I am hesitant to write down what happened today (Christmas Day). Mostly out of fear that this won’t work out. Perhaps I don’t want to look silly. It is an incredible story though…regardless. The ending is up for grabs. How will this story end? Is it all just a coincidence? Will a month from now it fade from memory? I don’t know. I have no idea. It is what it is. I will be as anxious as anyone to see the final outcome.
I have had dreams for months now that I bought our old family farm, located in Southern Illinois. Each night I have this same dream. The dreams are not always the same but they are similar. I buy the family farm back (it is on a big hill as some of you know), we tear down the old house, and we build a new house on it. I have told everyone in my family about these dreams. I laugh about it. Lately, though, I have become frustrated with them. The dream has become so commonplace that I wish it would stop.
I should back up a little bit and fill in some blanks…
In 1987 the bank started procedures to take our farm away from us. This was during the big "farm" crisis (for those who remember). A lot of farmers lost their farms (remember farm aide?). Our family farm had been in the family…well forever. My grandmother and her husband owned the farm. Eventually they divorced and my grandmother and my great grandfather lived there. My mom and dad built a house next to my grandmother and we grew up there. When I was 17 we had financial problems and the bank started their foreclosure procedures. In 1988 we had to move off the farm. We lost it.
I have always missed the farm. This is probably why I dream about it so much. Living on the farm was wonderful. The view was incredible. You could see forever in almost every direction! You could see every storm. Every sunset. Every sunrise. I have good and bad memories from that period in my life. Like most people I suppose. Still…at the end of the day I have always missed being on the farm. I miss being on top of my roof and watching the meteor showers. I miss the incredible views. Like I said, you can see in all directions. I miss the countryside. I miss the HUGE Oak Tree that stood next to our house. It is still there! Bigger than ever! I guess I will always be a farm boy at heart.
Last night…Christmas Eve I had a dream. The same dream over and over. I woke up so many times…tossing and turning. I couldn’t get my rest. I had a dream that I went up to the farm and found that it was for sale. I signed the papers and bought it.
I woke up this morning…several times. I couldn’t stop thinking about all of this. I finally became so frustrated that I took a shower and got in the car and drove to the farm in Massac County. I laughed half-way there and told myself that this was all foolishness and that I needed to get this out of the way and move on. Perhaps this trip would be closure. It had to be because it was driving me mad.
As I approached the farm I saw a sign on the corner of the main road entrance. It said 4-Bedroom House for sale. My heart skipped a beat. I swallowed hard. I wonder? Could it be? When I got to the farm I drove past it. Not seeing a for sale sign or anything of the sort. I went down to the neighbors…the Quints and turned around. The house for sale wasn’t ours. It was a house about a mile down the road. I stopped on the road in front of our house and peered up at it. It didn’t look like anyone was home. So I decided just to drive up to grandmothers old place (her house is gone now). I drove around and looked at the view. Sighing and missing all of the times we had up there. Thinking about all the arrowheads I used to find in the corn fields. Thinking about the four wheelers we used to ride. The sled rides down the big lane! Memories. LOTS AND LOTS OF MEMORIES!
I then stopped by our old house. It appeared that nobody was home. I stopped the car and wrote a note on a piece of old paper that I had laying in the car. The note said "Hey guys this is Beau – I have stopped by several times in the past. I was here last year to take photographs of the storm damage in the corn fields. I didn’t know if you would be interested in selling the property. If so then give me a call I might be interested." I then left my number and email address. I got out to stick it on the door of the house. I walked up to the door. On the way I noticed that the basement looked empty. I looked in the window. No furniture. So I went to the door. There was a lock box on the door. I saw something taped to the wall inside the front door. I couldn’t read it. It said "NOTICE" on it…that was the only word I could make out. I walked around the house looking for any open windows. I didn’t see any. I don’t know what I was going to do…I guess try and go in. lol
So I figured the people moved out of the house. That was fairly obvious. I left the note on the door hoping that someone would see it.
I then drove down the lane and saw a mailbox. I figured I would leave a note in the mailbox as well. I went over to the box to see if there was any mail in it. I needed a name. I wasn’t sure of the name of the person living in our old house. So I saw some mail and got the persons name. While looking in the mailbox I noticed attorney envelopes and foreclosure notices. Apparently, here in 2007, the bank is foreclosing on the property. Twenty years later…history repeats itself.
So I left them a note. All the way home I had these strange feelings. Several times I caught myself with tears in my eyes. I don’t know what to think. Is it possible that we might actually be able to get this property back? My mother would absolutely faint. She has been wanting to put a small house on the property for a long time. She has asked me about even in the last few weeks. It has been her lifelong dream to reclaim the family farm.
I don’t know how this story will end. I write it only to get it out. I have so many emotions right now. My hands are even shaking a bit. I don’t know how I feel. I am going to try and contact whoever knows what is going on. I am not sure who that is. The bank? A realtor? I will have to get Tony, my brother in law, to help me out – he is a realtor.
Sigh…is it possible that this is meant to be? I told my friend David a few weeks ago that I felt driven to move out of my house on Ashcreek. To put it up for sale. I didn’t know why. I know some people thought I was crazy for moving out of that big house! Will this all be a culmination towards something that I have wished or dreamed for for years and years? Every hill I have ever been on has been compared to our old family farm. It is what I set the standard with. I guess we will all just have to stay tuned! I will be as curious as the next person to see if this all leads to an outcome that will certainly make for a great story!
Twenty years ago this year we lost our farm on the Metropolis Courthouse Square. Twenty years ago next year we were forced out. Could it be that we will retake what was rightfully my grandmothers. On the same courthouse square we lost it? I told my grandmother once that I would one day get her farm back. It could be that that day has come.