Thursday, June 17, 2010

Memories at the old meeting room


Yesterday we had an adventure day. The day was overcast, humid and warm. Rain was sure to come but was taking it's time. We headed out to the lake to weed, plant more lettuce and water a little before heading to a friends farm for lunch. It was one of those days that just unfolds as it goes even though you have an idea of a schedule. We ended up stopping at a few interesting places, one being the old family homestead...another story there though. The last stop before heading home was to this little old far meeting room. (church)


It was cloudy and moody, rain was trickling by this point and the place looked so forlorn and almost spooky. As I drove up to the now way overgrown parking lot the memories started to flood back. The breeze blowing through the open doors with the sounds of crickets and birds chirping and sheep bleating in the background as old hymns are sung from the heart. The musty smell of the old structure mixing with the smell of wild grass and flowers in the fields and on bushes are still fresh in my mind.


My thoughts were then interrupted by Kaitlyn stating that she needed to pee
so we headed off in the direction of the old out house.


Trudging through thigh high wet grass with massive mosquitoes swarming up around us was not so fun and I distracted myself with thoughts of the old mown lawn and beaten little path to the same door.
I should dig out a doodle that I did as a kid of this same out house. Drawn up one Sunday morning as I sat on the wooden chairs swinging my bare feet and day dreaming. I was so good at day dreaming and doodling and paying little to no attention to what was going on in the meeting.


The door to the outhouse was ajar when we approached and this creeped me out just a little as thoughts of what kind of creature might be lurking within filled my head. (One too many scary movies are filmed in this dreary kind of weather in remote places and I happen to be stupid enough to have watched them and let them creep me out)
I pushed the thoughts aside and squeaked the door open.

Out jumped a.....

just kidding;-).

Inside the roof was caving in and there were leaves and bird dropping everywhere. An old toilet paper roll hung covered in cob webs from an old hat hook and the old wash bowls and a comb still stood on the counter. After peeking into a stall and seeing that the toilet hole bench was covered in the leaves and the rain was dripping down through the leaky roof we headed back out to find a corner in the grass.


Back to the truck to get Ethan out and check to make sure Hudson was still napping before going into the old hall. Ethan was sure he didn't need to go to the washroom and I was glad. The men's out house was back in the bush and I was done with out houses for the moment.
Mind you Ethan is quite fine with going behind a tree so I didn't really need to think about it anyway.


We opened the door and stepped into the meeting room.
More memories.


The old wood and cement floor was always cool to the touch and so inviting on a sticky humid Sunday morning. The smell, oh the smell. Musty, dusty and earthy. I love smells at this stage in the pregnancy, especially earthy or woodsy smells. I remembered this earthy smell so well.


We explored the few rooms and I answered questions the kids had about Sunday school, what I learned, who taught me and who my friends were.
I gazed out the old wavy glass windows and remembered sitting and staring out watching the wheat as it danced in the wind like waves on a lake. The sound of the wheat swishing, the birds, insects and sheep chirping and bleating, the hymns....intoxicating.


The mirror for ladies fixing their hats still hangs. It is a little goofy now and I don't remember if it always was or not. I was never tall enough to see myself in it.


Sometimes I wish this little old meeting room was still in use so my children could experience the same quiet country meetings that I did.


Though it wasn't very often that I got to go to the country those memories are etched in my mind as very special times.


Time and weather will continue to slowly erode this place but I hope to keep the memories fresh for a long time.


17 comments:

Glenda said...

Wow that is so cool Anna!

The Chatty Housewife said...

Did you look in the cupboard? Last time I checked there was still a box of fruit roll-ups that were used as prizes for saying bible verses by memory.

Where did all the chairs go?

The door for the ladies outhouse never stayed closed. Uugh!

I am in a teary mood for some reason, and in a way this is such a sad post. So many good memories were made here. Tea meetings where the men stood around as the ladies bustled around setting up lunch. Sunday school on a blanket under the trees. The rain on the roof. Being so cold in the winter that we never took off our winter jackets or boots. The sound of the old heater coming on. Crickets. The wooden chairs that always rocked because someone sawed all their legs crooked to "match" the crooked wood floor, and then they got moved around.

Well, this is quite the long comment. Thanks for the flood of memories Anna. Bittersweet post.

Su-Ann said...

Your photography is amazing!! You are very gifted!!! and you are a great mom!!! Your children are very blessed that you spend so much time with them, teaching them, molding them. Wow! I just wish that more children in this world had parents like you who care about their kids, spend time with them, teach them, love them. All the best to you, Anna.

JAMS said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful story...

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

I just love the lighting in these photos Anna! I don't know if you edited them to be that way or if that is how the settings you chose made them but either way they are just gorgeous.

Jaime said...

I've always wanted to go in there when we visit. Thanks for the beautiful pictures and perspective! I had butterflies in my stomach - very alive!

Heather said...

I love that picture of Kaitlynn! Very neat pictures and story! I don't know where all the chairs went...but I know B & S have one of the benches in their place...neat for the memories to live on!

Anna-b-bonkers said...

The chairs are stashed one of the back rooms. A few stacks of folding metal ones and maybe 10 wooden ones. Don't know where the rest of em are though.

beck said...

Wow, how bitter sweet. I can only imagine the Little Flock hymns being sung and filling that field with music...

Anonymous said...

Oh the memories this brings back. I can still remember the smell of that room, and the sound of the flies buzzing. That's where Dr. Groth set up his model of the tabernacle during conference. I was about 9! Many conference memories from there. Ethel Scadding Light taking shorthand notes of the meetings! I could go on and on!
Helen K

Kimberley said...

Oh I miss that place! Great pictures!

~Holly~ said...

*tear*! Such great pictures! I'd love to know how you edited them... You described pretty much every memory that I have from that place, exactly the same... such a neat place.

BeachMama said...

So lovely Anna. Despite it's non-use the meeting room sure looks to be in good shape. The places we used go (not a meeting room, but a Christian camp) are long gone now and cows are set out to pasture. The last time I was able to wander through them was in the '80s and there was barely anything left. Hubby and I like to check out old buildings, but none of them hold memories for us, just questions.

Jen Wilson said...

Wow. Your words are so beautiful!! Your photographs are amazing as well.

LOVE THIS!

rachel said...

I saw Susan this weekend in NY. She sent me to look at your pictures. Amazing! I've never been, but I saw a picture of the bench they took from there. :)

SMC said...

I didn't grow up going to SS here in Craven, but when we visited from far away, going to the "farm" for meeting was always a special treat. These pictures are incredible Anna, and evoke lots of emotion!

Amy.E said...

I teared up as well looking at these pictures. Thank you so much for posting them. I'm going to look at this post with my hubby to give him a pictorial glimpse of a little piece of my girlhood. Beautiful!