always had fun there, and plenty to eat, and lots of laughter.